LACNDB.COM
|New York|  Nicholas Terranova

Birth: January 6, 1890 - Corleone, Sicily

Death: September 7, 1916 - New York












Nicholas Terranova was an early leader of the Morello gang and was a half brother of it's founder, Giuseppe Morello. Other brothers included Vincent and Ciro Terranova, who led a Morello branch in Harlem. Nicholas was the main victim caused by the so called Mafia-Camorra War in 1916.

Nicholas Terranova was born as youngest of 3 brothers in Corleone, Sicily. In 1893 his family left Sicily and headed towards America. There they joined his older half-brother Giuseppe Morello. The family didn't stay long in New York and traveled across the country towards Texas. The poor living conditions in Texas however caused illness in the family and in 1896 they returned to New York for good. While the young Nicholas was growing up his other relatives got themselves well organized and had set up a large counterfeiting ring in and outside Manhattan. Their gang soon occupied many Sicilian hoodlums who brought the gang further into extortion, theft and murder. It is believed that Nicholas already joined his brothers at a young age during the early 1900's. Having both leaders Peter Morello and Ignazio Saietta as family it wasn't to hard for Nicholas to earn respect and stature inside the gang. In 1910 the organization was put on hold when both Morello and Saietta were arrested. Next to them other main members such as Giuseppe Palermo, Leo Luca Vassi and Giuseppe Amato were arrested and jailed. The organization was now taken over by the 3 Terranova brothers, Ciro, Vincent and Nicholas. The Terranova brothers proved themselves worthy of holding on the leadership position and the gang kept on growing. During those years Ciro managed to make powerful friends within both politics and police. They would help the organization more than ones during it's existence.

Facing the Brooklyn Camorra
Although being successful, the gang had to deal with many enemies as well. In 1913 their nephew Charles Lamonti was murdered and a couple of months later 2 other Lamonti brothers were killed. Whether or not their deaths had anything to do with the Terranova's remains a question. Their first real threat came from a couple of Brooklyn based Camorra clans. Camorra leaders Pelligrino Morano and Alessandro Volero wanted to whipe out the Morello's. Morano in particular hated Terranova because he demanded to much money from Morano to run his policy game in Harlem and also had cost him another $1.500. Vollero had simular ideas but most of all hated them because they had killed Nick Del Guido in 1914. Morano and Vollero soon found enough support to go ahead with the killings disregarding others wanted to keep the peace with 'The Sicilians'.

On September 7, 1916, Nicholas Terranova was invited to a peace conference with Andrea Ricci. Together with his elder bodyguard Charles Ubriaco first went to have a drink at the saloon of Raffaele Daniello before going to the house of Ricci. However, Nicholas and Ubriaco were ambushed and killed on the street. Nicholas was hit by 6 bullets. Ciro Terranova was later called in to identify his brother. One year later Daniello became a federal witness to gain a reduced sentence which led to the arrest of a couple of Cammorista, amongst them Pellegrino Morano and Vollero. After their release from Sing Sing they seemed to have disappeared from criminal life.


.:Back to American Mafia:.

2007 - 2015    |    Contact Webmaster