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|New York|  Enrico Alfano

Birth: 1875 - Naples, Italy

Death: 1954 (?)











Enrico "Erricone" Alfano was a leader of the Camorra in Brooklyn between 1906 and 1907. He also became a suspect in the murder of Joseph Petrosino.

The Cammora's big chief
Enrico Alfano was born in Naples, Italy, around 1875. It is believed that Alfano became affiliated with the Camorra at a young age, yet he was not mentioned in the investigation report made by the Ministry of Interior in 1901. In the meanwhile he was listed as a fruit merchant.

In 1906 the dead body of Gennaro Cuocolo and his wife Maria Cutinelli were found in Torre del Greco, a suburb of Naples. The couple had worked for the Camorra and was specialized in burglary before Alfano believed they were actually police spies. Detectives found out that Enrico, then conscidered by others as the head of the Camorra, had dined with the victim and others in a small restaurant the night before. Five days after the murder Alfano, his borther Ciro, Gennaro Ibeili and Giovanni Rapi were arrested on suspicion of murder, but were freed again after priest (and Camorra member) Ciro Vitozzi told the detectives that they couldn't be involved since he had heared confessions by others. Not much later the men were released from prison. Alfano didn't wait much longer and moved to Marseilles, France. From there he stepped on a boat and headed for New York. When arriving there he was welcomed by several associates from Naples and was treated with much respect.

In the summer of 1906 police chief Joseph Petrosino recieved an official letter from Italy warning him that Alfano, who was charged with murder, was believed to be in New York. He also learned that Alfano had recently held a banquet for his fellow camorrista in a local restaurant and also that he ran a gambling den in a basement on Mulberry street. On April 17, 1907, Petrosino and his agents raided the Alfano's appartment and arrested him. Shortly after he was transported back to Italy where he had to stand trial for the Cuocolo murder. Before the trial however rumours went out that Alfano had sentenced Petrosino to death. The hearings began in 1910 and ended somewhere in 1912. The Italian press called the trial "The greatest criminal trial of the age" and was held at Veterbo, near Rome. Alfano denied all charges claiming "I was neither the head nor the tail of the Camorra". For a while he was also suspected in the the murder of Joseph Petrosino, who was killed in Palermo in 1909. Alfano and his associate were sentenced to 30 years. Many years later, in 1926, informant Gennaro Abbatemaggio suddenly withdrew all his former statements about Alfano and Rapi, but the case was never re-opened.

(Source: "Alfano holds stage at Viterbo assizes" NYtimes, April 1 1911; "Arena and Vittozi confront informer" NYtimes, May 7 1911; www.museocriminologico.it)


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