Sicilian's Save Money To Carry Out Vengeance here 1902

Inspector McLaughlin, who is in charge of the police of the borough, had a long talk last night with Antonio Vachris, the detective who is working on the Catania murder, concerning his later discoveries in the case. McLaughlin has much interest in the mystery surrounding the death of the Italian grocer, and for a time the official activity in the case has even overshadowed that in the Latimer murder.

It seems amazing to the inspector that such a murder could have been committed within the boundaries of the borough without any official solution in sight. Vachris and Detective Sergeant Rodden have been looking in vain for some clew to the men who committed the ghastly deed, but they have had nothing but disappointments as far as they have proceeded. Vachris was not even able to report progress on the case, and McLaughlin was slightly annoyed.

The Italian detective is industrious and optimistic. He believes that before long he will be able to secure some point that will lead to the discovery of the murderers, but for the present he does not know where to seek. it is known that the detectives were acting on the suggestion made by Domingo Tutrone, the son-in-law of the murdered man, to an Eagle reporter yesterday that some attention to be paid to the Italian living in the neighborhood of the Catharine Street Ferry and main street.

Inspector McLaughlin was seen last night by a reporter shortly after the official had had his talk with Vachris. The inspector was clearly in the dumps. He gloomily said that he had nothing new to tell about either the Latimer or the Catania case, and while he did not know if either of these criminal mysteries would ever be solved, he said that he hoped for the best. "Things are not going as well as I would like," he said. "The police are working, it is true, but so far there seems to be little result. I have nothing to tell you, as a matter of fact, about either of the cases. This Catania murder is annoying, for you know it is very hard to get any information from Italians."

The police seem now to be wholly committed tot he theory that the murder was the result of the vendetta. A sea captain who has made a study of Italian crime and who returned from Leghorn only yesterday was placed in possession of the facts in the case by a reporter. He did not seem to wonder at the murdered man's family's belief that the killing had been the result of some old feud. "I know Sicily very well," he said, "and while the newspapers here do not print much about Italian killings it would surprise you to know of the number of murders that are committed in Sicily yearly. You may scoff at the Mafia as much as you please, but I tell you that it is a fact that this society, which was originally formed for mutual protection, something like the Vigilantes of the early days out West, is an active agent of crime. it is not a visionary organization, make no mistake about that. it is a well drilled society and murder is one of its agencies for getting square, as we would say, with its enemies. I would not be a bit surprised if this man was killed by some of the Mafia's instruments."

The members of the Catania family are committed tot he idea that the death of the grocer was the result of some old time feud. While they profess utter ignorance of any cause which would lead any of their compatriots to cross the seas to wreak vengeance on Catania they seem to think that the person or persons who killed him were not residents of Brooklyn, were not persons who had been long in this country, but rather were men who had come a long distance to pay the debt of wrath.

It is not infrequent, say the Italians, for their countrymen to save up money to carry out their scheme of vengeance in this land. They may have waited twenty years, it is said, to kill the man. Money is not plentiful in Sicily and it may have taken just so long to get enough together to bring the parties to the vendetta to this side of the ocean, but it is agreed that the joy of vengeance is so pleasant to some of these people that even a delay of a score of years is not very great.

The police have been unable to trace to a fruitful source the story told in the neighborhood that some time in the distant past Catania killed two men. They have heard the story from a number of sources, but not one of them is reliable. And the family of the murdered man can throw no light on the mystery. The mother of the household was questioned last night on the subject. She is prostrated with her loss, for Catania was a loving husband and a fond father, but she cannot say that he ever committed any act in his Sicilian home which would warrant such dreadful requital. Detective Sergeants Vachris have still hope of clearing up the mystery, but they both admitted last night that the outlook was dark..

Website: The History
Article Name: Sicilian's Save Money To Carry Out Vengeance here 1902
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


The Brooklyn Daily Eagle 7/27/1902
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