The March 15, 1933 murder of Joseph (Giuseppe} Carlucci, on the eastern outskirts of Syracuse, New York, had elements that in years to come would be found in several classic movies.
Reading about the murder and the two trials that followed — the case remained in the news, on and off, for about ten years — you can find bits of "The Postman Always Rings Twice," "Double Indemnity," "Chinatown" and "Body Heat."
Yet, when two of the principals were introduced to Syracuse newspaper readers, in 1926, it was through a light-hearted story, though the unusual relationship that was described had trouble written all over it:
Syracuse Journal, July 20, 1926
Try this on your ukulele, or work it out for a crossword puzzle.
When 15-year-old Angelella Ross, 134 Gertrude Street, marries 40-year-old Joseph Carlucci, Syracuse contractor, her stepfather’s brother, she will be a sister-in-law to her own mother as well as aunt to her own brothers and sisters. They were to be married Tuesday [today] at the Courthouse.
The bride-to-be was led to the marriage license bureau at the City Hall Tuesday forenoon by her mother and stepfather, Mr. and Mrs. Antonio Carlucci.
She was asked by the clerk if she wanted to marry her elderly admirer, and she answered through her tears, that she did. The bridegroom-to-be has been married before. All the parties live at the same address.
The wedding was a hurry-up affair. The girl wasn't pregnant, but she and Carlucci had run off together the night before. Her mother — and his brother — weren't taking any chances.
However, in order to get married, the groom had to tell a big lie, something his brother realized, but chose to overlook. The truth wasn't revealed until after Joseph Carlucci was buried seven years later. By then his young widow was way ahead of Carlucci in the lies department.
Syracuse Journal, March 16, 1933
State, county and city police are pressing the search for the slayer of Joseph Carlucci, 49, of 641 Catherine Street, mason and contractor who was murdered by an unidentified companion as he drove his automobile by Dewitt Cemetery in Thompson Road early last evening.
1. Deputy Sheriffs Michael Piano, Raymond Dear and Lester Rawlings are convinced the man seen in Elm Lodge and at two Dewitt filling stations a few minutes before discovery of the murder was not the slayer. They believe Carlucci was murdered by a man of different description who, with the victim, spent 15 minutes drinking a quart of wine in the Carlucci home a half-hour before the slaying.
2. Chief of Police Martin L. Cadin ordered Captain Pasquale Bennett in plain clothes to search for an “evil eye” with whom Carlucci had trouble 10 years ago, and for a man whose wife Carlucci is reported to have run away with about 10 years ago.
3. State police under Sergeant Solvay Perry of North Syracuse are continuing their search for the man who acted strangely in Elm Lodge and in the Dewitt filling stations soon after the murder.
4. Deputy Sheriffs Guilfoyle and Otto questioned Percy Goodlove of 333 Hillsdale Avenue, who saw a man answering the description of Carlucci’s drinking companion walk into the Fayetteville highway from a field near Dewitt Cemetery.
CARLUCCI was “taken for a ride” in true gangster fashion, but in his own automobile. He was shot three times in the right side of the head while driving his automobile. A man was seen to jump out of the car and run through a field adjoining the cemetery just before the Carlucci machine started backwards down a hill and went into a ditch along Thompson Road.
Deputy Sheriff Piano learned from Mrs. Angelina Carlucci, 23-year-old widow of the victim, that her husband and a man unknown to her left home about 20 minutes before the time of the slaying. Mrs. Carlucci said the man was a stranger to her and had spent 15 minutes in the Carlucci home drinking wine with her husband.
Description of the visitor in the Carlucci home given the deputy sheriff by the widow does not tally with the description of the man previously suspected as the slayer.
The latter aroused suspicions of the persons in Dewitt a short time before the discovery of the murder.
CHIEF CADIN this morning dug up an affidavit made by Carlucci to Captain Sidney J. Dillon on January 26, 1923.
The affidavit was made after Carlucci suspected he had been given the “evil eye” by a Syracuse Italian. Superstitious Italians belief they can be given the “evil eye,” and once they receive it, only ill fortune will be their lot.
After reading the old affidavit, Chief Cadin directed Captain Bennett to don plain clothes and search for the “evil eye” as well as for another man whose wife, police say, ran away with Carlucci ten years ago.
Deputy Sheriffs Guilfoyle and Otto learned from Goodlove that he was driving toward Fayetteville at about the time of the slaying and saw a man answering the description of Carlucci’s drinking companion step into the highway from a field near Dewitt cemetery. Goodlove said he almost hit the man and that the lights of his automobile sharply revealed him.
Later, Goodlove said, he drove by the place where the death car was in the ditch, but did not know there had been a murder. Learning of the slaying, he decided to report what he had seen and made a statement to Assistant District Attorney DeBanks Henward.
SUSPICION until this morning centered on a stranger seen around the Dewitt settlement at about the time of the murder.
The death car, Carlucci’s own sedan, backed down the slight incline on which the shooting occurred, crossed Thompson Road, and went into a ditch on the east side of the highway.
The backward movement of the automobile with a dead man at the wheel, resulted in discovery of the murder a few minutes later.
The car narrowly missed hitting a machine driven by an unidentified young man who had a young woman companion. The young couple stopped at the filling station of Don Brown at Thompson Road and West Genesee Turnpike, and told Brown about their narrow escape from an accident.
The couple said a machine backed down the hill near the cemetery just after a man leaped from it and ran through a field skirting the burial ground
Brown suggested calling the state police, but the young couple told him “never mind,” and left before he could get their names. Investigators are anxious to get in touch with the couple in the hope they can shed more light on the mysterious slaying.
