Raffaele Daniello

by Jon Black

Alias: Ralph the Barber

Born: 1886

Nationality: Italian

Died: 1925

Where: New Jersey

Cause: Shot


Originally named Alphonso Pepe, Ralph Daniello fled from Italy in 1906. He had been arrest­ed for attack­ing a woman, and was sus­pect­ed of a recent murder.

In May 1917, Ralph ‘The Barber’ Daniello, of 1926 Pacific St, Brooklyn, a mem­ber of the Brooklyn based Navy St gang, had been in court charged with rob­bery and abduc­tion. He was released before elop­ing to Reno with his new love, Ms Amelia Valve. Daniello sent let­ters to his for­mer Navy St crew ask­ing for mon­ey, but his requests were ignored. The police tracked Daniello down in Reno, and brought him back to Brooklyn to face a new mur­der charge.

Indictments were brought against Daniello on the charge of mur­der, grand lar­ce­ny and per­jury. He began to tell the police every­thing he knew about the Navy Street crew and a recent string of mur­ders in New York. When the police realised the extent of Daniello’s con­fes­sions he was sent to the office of DA Edward Swann.

On November 27th Daniello was arraigned with John Esposito, Allesandro Vollero and Alphonso Sgroia, and oth­er mem­bers of the Navy St gang who had been arrest­ed on Daniello’s confessions.

According to the tes­ti­mo­ny by Daniello, Sicilians and Neapolitans were formed loose­ly in three main bands and con­trolled the rack­ets across New York. The bands were based in Harlem, down­town Mulberry bend with the last band cov­er­ing Brooklyn and Coney Island. He went on to con­fess to his gangs involve­ment in the killings of both the DeMarco broth­ers, Nicholas Terranova and Eugene Ubriaco, and the ‘Chuck’ Nazzaro killing in Yonkers.

Ralph Daniello was moved to a dif­fer­ent prison due the abuse he received after he tes­ti­fied at the tri­al of Vollero, he also received a sus­pend­ed sen­tence in view of his tes­ti­mo­ny. His free­dom was short lived when he was lat­er arrest­ed for assault­ing a man in Coney Island, Daniello claimed he had shot the vic­tim think­ing that he had been sent from the Navy Street gang on a vendet­ta. Daniello was sen­tenced to five years in prison. 

After his release in 1925 he was shot in his saloon, near Metuchen, New Jersey.