Vito Laduca

Vito Laduca
Vito Laduca

Alias: Giuseppe Longo

Born: Cari­ni

Nation­al­i­ty: Sicilian

Died: Feb­ru­ary 1908

Where: Cari­ni

Cause: Shot


Vito Lad­u­ca was a mem­ber of the Morel­lo gang heav­i­ly involved in coun­ter­feit­ing. He arrived in New York on Feb­ru­ary 25th 1902, onboard the S.S. Citta di Milano.

He was arrest­ed in Pitts­burgh in March 1903 whilst try­ing to pass the gangs fake Mor­ris­town cur­ren­cy. After Lad­u­ca’s release due to lack of evi­dence, Benedet­to Mado­nia was sent to Pitts­burgh to try and secure the release of the other gang mem­bers. Mado­nia’s com­plaints about his mis­sion led to a chain of events result­ing in his death months later in New York, an case that became known as the Bar­rel Mur­der. Lad­u­ca was arrest­ed in con­nec­tion with the killing, but was even­tu­al­ly released due to lack of evidence.

Lad­u­ca start­ed a busi­ness in Brook­lyn dur­ing August 1904. He had a shop at Bridge and John­son Streets, where his busi­ness name was Vito Longo. His home was at 360 Hud­son Avenue, where he lived with his wife.

In 1904, Lad­u­ca was want­ed by the police in con­nec­tion with the kid­nap­ping of a rich con­trac­tors son, Anto­nio Man­ni­no, from Brook­lyn. The father of the kid­napped boy had given gen­er­ous­ly to the col­lec­tion that was made to sup­port the Morel­lo gang dur­ing the Bar­rel trial in 1903.

The police staked out the butch­ers shop at 16 Stan­ton Street but were informed that Lad­u­ca had trav­elled to Pitts­burgh. The police then vis­it­ed Lad­u­ca’s home in Brook­lyn, they ques­tioned the owner of the build­ing who claimed he had seen a man wait­ing for Lad­u­ca on two occa­sions. The descrip­tion matched that of Tom­ma­so Petto who had been arrest­ed in con­nec­tion with the Bar­rel murder.

The kid­napped boy was even­tu­al­ly returned to his fam­i­ly. The police took him on a tour of the city to retrace his steps, but he failed to locate the exact house he was held in. The clos­est he could nar­row the area down to was East Harlem around 106th and 107th Streets. The police then learnt that the boy had an Uncle liv­ing in Harlem at 238 E108th called Colagero Costan­ti­no, he also hap­pened to fit the descrip­tion of the kidnappers.

On Octo­ber 3rd, 1905, Lad­u­ca was arrest­ed in Bal­ti­more by Meal­li and Vachris of the Brook­lyn Ital­ian Squad, he was charged with the abduc­tion of Anto­nio Mannino.

Lad­u­ca was later killed when he returned to Italy.