CLAUDE CASE of 109 Murray Avenue and Earl Pearsall of 108 Wellington Road discovered the murder. They were in Brown’s filling station when the young couple came in, and, after hearing their story, decided to investigate. Case and Pearsall found the car in the ditch and the body of the victim behind the steering wheel, his head over the back of the front seat.
Investigators are still pretty much in the dark concerning the reason for the slaying. Mrs. Carlucci said her husband was a contractor and mason.
The scene of the murder is on an uninhabited stretch of the Thompson Road, and the actual shooting is believed to have occurred while Carlucci was driving his sedan slowly up the cemetery hill, and while it was opposite the cemetery.
Dr. J. Howard Ferguson, who performed the autopsy, reported to Coroner [William K.] Winne that three .25 caliber bullets entered the right side of Carlucci’s face within an inch circle.
Investigators are satisfied robbery was not the motive for the murder. They found $40 on Carlucci’s person.
Carlucci is survived by his wife, Angela, whom he married seven years ago; a brother, Carlo Carlucci, and a sister, Mrs. Julia Sardino.
Before I proceed, some explanations are needed, particulary for readers easily distracted by what they perceive as typographical errors or careless mistakes.
Joseph Carlucci's age is iffy. Newspaper accounts make him anywhere from 47 to 54 at the time he was murdered. Since the date of his birth is unknown to me, I did not correct this inconsistency.
His widow's first name also was an ever-changing thing. Apparently she was born Angelella (at least, an early census listing has it spelled that way). Sometimes she was called Angelina, though usually she was referred to as Angela. She actually preferred this to be spelled with two L's — Angella. He maiden name was Ross, though for years her brother was called Anthony Rossi.
Soon to enter the case is Alfred Giallorenzi, whose last name would almost always appear as Giallarenzi. I mention this because anyone interested enough to research this man's family will have much better luck using the first spelling, though other variations of the spelling — including Giralenzi — also will be found. I left all newspaper spellings the way I found them, but my references to Giallorenzi will use the spelling I found on other documents.
Police investigating Joseph Carlucci's murder explored and dismissed every angle but the obvious — the widow knew much more than she was telling.
Despite later descriptions of Carlucci as "a well-to-do" contractor, he was not particularly wealthy. Nor did he appear to have any enemies; nothing more was written about the married woman who supposedly ran off with him ten years earlier. The "evil eye" business also was quickly forgotten.
Angella Carlucci was about half the age of her husband, married just before her 16th birthday. Seven years later she still looked more like Carlucci's daughter than his wife. Was she involved with another man?
Because the murder occurred outside the city, primary responsibility for the investigation fell to the Onondaga County Sheriffs Department. Deputy Michael Piano wasn't the only one assigned to the case, but he may have been the most persistent. Encouraged by District Attorney William C. Martin, Piano kept the Carlucci home and the widow under surveillance for months.
About six months after burying her husband, Angela Carlucci made perhaps the most common mistake committed by someone who plots to kill a spouse in order to be free to marry the person they really love: She and her lover resumed their affair, and went about it the wrong way.
In September, Deputy Piano noticed the widow frequently entertained a visitor, who usually stayed overnight. The sheriff's department, state police and the district attorney's office got busy investigating the boy friend.
HE WAS 30-year-old Alfredo Ulysses Giallorenzi Jr., born and raised in New York City where he worked for the New York Telephone Company. He also belonged to a National Guard unit that had annual summer training at Fort Ontario in Oswego. He and Angela Carlucci met in 1931 when she was visiting an Oswego friend whose family operated a refreshment stand. How their meeting developed into a torrid affair depended on which version was being told — hers or his.
She claimed he made the first move, and was not discouraged when she told him she was married. She said he persisted, so she agreed to a date, but her husband showed up unexpectedly and took her back to Syracuse. She wrote to Giallorenzi, care of his National Guard unit, and their relationship began almost as pen pals. (Her husband could neither read nor write in English, so she had little difficulty lying to him about the letters she received.)
He claimed she was the aggressor, and the night they met she had already made a date with another member of his unit. She asked to see him the next night, he agreed, but then Carlucci showed up.
Like Mrs. Carlucci, Giallorenzi was married. Unlike Mrs. Carlucci, Giallorenzi had children — Marie, born in 1927; Carmela, born in 1929, and son Alfred, born June 7, 1933.
Giallorenzi temporarily deserted his wife in 1932, but returned later that year, when son Alfred was conceived. He occasionally went to Syracuse to see Angella — a "hunting trip" in December, 1932, would figure prominently in his trial — but he lived with his wife until three months after his son was born, which was three months after Carlucci was murdered.
Six months after the murder, the widow and her lover mistakenly believed police had lost interest in the case. Giallorenzi deserted his family again, this time forever, and his presence at the Carlucci home was immediately noticed by Deputy Piano.
BASED LARGELY on a Piano's report, District Attorney Martin concluded Mrs. Carlucci and her boy friend had conspired to kill her husband. Proving it in court would be difficult, a classic case of she said/he said.
A discarded .25-caliber pistol, discovered near the Dewitt cemetery the day after the murder, was the weapon that put three bullets in Carlucci's head, but that didn't help police or the district attorney determine who had used it.
The pistol had an interesting history, though newspaper accounts are somewhat confusing. On March 17, it was reported the pistol had been traced to Topeka, Kansas, where it was purchased in 1927. But during the trial that followed in February and March, 1934, a New York City policeman assigned to the evidence room would testify the gun was impounded in 1921 and supposedly destroyed two years later. Obviously, it wasn't. That Topeka connection, mentioned in newspapers soon after the murder, was not brought up again.
