Angelo Lapi was an ex-con, who served sentences for both felonious assault and carrying a gun. Out of jail, forty-five year old Lapi took a job as night man at his brother in-laws funeral parlor. In addition to his duties at the parlor, Lapi made wine and home brew, which he in turn sold to a local speakeasy and he was also a money collector for the local policy racketeer.
The funeral home was connected to a tenement where Lapi lived with his wife, Maria, who also happened to be the janitress of the building. On the evening of the October 2, Maria was with her husband in the funeral parlor until midnight and then she went up to bed. The following morning as she started her daily chores she walked through the undertaking parlor and found her husband’s body on a couch in the back room. Lapi had been tied and gagged with a handkerchief then stabbed eleven times in the back.
Police were at a loss for a motive but chances are Lapi either pocketed some of the policy earnings or failed to heed warnings not to sell his own spirits to the local speakeasy.