One hundred and seven years ago today thirty-five year old Felipo Randazzo locked the door to his butcher shop, located at 177 Christie Street, and turned to begin his walk home. the time was 11:20p.m. (long hours back then) After a couple of steps a large caliber bullet fired from a powerful rifle plowed through his heart, went out his back, passed through the shop door and hit a column inside before coming to a rest on the floor.
At first it
was thought that he was an innocent victim of the Black Hand until a
search of his shop turned up a dynamite cartridge of the type used in
some recent Black Hand explosions.
The NYPD's famous Mafia fighting
cop Lt. Petrosino put his entire sixteen man Italian Squad on the case
and soon they learned that Randazzo was indeed a member of the Black
Hand. He had come over from Palermo three years previously and worked as
a plasterer before hooking up with a nefarious band of extortionist.
With his profits he was able to open his butcher shop three months
before being shot down.
During the investigation the Italian
Squad learned through one of Randazzo's friends that the dead man had
had a falling out with some of the members of his gang and he [Randazzo]
intended to supply the police with information that would have resulted
in their arrests but his confederates were faster and took care of him