||Detroit| Gaspar Milazzo
Birth: April 25, 1887 - Castellammare Del Golfo, Sicily
Death: May 31, 1930 - Detroit
Gaspare Milazzo was a leading member of the brooklyn based Castellammare community together with men such as Stefano Magaddino and Vito Bonventre, before eventually moving towards "Motor City" where he played a big role in the formation of the Detroit Partnership.
Gaspar Milazzo was born in Castellammare del Golfo to Vincenzo Milazzo and Camilla Pizzo in 1887. He was regarded as well educated when he immigrated to the US in 1911. Milazzo settled down in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where a large number of Castellammarese natives lived. Soon he became associated with a crime group headed by Vito Bonventre. A couple of years later he and his friend Stefano Magaddino, who arrived in 1919, became leading figures of the Castellammarese community. In 1921 Gaspar was walking out of a store along with Magaddino when suddenly they were ambushed by a group of gunmen belonging to the rival Buccellato clan. This rival group of Sicilians, also originating from Castellammare Del Golfo, were a strong oponent back in their native country and were also responsible for the murder of Magaddino's brother, Pietro. Therefore Magaddino revenged his brother by murdering every Buccelato associate who dared to immigrate to New York. They however struck back that day but both Milazzo and Magaddino managed to escape unharmed. Two innocent bystanders however weren't that fortunate and were shot. A hunt for the Buccollato's soon began and killings occured within the following weeks. This however brought heat on Milazzo who was charged with murder. Therefore he left Brooklyn and moved to Detroit, Michigan, where he was welcomed with open arms by old associates. His partner Stefano Magaddino also left Brooklyn and moved to Buffalo where he joined a Castellammarese branch. Milazzo was also a close friend of Joe Aiello, who led a small clan of Castellammarese in Chicago.
The Detroit Partnership
While being in Detroit he became associated Sam Catalanotte, a Sicilian leader of the Detroit underworld. He was welcomed inside the leadership of the organization next to men such as Angelo Meli and William Tocco. Milazzo proved to be very diplomatic skilled and was highly respected by underlings and partners. He also often helped his fellow Castellammarese friend Joe Aiello in his war against Al Capone, an oponent of the Castellammarese, in Chicago during the late 1920's. However, during this period things were also heating up in Detroit, more particulary between the East and Westside Mobs headed by Angelo Meli and Chester LaMare. The situation got so bad that a peace conference was arranged to try and put an end to the endless violence. Chester LaMare sent out an invitation to Angelo Meli that read more like an order to appear along with Joe Zerilli and Black Bill Tocco for a peace meeting at the Vernor Highway Fish Market. This location was a well known gang meeting place and was suspected of being a landing point for narcotics shipped into Detroit in tubs of frozen fish. Meli, "completely distrusting Chester LaMare" asked Milazzo to attend in his place fearing a setup by LaMare. Meli reasoned that Milazzo status as an impartial participant in the dispute would ease the negotiation process and his relationship with LaMare guaranteed his safety.
Unfortunately for all involved this would prove to be falty logic as the events turned tragic. Milazzo arrived shortly before the scheduled noon meeting time accompanied by his driver and bodyguard Joe Parino. Milazzo emerged from his brand new touring dressed in an expensive suite high lighted by his choice of sparkling diamond cuff links, a diamond stick pin and belt buckle topped off by two large brilliant diamond rings. Both Milazzo and Parino were escorted to the rear of the Fish Market by Phillip Guastello "the market's owner," to the living quarters set up in the rear.
Milazzo and Parino were seated and had begun eating lunch when two hidden gunmen leaped out and without comment unleashed a barrage from two shotguns striking Milazzo in the head killing him instantly. Parino was also seriously wounded by slugs which tore threw his chest, abdomen and right arm. Inspite of his wounds, Parino remained alert long enough to give the police a vague account of their presence at the market although he refused to state the purpose of their meeting and denied knowing who the gunmen were. Chester LaMare however was widely believed of orchestrating the killings. Angelo Meli reached out to the 2 killers of Milazzo with the intention that they wouldn't be targeted anymore if they would betray LaMare. On February 6, 1931, LaMare was shot through the head while sitting at his kitchen table. Joe Amico and Elmer Macklin, the killers of both gangleaders Milazzo and LaMare, were arrested and convicted.
In death Gaspar Milazzo remained a mysterious figure as 3 alias last names emerged complicating the matter of which one was his real name. During his criminal career. Milazzo had been booked under the names of Gaspar Milazzo, Gaspari Scbilia and Gaspare Lombardo. His arrest record contained just 3 entries for investigation, robbery and grand larceny. Milazzo was survived by his wife and former partner in a grocery store Mrs. Rosaria Sciblia. The couple had 4 children ranging in age from 7 to 14 years.
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