As I said, interesting, but fairly useless to the district attorney, who finally resorted to something that would infuriate many people — he played "Let's Make a Deal" with Angela Carlucci. And in December, 1933, a case that had seemingly grown cold suddenly became hot again.
Syracuse Journal, December 6, 1933
Dormant for several months, the investigation into the murder of Joseph Carlucci, 54, of 614 Catherine Street, “taken for a ride” in his own automobile on the night of May 15, took on new life late yesterday when a new suspect was ordered held for questioning.
The man, whose identity has not been revealed, was taken to the office of the district attorney by Deputy Sheriff Michael Piano, who has been working on the case for several weeks.
After being questioned for a short time, the well-dressed suspect, said to be a recent resident of New York and about 30 years old, was viewed by three persons who are believed to have seen the man who shot Carlucci after he fled from Thompson Road, where the crime was committed, and run across a cemetery to the Syracuse-Fayetteville Road, but none of them was able to identify him.
The killer of Carlucci is believed to have stopped at Elm Lodge in Dewitt after the shooting. Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Sherwin, who saw the nervous stranger come into the place that night, observed the man brought in by Piano closely, but expressed the belief he was not the man they saw in the lodge.
Don Brown, proprietor of a gas station near Elm Lodge, who believes he saw the killer waiting for an eastbound bus, expressed the opinion that the supposed slayer was not as tall as the man in custody.
The man held for questioning is said to have come here from New York about three months ago, and to be well acquainted with Mrs. Angelina Carlucci, 23, widow of the murdered man. District Attorney William C. Martin declined to disclose any other information contained in the report made to him by Deputy Piano.
Two days later, Alfred Giallorenzi's name was made public. Police said he admitted he had a wife and three children in New York whom he has not supported for several months. Since September, said police, Giallorenzi had lived most of the time at the Carlucci home.
On December 10, the Syracuse American reported that Mrs. Carlucci claimed Giallorenzi had arranged the murder of her husband, and had hired someone else to carry it out. It was believed she had given police the name of the shooter, but that name would be kept from the press for several days. DA Martin also said Giallorenzi had a New York City police department connection who enabled him to get possession of the gun that was supposed to have been destroyed.
Meanwhile, news that Mrs. Carlucci was cooperating with police reached the suspected shooter, who had a full-time job at the Ford Edgewater plant in New Jersey. He did not show up for work on December 11. It would take police seven years to find Anthony Nadile. His absence would be mentioned many times during the trial two months later, but that didn't seem to bother the people who mattered most — the members of the jury.
Despite her immunity, Mrs. Carlucci was indicted for first degree murder in January, along with Giallorenzi. The district attorney chose not to disclose terms of his deal with the widow, something not revealed until after the trial of Giallorenzi was underway. Perhaps the fact DA Martin did not immediately act upon her indictment was a tip-off for Giallorenzi's lawyers, Richard Shanahan and his son, Paul. The Shanahans were the lawyers to hire if you were ever in trouble.
(By the 1950s, during my brief stint with the now-defunct Syracuse Herald-Journal, Paul Shanahan had become a local legend for winning cases that seemed hopeless.)
Ironically, the Giallorenzi case seemed very winnable. Certainly the Syracuse Journal reporters thought the Shanahan team presented a stronger argument than the district attorney, but, then, you never know who — or what ... or why — a jury will believe.
THERE WAS an interesting development even before the indictments were handed down. Less than two weeks after the murder, Mrs. Carlucci, not yet officially a suspect, began legal proceedings to claim her late husband's estate and personal property, valued at about $18,000. And for the next few months she was under the impression the estate was all hers.
In December came word that her marriage to Joseph Carlucci was invalid because his legal wife lived in Italy. Mrs. Giovanna Rossi Carlucci, 41, of Brindisi, Italy, retained a Syracuse law firm to press her claim, and had documents to prove she had Carlucci had been married April 14, 1907, and that the marriage had never been dissolved. She said her husband left Italy a few years after the marriage, then returned to Italy for five years, before leaving again for the United States, and settling in Syracuse. It also was revealed Joseph Carlucci had four children living in Italy.
(During Giallorenzi's trial in February, Carlo Carlucci briefly testified, mostly to establish that, indeed, it was his brother, Giovanni — aka Joseph — who had been murdered. He was asked if he ever had told his stepdaughter, Angela, that Joseph already had a wife. Carlo's reply: "No, why should I?")
While the January grand jury was in session, another wife entered the picture. (Here I revert to the newspaper's spelling of her name and that of her husband.)
Syracuse Journal, January 11, 1934
Blaming “the other woman” for all her troubles, Mrs. Alfred Giallarenzi of New York, met her husband — for the first time since he deserted her early last fall — in the Cedar Street jail, where he is held on a charge of murder, first degree.
Summoned here to testify before the grand jury, Mrs. Giallarenzi brought with her Alfred Jr, near seven months’ old son. He was less than four months old when Giallarenzi left New York, and while the prisoner appeared to care little about seeing his wife, he exhibited a great interest in the baby. Mrs. Giallarenzi left her other two daughters, Marie, 7, and Carmella, 5, with their grandmother in New York, she said.
Housed in the matron’s quarters of the jail is “the other woman,” Mrs. Angelina Carlucci, 23, of 641 Catherine Street, also charged with murder, first degree. The two are alleged to have conspired to kill Mrs. Carlucci’s husband, Joseph Carlucci, North Side contractor.
