Giuseppe Catania

Alias: Joseph Catania

Born: 1872 est.

Nation­al­i­ty: Sicilian

Died: July 23rd 1902

Where: Bay Bridge, 73rd Street.

Cause: Throat Cut

Killer: Morel­lo gang

Giuseppe Cata­nia, a Brook­lyn gro­cer, was found mur­dered on July 23rd, 1902. At around 8pm, four boys went swim­ming at the Bay Bridge, 73rd Street. One of the boys spot­ted a pota­to sack a few yards from the bank. Inside they dis­cov­ered a badly bruised corpse with the throat cut from ear to ear.

Detec­tives later found anoth­er sack close by that con­tained the vic­tim’s blood soaked clothes, they believed that the body had been tossed from a mov­ing cart down onto the river bank.

The police first thought that Cata­nia had been the vic­tim of a twen­ty year vendet­ta. He had been a wit­ness at a mur­der trial in Sici­ly, result­ing with the impris­on­ment of two defen­dants. The police arrest­ed one of the men, Lavori Libo­rio, but no charges were filed and he was deport­ed back to Italy.

The Secret Ser­vice believed that Cata­nia had been a mem­ber of the Morel­lo gang. They sus­pect­ed the gang had dis­posed of him due to his habit of drink­ing and talk­ing too much. Ignazio Lupo was one of the last men seen with Cata­nia, they had trav­elled to Man­hat­tan togeth­er to get some stock out of bond from the importers office. The police never gained enough evi­dence to war­rant any arrests in the case.

Sal­va­tore Clemente, of the Frauto gang, later revealed that Giuseppe Morel­lo and Domini­co Pec­o­raro were behind the slay­ing. Cata­ni­a’s nephew, Nico­lo Testa, was arrest­ed in 1903 as a wit­ness to the ‘Bar­rel Mur­der’ trial.