Giuseppe Catania

by Jon Black

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.