When someone suggested that Mrs. Giallarenzi could have a room for the night in the matron’s quarters, Assistant District Attorney William H. Bowers declared that it would not be a proper place. Mrs. Giallarenzi emphasized it.
“I should say not,” she declared. “I think I would choke her during the night and poke her eyes out for getting my husband into such a jam.”
Asked if he were glad to see his wife, Giallarenzi shrugged his shoulders and made a wry face.
“I told her when she got back to New York to go jump off the George Washington bridge, and that I wouldn’t be talking to her if she didn’t have my baby in her arms.”
Tears came to the eyes of the heavy-hearted mother.
“I guess he is mad at me,” she said, in a low, sad voice, “but I just had to say goodbye to him. He is the father of my children.”
After Mrs. Giallarenzi had gone before the jury and visited with her husband through the screened window at the jail Wednesday afternoon, she was escorted to a hotel where quarters were provided for her. She seemed much refreshed Thursday morning, but she gave way to her emotions after the visit, knowing, she said, that her husband may never be permitted to return to her and their children.
Tiny point: the infant was not Alfred Jr. because his middle name was James, while his father's was Ulysses.
The grand jury returned first degree murder indictments against her husband and "the other woman." They also indicted the fugitive, Tony Nadile.
When the trial began in February it was clear the district attorney was relying on Angela Carlucci's testimony to get a conviction. At least four other things were clear — this was a crowd-pleasing trial that played to a packed house every day; Angela Carlucci and Alfred Giallorenzi, once lovers, had become bitter enemies; Giallorenzi was very cool, considering his circumstances, and, finally, being confined to the Cedar Street jail, as she would be until April, took a toll on Angela Carlucci's appearance. She gained a lot of weight, something she'd later blame on the food she was receiving.
For a woman who was 23 years old at the time, and who had impulsively run off with a much older man when she was just 15, Angela Carlucci was a strong, unflappable witness, who only briefly cracked under sometimes savage cross-examination by Richard J. Shanahan. Even then she did it memorably, collapsing and falling forward from the chair, landing on the steps leading to the witness stand. During a recess for lunch, she quickly recovered, and more than held her own during the afternoon session.
On the stand she admitted she had been promised immunity from prosecution in return for testimony against Giallorenzi, and against Tony Nadile, if and when he is caught.
Shanahan hoped the deal would undercut Mrs. Carlucci's credibility, and he hammered on it for the rest of the trial.
A DAY LATER the prosecution called Giallorenzi's wife to the stand, though some courtroom observers — certainly the Syracuse Journal reporter — thought the woman often appeared to be testifying for the defense.
“Oh, I wish you’d send him back to me," she said at one point, looking at the jury. "For the sake of my babies!”
She said under direct examination by District Attorney Martin that her husband had deserted her twice — once about three years ago, when he remained away a year, and again in September 1933, when he is alleged to have come to Syracuse under the spell of the newly-widowed Angela Carlucci’s lovemaking.
She admitted under cross-examination by Shanahan that it was she who left Giallorenzi the first time, moving her children and the furniture to her mother’s house while her husband was at work.
SHANAHAN ALSO asked her about a letter she had written to Giallorenzi’s sister, in which she declared:
“When I am finished with him, I’ll start after you.”
She wrote it, she said, “while she was embittered” by a statement made to her by former Deputy Sheriff Michael Piano, who told her that her husband had referred to her as “a woman of the streets.” She had since learned, she said, that her husband did not make that statement, but because it was made to her by an officer of the law, she believed it at the time.
Giallorenzi's sister, Maria (Mary) Chirichella, lived in Newark, New Jersey. She denied she and her husband had been visited by her brother and Angella Carlucci in September, 1933. A few of neighbors contradicted her in court. This visit obviously was a sore point with Mrs. Giallorenzi, but also was an important point to the jury in decided who to believe — Angella Carlucci or Albert Giallorenzi.
What turned out to the most significant testimony came from Mrs. Giallorenzi herself when she said her husband and Tony Nadile left her home “for a hunting trip” on March 14, 1933 — the day before Joseph Carlucci was killed.
She did backtrack during cross-examination, claiming her statement may have been
affected by the fact “Piano and the others were trying to make me remember that it was March 14.” But it was was she said earlier that would stick with jurors.
ANOTHER prosecution witness was a man you might describe as "the supervisor from hell"— Joseph Gartland, foreman in the plant of the New York Telephone Company at 140 West Street, New York, where Giallorenzi was employed before the Carlucci killing.
Gartland's testimony tended to support Mrs. Carlucci’s tale of letters she received from Giallorenzi in which, she claimed, he wrote about the murder plot. Trouble was, she said she destroyed all of the letters.
Enter Gartland, who said he searched
Giallorenzi’s locker three times in February, 1933, and “each time found a partly written letter.” One, he said, told of a plan to kill the husband of the woman to whom the letter was addressed. Another, he said, told of the prospective arrival in Syracuse of “Angelo and T.” and warned against trusting Angelo, who “might squeal.” The third letter, he said, was “just a love letter.”
During cross-examination, Gartland was unable to explain how he happened to search Giallorenzi’s locker, which he said he had never done in the case of any other employee, or why he read the letters, which he also said he had never done before or since. He finally admitted, with a grin, that he was “a snooper.”
The next day:
Syracuse Journal, February 23, 1934
Stark, gripping drama continued Friday to mark the progress of the Carlucci murder trial — already stamped as one of the most sensational in Onondaga’s criminal history.
