Century-Old Mafia Murder Apparently Solved

Alleged Mafioso accidentally reveals that his father's uncle did it
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2014 2:37 PM CDT
Century-Old Mafia Murder Apparently Solved
Joe Petrosino is seen in this file photo.   (Wikimedia/Public Domain)

After more than 100 years, Italian police believe they've solved the killing of a famed New York police detective, after an alleged modern Mafioso allegedly bragged about his relative's role in the killing. NYPD Lieutenant Joe Petrosino, who was something of a celebrity during his lifetime, was gunned down in Sicily in 1909 while on a special assignment investigating Vito Cascio Ferro, the alleged boss of the Black Hand, the American wing of the Cosa Nostra, the International Business Times explains. On the fateful day, Petrosino was leaving a restaurant in Palermo where he'd planned to meet an informant and was gunned down by unknown assailants.

Italian police say they got an unexpected break in the case as part of a broad mob crackdown operation codenamed Apocalypse. Police arrested 95 mobsters on a laundry list of charges, and say they have wiretapped recordings of one of them, Domenico Palazzotto, 28, boasting about the ancient killing to fellow mobsters, Bloomberg reports. "My father's uncle, whose name was Paolo Palazzotto, was responsible for the first policeman killed in Palermo. He killed Joe Petrosino, on behalf of Cascio Ferro." Palazzotto was tried for Petrosino's murder at the time, but acquitted due to lack of evidence. (For tales of other extravagantly old crimes being solved—though usually not this extravagantly old—click here.)

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