Law enforcement officials in Sicily may have solved the mafia murder of a New York police officer killed in 1909.
Joe Petrosino, a 48-year-old officer, was shot dead that year after sailing to Sicily to investigate New York's “Black Hand” gangsters, who were affiliated with the Sicilian mafia. The resolution of his unsolved murder came about when a large investigation into present-day mafia activity caught Domenico Palazzotto bragging on a wiretap about having an ancestor who killed a New York policeman. From Reuters:
"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.
Palazzotto went on to say that his family had in fact celebrated the 100th anniversary of Petrosino's murder. The 5'3" Petrosino, who was born in Italy, was the first leader of the "Italian Squad" set up by New York police to investigate anarchists and mobsters from that country.