Three times during the morning session the procedure rolled impressively up to a stirring climax — and each time the gainer appeared to be Alfred Giallarenzi, stocky little Italian sweetheart of Mrs. Angela Carlucci, whom the state is trying to send to the electric chair for the murder of her husband on Thompson Road last March.
Once it was Mrs. Mollie Giallarenzi, the defendant’s deserted wife, unexpectedly appearing in the courtroom with her baby in her arms to demand, through her husband’s lawyers, that she be permitted to talk with him before she is sent to New York. She was barred from the Cedar Street jail Thursday night, she said, except on condition that she allow an Italian-speaking representative of the district attorney to eavesdrop.
Before Justice William F. Dowling could rule, District Attorney William C. Martin offered to authorize an unrestricted interview, but on her way out of the courtroom, the shabby little forsaken wife suddenly stopped to throw her arms around the neck of the man who deserted her for another woman, smothered him with kisses and pathetically held up the baby for him to kiss.
Again it was a pair of convincing witnesses subpoenaed by the state to tell of the most exciting moment of their lives — when, driving calmly along Thompson Road on the night of March 15, they came upon a ghastly murder, almost at the instant it was committed.
They saw the murderer of Joseph Carlucci leap from Carlucci’s car, in which Carlucci was dead at the wheel with three bullets in his brain, and they narrowly escaped death or injury when the car — uncontrolled — rolled back down a slight grade and across the highway to settle in a ditch. They stopped and talked with the driver of another car, whom the state contends was Giallarenzi endeavoring to pick up the murderer, and the defense got home a telling blow when they [the witnesses] looked at the defendant and declared, firmly:
“He is not the man!”
The third unexpected break for the defense came when Carmela Brancato, an Oswego truck gardener, who was brought here to testify that Giallarenzi stored his car in an Oswego barn a day or two after the murder, surprisingly produced from his capacious pocket dated receipts and letters which he swears enabled him to fix the actual date as several days before the murder.
The appearance of Mrs. Giallarenzi was unexpected by another capacity crowd which packed the courtroom. She had been dismissed Thursday night and was supposedly on her way back to New York, but as soon as Justice Dowling was on the bench, Mr. Shanahan stepped forward and announced that a new development led him to recall her.
She had telephoned him early this morning, he said, and informed him that she had tried to visit her husband, but was barred from the jail except on condition she take with her an Italian-speaking officer. She wanted the defense counsel, she said, to get an order from the judge that would permit the interview.
Mr. Martin broke into the discussion by disclaiming the issuance of any order forbidding the interview, which, he said, he was willing to permit. Judge Dowling dropped the incident with that understanding. But as she left the courtroom with a deputy sheriff, Mrs. Giallarenzi suddenly darted past the press table to throw her arms about her husband and sob:
“Oh, Alfred! I want to see you!”
The couple embraced and the defendant, on trial for his life, cried with the woman as he kissed the infant. She was led away, to meet him later in an anteroom during the morning recess, and then left the courthouse to return to New York.
The testimony of Mr. and Mrs. Brown [apparently the witnesses who said Giallarenzi “is not the man”] was directly contradictory to that of several witnesses who preceded them, but they stuck to their guns and refused to yield in their certainty the man they encountered at the murder scene was not Giallarenzi.
Following a small sedan along Thompson Road on the night of the murder, Brown said, he saw it pass a parked sedan from which a man leaped as he approached. The parked car began to roll backward and its rear bumper hit the fender on Brown’s car as he passed. He stopped at the top of the grade and found the driver of the small sedan had stopped, too, as well as a big moving van which was a little behind him.
Brown, the driver of the small sedan, and the driver of the van walked back together to the spot where the parked car had started rolling and saw it in a ditch, with lights burning.
However, they did not investigate it closer, but returned to their own vehicles and drove on to Orville where Brown reported to the state troopers.
Brown asserted he had a good look at the driver of the small sedan, talked with him and walked with him, and that he did not, in any respect, resemble Giallarenzi.
It is the contention of the prosecution that Giallarenzi, in a small sedan, was following the Carlucci car to pick up Tony Nadile, the hired killer, after the murder had been committed.
Note: I grew up in the Syracuse area and lived there until I was 23. Reading about this case was the first time I became aware that at one time, the town of Dewitt was known as Orville. Both names appeared several times in Syracuse Journal stories.
When Alfred Giallorenzi testified on his own behalf he put the blame for the murder entirely on the shoulders of Mrs. Carlucci. He claimed Tony Nadile was a friend of his who had nothing to do with the killing. Neither did he, said Giallorenzi, who claimed he believed her when Mrs. Carlucci told him afterward that her husband had been killed by bootleggers. In view of the evidence that was piling up against him, Giallorenzi may have been entirely too disingenuous with this bootlegger reference.
Captain Robert J. Murphy of the 258th Field Artillery, in which Giallorenzi served for seven years, testified to the defendant's excellent reputation. Captain Murphy also said Giallorenzi had served a year with the Italian army during the World War, which seems highly unlikely, unless the New York native — born August 12, 1903 — went to Italy during the war and lied about his age.
As it turned out, the jury was most interested in two pieces of testimony, and when they began deliberations on the morning of March 7, they asked for this testimony to be read to them.
They wanted to hear again what Carmela Brancato, a truck gardener, had said about Giallorenzi storing his automobile in Brancato's Oswego barn. Brancato testified Giallorenzi left his car in the barn on March 6, 1933, and left it there until June. Therefore Giallorenzi couldn't have used his car to follow Tony Nadile to Thompson Road on the night of the murder.
