Joe Vaccaro was the last of the Navy Street gang of hired killers employed in the Italian gang wars of the teens that were all but wiped out by the testimony of turn coat Ralph “the Barber” Daniello in 1917. (See Gangster City chapter 2)
Because of Daniello’s squealing Vaccaro was sentenced to fifteen years in Sing Sing for his participation in the 1916 murder of Morrello –Terranova ally George Verrazano but was paroled after serving only nine.
In 1929 the gangster, who had been paroled the previous year, was fifty-one years old and still lived with his mother on Navy Street in Brooklyn. He was a prosperous man, which led the police to believe that he was some how “Mixed in some racket”.
Early in the day on June 16, Vaccaro was standing in front of a building when a sedan containing five men drew up to the curb along side him. At that point four men with pistols leaned out of the car and blasted away at the gangster hitting him six times.
Dying, Vaccaro was taken to the hospital where he would only admit to being a “junkman”. Police felt that the shooting was the result of his current involvement in the rackets and not a revenge killing for his participation in the Navy Street Gang killings from years before.