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Mafia: 100 Years Later, a Bug Reveals the Killer of Joe Petrosino

Giulia Madron (June 23, 2014)
“Apocalypse” in Palermo. Italian Finance Police and Carabinieri unveal the secrets of Cosa Nostra. 91 arrests in total.

A mystery that lasted 100 years. But now, the killer who murdered in Palermo, Sicily, the Italian American cop Joe Petrosino has finally a name. Domenico Palazzotto, 29 years old, boast himself, together with other young bosses of the Cosa Nostra clan, about being a descendant of the killer of the lieutenant of New York who was shot on the morning of the 12th of March, 1909. But he was not aware of the fact that he was been bugged by the police of Palermo.

“My father’s uncle was called Paolo Palazzotto, he was the responsible for the murder of the first cop killed in Palermo. He was the one who killed Joe Petrosino, on behalf of Cascio Ferro,” said Domenico Palazzotto, breaking down a secret that was kept for almost a century.

Joe Petrosino was killed on Friday, March 12th, 1909, at 8:45am with four pistol shots. The execution took place in Piazza Marina, in the heart of Palermo, causing panic among the people who were waiting for the bus. Petrosino had become the first, and only, NYPD officer to be killed on foreign soil whilst on duty.

In March of 1909, Paolo Palazzotto was arrested as the only suspect for murder of Petrosino. However, he was released almost immediately because there were not enough proofs.

The young boss of Cosa Nostra, Domenico Palazzotto, was arrested on June 23rd during a blitz by the Carabinieri of Palermo, the Financial Police and the rapid response team of the organized crime section. The big operation, called “apocalypse,” was organized by the Antimafia DA’s Office. From the investigations, Magistrates discovered that the young members of the mafia clan of Cosa Nostra were asking for protection money to shops and other factories, while others were also involved in laundering actions and gambling.

The solution to the Petrosino murder closes one of the many pages that have been involving the Italian Mafia. Unfortunately, it leaves open a chapter of our history which it’s still very hard to close.