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Petrosino, Giuseppe Joseph

Born: 1860 AD
Died: 1909 AD
Nationality: Italian
Categories: Police Officer

1860 – Born on August 30th in Salerno, Campania, Italy. Petrosino was an Italian-American detective in the New York City Police Department in the early 1900s who was assigned to investigate the Mafia, an Italian organized-crime group that was well established in the immigrant Italian community in New York.

         – Petrosino was already a legend in Italy where he was called the “Italian Sherlock Holmes".

1873 – Came to New York with his family.

1883 – When he joined the Police Department, Petrosino was the city’s shortest officer, at five feet and three inches tall.

1895 – Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt personally promoted him to Sergeant of Detectives.

1901 – While investigating anarchists in the United States, Petrosino warned President McKinley of threats against his life; however, the warning was not heeded and the President was assassinated.

         – He then became a detective lieutenant assigned to New York’s Little Italy where it was believed the "Black Hand" Italian criminal organization was operating.

1909 – He was assassinated by Mafia gunmen on March 12th in Palermo, Sicily, Italy.

         – He was murdered in Palermo while on special assignment to investigate organized crime (only NYPD officer killed in the line of duty overseas).

1991 – Petrosino’s name is honored in the National Law Enforcement Memorial, erected in Washington, D.C.