Nicola Terranova

by Jon Black

Alias: Nick Terranova (Morello)

Born: 1890

Nationality: Sicilian

Died: September 7th 1916

Where: Johnson St and Hudson Avenue

Cause: Shot

Killer: Tom Pagano

In 1892, Nicola Terranova arrived in New York from Corleone with his fam­i­ly includ­ing his moth­er, step-father, four sis­ters, and broth­ers Ciro and Vincent. They were join­ing their step-broth­er Giuseppe Morello who had arrived six months earlier. 

The fam­i­ly stayed in New York for around a year, but suf­fered from the lack of avail­able work. They trav­elled to Louisiana, the father and Giuseppe worked for about a year plant­i­ng sug­ar cane before mov­ing on to Bryan, Texas. The fam­i­ly worked in Texas as cot­ton pick­ers, but left after two years when the fam­i­ly was hit with Malaria. In 1896, they arrived back in New York.

Terranova was arrest­ed in 1910 in con­nec­tion with the big coun­ter­feit­ing tri­al. He was held for pass­ing the coun­ter­feit mon­ey that the gang had been pro­duc­ing in Highland NY

The fol­low­ing years saw Terranova try to secure the release of his broth­er-in-law, Giuseppe Morello. In 1912, the Secret Service learnt of con­ver­sa­tions between Terranova and Giuseppe DeMarco to kid­nap Captain Flynn’s chil­dren, a plan that Terranova turned down as he didn’t want to jeop­ar­dise his broth­ers chance of parole. 

In June 1912, Terranova was arrest­ed along with his broth­er Vincent for assault­ing a police­man. Vincent was sen­tenced to ten days on Blackwell’s Island, whilst Nicholas received a sus­pend­ed sentence. 

Later in June 1912, Terranova was involved in the killing of Rocco Tapano in the Bronx. Whilst nev­er charged with the crime, it was not­ed in Secret Service records when they learnt of his involve­ment through one of their infor­mants. Terranova killed Tapano in retal­i­a­tion for the mur­der of his nephew, Calogero Morello, Giuseppe Morello’s son.

In November 1915, ‘Three Fingered’ Sam Antonio, thought to be an asso­ciate of Joe DeMarco, attacked Terranova in Harlem with a shot­gun. Terranova was hos­pi­talised but sur­vived the attack.

On September 7th, 1916, Terranova and Eugene Ubriaco trav­elled down­town to meet with the Navy St gang, where they were both ambushed and killed.

Scene after the Terranova/Ubriaco killing.