The jury also wanted to hear again what Mollie Giallorenzi, the defendant's wife, had said about the date her husband and Tony Nadile had left New York City for "a hunting trip." On March 14, said Mrs. Giallorenzi. That was the day before Carlucci was killed.
THE JURY finished hearing the reading of this evidence shortly after noon. It was only a half-hour later that they sent word they had reached their verdict.
James Warren, who wrote a daily column for the Syracuse Journal, reported that when District Attorney Martin was asked his reaction to how quickly the jury arrived at a verdict, answered, "It looks tome as if they were checking up on Brancato, who lied."
Defense attorney Richard Shanahan told Warren, "I can't figure this out. If they're concentrating on Brancato's testimony, it ought to help us."
Warren wrote, however, that it seemed Shanahan was concerned about the quick verdict, adding, "The warmth goes out of his smile, and there is something in his eyes that betrays his feeling."
Minutes later Giallorenzi and the Shanahan brothers heard the bad news. Giallorenzi was found guilty and, barring an appeal or a reprieve from Governor Herbert Lehman, headed for the electric chair at Sing Sing.
Warren ended his column this way:
"They were equally guilty in the eyes of the law, but Giallorenzi will die and Angela [Carlucci] will live.
WHAT PUZZLED ME — though it could be the answers to my questions were on newspaper pages that were unavailable — was the length of time Giallorenzi left his car in Oswego, and how he managed to get back home to New York City.
His wife's testimony about his "hunting trip" sealed his doom, but I found no reference to her being asked about the absence of a family car after he returned, which had to be an inconvenience for her, since she was expecting a baby in June.
Also unexplained, was how Giallorenzi had met Carmela Brancata, owner of the barn where the car was hidden away. Nor was there mention of Brancata being asked if he didn't find it strange for a man from New York City to need a place in Oswego to store his automobile.
NATURALLY, Giallorenzi's lawyer appealed the verdict. Failing that, they sought to have the death sentence commuted. That merely delayed the inevitable. Giallorenzi was executed at Sing Sing on February 7, 1935.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Carlucci moved to Akron, Ohio, and within a few years remarried. Oddly, her second husband was Nicholas Ross, so once again she was Angella Ross, though her maiden name might actually have dropped a letter from the end of her birth father's name.
During the 1934 trial, the Syracuse Journal identified her brother as Tony Rossi, though when he died in 1974 his obituary listed his last name as Ross. The real kicker — if the birth father of Angela Carlucci Ross originally was a man named Rossi — than would be the same as the maiden name of Joseph Carlucci's legal wife, who remained in Italy, raised their four children and inherited his entire estate.
After the trial, a reporter asked Mrs. Carlucci about her weight.
“I’m getting too fat," she said. "We eat a lot of bread over here ... That’s what puts the weight on you.”
She also gave newspapers a long and often interesting statement about her feelings at that point in her life:
Syracuse Jouranl, March 8, 1934
“I know what many people must think of me. I can’t blame them. I am ashamed of my disgrace, but I told it all. I didn’t try to shield myself. I said I would tell the truth and all of the truth, and that is just what I did ... as far as they woud let me.
“Mr. Shanahan did not spare me. He put me in the worst possible light he could, and I don’t blame him, either. If I had been in his place, I would have done the same thing. He was fighting for his client and he fought hard. I have nothing against him, but he didn’t tell all of the story. Nobody did. I mean all what happened before and how I came to be in such a terrible mess.
“I feel more sorry than I can say for Alfred. It is terrible, but Alfred knows just how he comes to be where he is. He may blame me for telling it all. That would be natural,, but he knows I told the truth.
“I am not excusing myself. I should have had the willpower to break off with him and to have taken the right course, but I was love mad. I was in a daze. I fell in with his suggestions. He just seemed to dominate me. I must have been hypnotized, I guess they call it.
“I love Alfred like it seems no one could love anyone, and I didn’t realize what it all meant ... how terrible it all was ... until it was too late.
“When they arrested me I made up my mind I wouldn’t tell. I knew no one would understand. No one can understand a person's feelings unless they have been in the same way I was. Just madly in love with a man. Other people must have been that way, too, but they didn’t make such fools of themselves.
“I never had much of a chance like other girls. If I had, I probably would never have gotten so madly in love and made such a fool of myself. I would never have even listened to anyone talk about killing someone, I guess.
“I was just a little kid when I married Joe. I didn’t love him. I didn’t pick him out for a husband. He was all right, but I should never have married him, but I was only fifteen and didn’t appreciate what it meant.
“Then I met Alfred. He had a soldier’s uniform on. He was young and I thought he was in love with me. He made love to me like no one ever had. He was really the first boy friend I ever had. I fell in love, just went mad with love, is all I can call it, and whatever he said, I agreed to."
THE CARLUCCI CASE was back in the news on January 27, 1941 when Tony Nadile was apprehended in Van Dyke, Michigan, near Detroit. Mrs. Carlucci, then 31, returned to Syracuse to testify. Not only was she now a wife and mother, she had whipped herself back into shape and arrived looking younger and much more attractive than when she left Central New York seven years earlier. She didn't look forward to testifying and reliving her first husband's murder; she did it to fulfill her agreement with the Onondaga County district attorney's office.
Alsoa returning to Syracuse was Mrs. Alfred Giallorenzi to testify for the prosecution. The two women, particularly Mrs. Ross, sealed Tony Nadile's doom.
