Experts Note Hard Proof Elusive as to Who Killed Petrosino

Domenico Palazzotto, 29, was caught on a wiretap telling friends that his father’s uncle, Paolo Palazzotto, was responsible for the murder, La Repubblica reported.

“He murdered the first police officer to be killed in Palermo,” Palazzotto was heard saying. “He killed  Joe Petrosino," The Local reported.
Petrosino was short and heavy, but it
was all solid muscle.

He said his father's uncle killed Petrosino on behalf of Vito Cascio Ferro, a boss of Sicily’s Cosa Nostra who also had dealings in America.

Palazzotto was arrested for the murder but was later acquitted, along with Ferro.

The arrests on Monday, which formed part of an  operation called Apocalypse, were made for a range of crimes including extortion, money laundering and drug trafficking.

Newsday, however, noted that: "Mafia experts said that the new information, while tantalizing, is hardly firm proof that Paolo Palazzotto was the man who shot Petrosino. Palazzotto's name as a possible suspect appeared earlier in news reports from 1909, which indicated that he worked for a time in Brooklyn under the name Giovanni Campanilo before he was deported because of Petrosino's investigative efforts.

"Police historian and author Thomas Reppetto said the Petrosino reluctantly went to Sicily after then-police Commissioner Theodore Bingham gave him the assignment. A number of officials and even a priest warned Petrosino that he faced danger and possible death if he traveled to Sicily. He was gunned while waiting for a trolley in downtown Palermo.

"Reppetto noted that historical accounts mentioned how Mafia boss Vito Cascio Ferro ultimately took responsibility for killing Petrosino. Cascio Ferro and Mafia members Antonio Passanante, who reportedly owned a wine shop in Brooklyn, as well as Carlo Costantino were mentioned in news accounts as other suspects. However, no one was ever convicted of Petrosino's murder. Petrosino's grave at Calvary is marked by a stone column topped by his bust.

 Italian police officials, Petrosino's relatives and a members of a special society named in honor of the slain cop are scheduled to commemorate the man tomorrow, the newspaper reported.

"We are doing this to help add closure to the family of Petrosino," said Robert Fonti, 53, of Cold Spring Harbor, an official with the nonprofit Lt. Det. Joseph Petrosino Association in America, Inc.

"It gives us reason to know and appreciate that after 105 years, justice can be served, even if we can't be sure." The association has about 100 members from Long Island, as well as others from the metropolitan area, said Fonti.



  1. Awesome clip !!! I believe this footage is from the 1980 4th of July party at Roy's,at which point Chris "Little Harvey" Rosenberg was already dead.As a matter of fact,I think I recall reading in "Murder Machine" that Roy was found sitting alone and sulking by a crew member later that evening,pining for "Little Harvey",his dead protege'.As for the tipster,it had to be either Dom Montiglio or Vito "Harry" Arena.

  2. Hmmm. Thinking Arena, now!!! Gotta read MM again. Maybe I'll skim the Dom stuff.....


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