Police solve 104 year-old murder of NYPD detective - New York News

Police solve 104 year-old murder of NYPD detective

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

The 104 year-old mystery of who killed an NYPD detective known for targeting the mob, may have finally been solved.

Lieutenant Joseph Petrosino traveled to Palermo, Sicily in 1909 to investigate organized crime.

He was gunned down while walking to meet an informant.

No arrests were ever made.

But this past Tuesday, Italian police say a wiretap caught a member of the mafia saying his great uncle killed Petrosino. A special ceremony to honor Petrosino's accomplishments was held at cavalry cemetery in queens on Saturday.

During their investigation, police learned from a wire-tap that a young organized crime figure named Domenico Palazzotto reported that his family had just celebrated the 100-year anniversary of the 1909 murder of Italian-American New York Police Lieutenant Giuseppe "Joe" Petrosino. Detective Petrosino was the first police officer ever to be killed in Palermo. 

He had traveled to Sicily in 1909 to investigate the then criminal terrorist group known in New York as the "Black Hand." Petrosino's trip to Sicily was supposed to be a top-secret mission that was unfortunately leaked to the American press. Aware that the information was leaked, Petrosino continued on his mission despite the danger, believing that members of the "Black Hand" would not harm a member of law enforcement. Unfortunately upon his arrival, Petrosino was gunned down as he walked through a magnolia-shaded Piazza Marina Palermo Square near the port of Palermo where he had arranged to meet an informant.

There was suspicion that Palazzotto may have been involved in this "hit" however, no evidence could ever be found so Palazzotto was never charged for the crime. It is believed that the hit was made on behalf of mob boss, Vito Cascio Ferro (1862-1943) who was the head of the "Black Hand" the terrorist group of that era.

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