The district attorney this time around was Donald M. Mawhinney, who took no chances. Whatever weaknesses there appeared to be in the state's case against Alfred Giallorenzi in 1934, were corrected. Nadile was convicted and sentenced to the electric chair. What saved him was a decision by Governor Herbert H. Lehman, who after Nadile's appeals for a new trial were rejected, commuted his sentence to life imprisonment.
Nadile had made a new life in Michigan, becoming a plasterer and working in home construction. His first wife had died in childbirth in the last 1920s. He remarried in Michigan and had two children by the time he was arrested. He was a short, stocky man, who looked older than his actual age, which, in 1941, was only 36.
Angella Carlucci Ross returned to Akron and lived a long, full life. She died June 6, 2003, at the age of 92, survived by her son, Richard, his wife, Joan, and one granddaughter. Also surviving her were two brothers and a sister in Syracuse, and a sister in Rome, New York.
It's funny, often fascinating, the things you find when you poke around online. It took me a lot of poking to discover that Alfred Giallarenzi's last name almost certainly should have been spelled one letter differently ... because I could find no one else by the last name that appeared in the newspapers after he was arrested in 1933.
When I tried spelling his name Giallorenzi ... that was a far different story. According to the 1940 United States Census, for example, Mary Giallorenzi was living in the Bronx with her three children, Marie, 13; Carmela, 11, and Alfred, 7. I'm sure this Mary was the woman known to the Syracuse Journal as "Mollie," wife of Alfred Jr.
I also learned that the man executed for his role in the murder of Joseph Carlucci was born Alfredo Ulysses Giallorenzi Jr., in New York City on August 12, 1903.
Most interesting were the stories I found about Alfred Ulysses Giallorenzi Sr.
He was born in Italy in 1878, and arrived in the United States in the early to mid-1890s. He became a clerk in a law office, and in 1900 decided to elope with a girl who had a lot in common with Angella Ross Carlucci, except Antoinette Ricci's parents did not handle the situation the way Angella's mother and stepfather would in 1926.
Notice that the New York Herald found yet another way of spelling the man's name. Notice, too, the backhanded compliment given the fair Antoinette in the second paragraph.
New York Herald, May 1, 1900
Searching for his child bride, with whom he eloped and to whom he was married in Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon, and who was later spirited away by an angry parents, Alfred Giralenzi yesterday held up an outgoing ocean liner. Failing to find his wife on board, the young bridegroom procured a writ of habeas corpus to have Dr. Lingero Ricco produce his daughter in court today.
Antoinette Ricco is a pretty girl of the Italian type of beauty. Whether she is “sweet sixteen” or two years older is one of the matters in dispute between father and son-in-law. Giralenzi’s father and Dr. Ricco were college chums in Italy, and there Alfred and Antoinette were sweethearts while still little children. The Riccos came to America, and the boy lover followed.
Alfred Giralenzi is twenty-two years old and a graduate of St. Francis Xavier College. His home is at 2271 First Avenue, near that of the Riccos, who live at 320 East 114th Street. He is a law student at 320 Broadway. Dr. Ricco is the young man’s godfather.
Giralenzi asked his foster parent a few days ago if he might marry his daughter, Antoinette. Thereupon he was turned from the house, but with a lover’s craft, he found means of clandestinely communicating with the girl.
Dr. Ricco, who is a successful physician among Italians, told Giralenzi that he had chosen another husband for his daughter. He threatened to send Antoinette back to Italy on board the steamship Bolivia, which sailed for Europe yesterday morning.
Giralenzi complained that Dr. Ricco was prejudiced against him because of a libel suit for $10,000 which he recently brought against a newspaper in which the physician is said to be interested. At a clandestine meeting on Friday evening, however, the young people arranged to be married.
They say that the Rev. Dr. Hillis, pastor of Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, tied the knot that made them husband and wife on Saturday afternoon at the home of their friend, William E. Fales, former United States Consul to China. Dr. Hillis last night denied that he performed the ceremony.
They returned to Harlem, to their respective homes. The bridegroom called at his wife’s home on Saturday evening. Antoinette had already confessed to her mother and father, but failed to receive their forgiveness. Giralenzi was met at the door on Saturday night by an angry parent who turned him away. He received the same treatment again on Sunday night.
Friends of the bridegroom became amateur sleuths in his interest. They, too called at Dr. Ricco’s home. Thus it soon leaked out that the child bride had been spirited away by her father. It was said she would be taken out of the country by the first steamer.
Then, for the first time, the frenzied bridegroom remembered his father-in-law’s threat. A general alarm was sent out for Antoinette by police of the East 104th Street station.
Armed with a search warrant
, Alred Giralenzi and several policemen boarded the steamship Bolivia as it was about to sail for Europe yesterday morning. They searched the ship from stem to stern, but failed to find the child bride. When the disappointed party finally climbed down the ship’s side, the Bolivia had been held a half-hour beyond her time.
Acting for the bridegroom, a lawyer then procured a writ of habeas corpus, calling upon the parents of Antoinette to produce her today in Part 2 of the Supreme Court. Giralenzi declared that he believes his bride is in New Jersey.
Dr. Ricco, when seen last evening, said no marriage ceremony was performed. He declared his daughter was only sixteen years old, and that in case there had been a marriage, he would seek to have it annulled.
I think the New York Herald was incorrect about Dr. Ricco's first name. Other newspapers said it was Ruggiero. And according to the 1900 United States Census, Alfredo Giallorenzi came to this country in 1890, with his mother, Loretta, and younger brothers Thomas and Joseph. This was four years before Antoinette Ricco left Italy. (I'd also find one document that said the Giallorenzis arrived in the United States in 1891.)
