A century-old murder solved?

I was intrigued to read that the notorious 1909 murder of New York City police officer Joseph Petrosino may have been solved at last.  The Telegraph reports:

Police in the Italian island of Sicily believe they may have solved the century-old mob murder of a New York detective.

Joe Petrosino, a New York police officer, was shot dead during a mission to the island to collect evidence.

The revelation coincided with the arrest of 95 suspected members of two clans involved in extortion rackets in the island’s capital Palermo.

After two years of investigations, the arrests went after members of two mafia groups that have long operated in the western part of Palermo, the island’s capital and largest city, court documents showed.

. . .

To a Sicilian mob decimated by arrests and seeking to rebuild, criminal pedigree is important, as the investigation demonstrated when it wiretapped a 2013 conversation between two suspected young mobsters talking in their car.

In the details of the conversation, which features in the 872-page arrest warrant published on Monday, one of the mobsters, Domenico Palazzotto, said his family had celebrated the 100-year anniversary of the 1909 murder of Italian-American New York policeman Lieutenant Giuseppe “Joe” Petrosino.

Petrosino had come to Sicily to investigate the mafia, then known as the “Black Hand” in New York, and was shot dead in a magnolia-shaded Palermo square near the port almost immediately after his arrival.

“We have been mobsters for 100 years,” says Palazzotto, 33, according to a wiretap planted by police in his Audi A3.

“My father’s uncle, whose name was Paolo Palazzotto … was the first to kill a cop in Palermo … Joe Petrosino, an American cop,” he says.

Palazzotto shot Petrosino on behalf of his boss, Don Vito Cascio Ferro, the assassin’s great-nephew said.

There’s more at the link.

It seems that Lt. Petrosino believed the Sicilian Mafia would not dare kill a police officer, just as their American cousins would not do so.  He was wrong.


1 comment

  1. That's one way to solve a cold case… And it makes you wonder about the mentality when murder is something to be celebrated!

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