As for being childhood sweethearts, well, if Alfredo left Italy in 1890, he was 12 years old; Antoinette was six. Let's just say they knew each other as children. Saying they were sweetheart at the time would be pushing it.
Their story continued:
New York Herald, May 2, 1900
Antoinette Ricco, the young wife of Alfred W. Garalenzi, of 2242 First Avenue, who was married to her in Brooklyn on Saturday last without the consent of her father, Dr. Lingero Ricco, of 320 East 114th Street, was not produced before Judge Freeman of the Supreme Court, yesterday, in obedience to the writ of habeas corpus obtained by the young husband.
The young woman, immediately after her marriage, went to her father’s home, and when she told him that she was the wife of Garalenzi, he refused to permit her to leave his home again.
Dr. Ricco, in reply to the writ, stated that he could not produce his daughter in court, inasmuch as she had not been in his custody since Sunday, when, with his wife, she had left the state, and he had not seen her since. He said that she was but sixteen years old, and when the write was served on him, she was not in his custody.
Judge Freedman appointed James J. Nealis referee to take evidence as to whether the girl was of the age of consent, and whether or not she was within the jurisdiction of the court at the time of the service of the writ.
What happened next inspired an unnamed New York World reporter to compare Alfred Giallorenzi to the hero of a famous poem by Sir Walter Scott.
New York World, May 2, 1900
Lochinvar went from New York City to Newark, New Jersey, yesterday, and carried away his bride from behind the bolts and bars where her parents had imprisoned her, after taking her from her husband.
This newest Lochinvar is Alfred U. Giallorenzi, who last Saturday married the daughter of Dr. Ruggiero Ricco, of 320 East 114th Street.
The bride, who is 18 years old and exceedingly pretty, had many admirers, among whom were a druggist and a doctor, each much wealthier than Giallorenzi, who is 22 years old and a clerk in the law office of E. Gaston Higginbotham, at 320 Broadway.
After the young couple had been married by the Rev. Dr. William B. Allis, assistant pastor of Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, they went on Saturday evening to seek the blessing of the bride’s parents.
The World told yesterday how the bride was spirited away and how the bridegroom, after vainly searching the steamship Bolivia, bound for Italy, obtained a writ of habeas corpus from Justice Freedman, requiring Dr. Ricco to produce the young woman in court.
“Oh, I cannot stand this deadly clogging of legal machinery!” exclaimed the grieving husband, as he left the court yesterday. “The doctor says she is out of state. Then I believe she is in Newark, where the Riccos have friends. I’ll got and get her myself.”
Alone the young man boarded the first train for Newark. A World reporter had heard his exclamation about Mrs Giallorenzi probably being in Newark, and thought a trip thither might prove interesting. The husband and the reporter met while they were canvassing the Italian quarter in quest of news of the incarcerated bride.
It was learned that the family of Girard Priore, of 22 Newark Street, were acquainted with Dr. Ricco’s family. The reporter called at the Priore home. There was a long delay before the door was opened, which was explained by the woman who appeared. She said all the doors of the house were kept locked lest “Miss Ricco” escape and join a young man who wished to run away with her.
“Will Mrs. and Miss Ricco see me and tell their story to The World?” asked the reporter.
Mother and daughter appeared, with several other persons. The mother’s grief as she told of what she styled the “wild fancy” of her daughter for the young man was genuine.
“But, mother, it is he I love,” retorted the daughter, pressing her red lips together tightly. Her face paled and flushed alternately. Then she broke out wildly.
“I love him more than I do you and papa,, and yet you keep him from me. You keep me from him! You are cruel, both of you.
“You keep all the doors locked and hide the keys. You watch me continually. I have not been out since I entered the house. And all the time Alfred is being paid for his chivalry, in taking me to my parents, by being kept in ignorance of my whereabouts. He must be nearly crazy. He loves me so.. And I love him so. And — and — ”
Here the sobs came so fast that the girl could not continue.
“I met your husband in Newark this afternoon,” said the reporter. “Alfred was hunting everywhere for a trace of you. He says he never will give you up. I did not leave him long ago. It is not impossible that he may be somewhere in the city now.”
Without waiting to hear more, the bride ran to the hallway and down the corridor. The door at the end of the hall had been left unlocked when the reporter entered. The girl turned the handle and found her husband in the street. They boarded a trolley car and disappeared so quickly that the people in the house could get no trace of them.
Alfredo and Antoinette must have had their way. The 1900 United States census has them as man and wife, living with his mother and brothers of First Avenue, New York City.
The 1905 New York State census has Alfred and Antonetta (that's how she was listed) still living with his mother and two brothers, but by then they had two children — Mary and Alfred Jr.
However, according to the 1910 United States census, Alfredo Ulysses Giallorenzi Sr. is a widower, living with his two children and other relatives, including another brother, Gaetano.
After he was arrested in 1933, Alfred Giallorenzi Jr. would say both his parents were dead.
FINALLY, I found an article in the Yonkers (NY) Herald-Statesman from August 30, 1966, about ten-year-old Steven Giallorenzi, who won a contest that made him an honorary New York Yankee batboy for a day, and his batboy buddy for the occasion was Mickey Mantle.
Among those pictured with the boy and the Yankee slugger was Steven's father, Al Giallorenzi, who, I assume, is the son of the executed Alfred Giallorenzi. He looks a few inches taller than his father, but their facial resemblance is unmistakable.
Near as I can determine, Alfred James Giallorenzi, the infant pictured elsewhere on this page, is still among the living, as of June, 2016, in Boca Raton, Florida.