Love, Murder and Heartbreak

This post will tell the story of Erminia Maria (Emily) Tanzillo nee Langellotti, my great aunt, sister to my grandmother Katherine Civitano nee Langellotti.

In my last few post I had concentrated on my great grandmother, Filomena Langellotti nee DeLellis and her husband, my great grandfather Joseph (Giuseppe Luigi) Langellotti  both from San Gregorio, Caserta, Italy. I had outlined and given a brief history of each of their seven children, Emily, Vincent James, Margaret, Anthony, my grandmother Katherine, Rita Lucy and Arthur Frank. With much love for the memory of Emily I would like to spend some time and share the story of this great aunt and oldest daughter of Filomena and Joseph; Emily (Erminia Maria) Langellotti. Her life tells a tale of love, betrayal, murder, heart break as well as an error in time that has been often glamorized but is far from that. The scars left behind are real effecting the generations to come.

Emily was born on March 4, 1901 at 10:00am in San Gregorio, Italy. The street and house number is listed as 58 Via Matese. Google earth does not enter that road but I have asked my cousin Anne to try and get a photo for me on her up coming visit to Italy if she is able to get to San Gregorio.

Birth Certificate of Erminia Maria Langellotti 

Birth Certificate - Erminia Maria Langellotti p.1

Birth Certificate - Erminia Maria Langellotti p.2Birth Certificate - Erminia Maria Langellotti p.3

Emily’s brother, Vincent James was born next on May 12, 1903. By 1904 their father Joseph had left for America arriving in June. He set off on the task of working and securing a place for his family that would arrive 2 years later in 1906.

Passenger Record of Filomena, Erminia and Vincenzo 

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By 1917 five more children were added to the family, all born in New York. Emily was 15 when the last sibling, Arthur Frank was born.  The 1915 New York census indicated that Emily was in school, but by 1917 I am not sure. On the January 1920 census she was working as a shirt operator in a factory.

On February 20, 1920 at the Bronx Borough Hall Emily Langellotti (19) wed Frank Tanzillo (24). Frank (Francesco) was the son of Bernardo Tanzillo and Angelina Coccera.

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Marriage Certificate - Frank

Marriage Certificate - Frank -2

Three children followed with the oldest, Angelina Lucy (1921), Filomena known as Phyllis (1926) and Bernard (1930).  In 1930 Frank Tanzillo was working as a brick layer, the same profession as his father. Their address was 1141 Croes Ave. Bronx, where they were living with Emily’s parents, along with sister Margaret who had married John Leone and my grandmother Katherine who had married Frank Civitano.

Emily with Angelina and Filomena, pregnant with Bernard

EmilyLangellotti copy

 

Also living on Croes at 1129 was Frank and Rose Civitano. This Frank Civitano (my 1st cousin 2x removed) was my grandfather Frank’s favorite cousin although more of an Uncle to him. He was also the sponsor of Frank and sister Julia on their return (1923) from Italy as teenagers. Living with Frank and Rose were all of their children along with daughter Lena who was now married to Salvatore Vizzo and daughter Mary married to Anthony Gentile. (I would like to make a special mention of their daughter Julia Bianca nee Civitano, who recently passed away – you are loved and remembered) The importance of this mention of this family branch is that these families were extremely close knit and bonded. They too must have been deeply affected by the impending event.

Tragedy was building and by 1932 the happiness of the family was shattered and forever altered.

Emily apparently had a fondest for gangsters. In all fairness I am not sure that is correct or if it should be she had a fondness for a man who was a gangster. In any event she was caught in the crossfire in the conflict between Mad Dog Coll, Dutch Schultz and Lucky Luciano.

When I had first heard about this story of Emily, I was compelled to get to the bottom of it. Very few details had remained as the story was a sad one and one that was not talked about or passed down with any detail. A good 10 years past now, I set out to learn what had happened to Emily.  The following is the original newspaper article I located.

Daily News Thursday, February 2, 1932

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A Bronx stronghold of Vincent Coll was turned into a shambles last night. Standing in the doorway of an apartment at 1216 Commonwealth Ave., four torpedo men ruthlessly shot down two woman and four men whom they found lingering over dinner. Three were killed outright – one woman and two men. All others were wounded one of the men probably fatally. It was apparently Dutch Schultz’s response to Coll’s recent “call to arms” a summons which resulted in the arrest of Coll, his bride and two of his ace trigger men on Jan 11th. For the apartment where the shooting occurred is a known rendezvous of Coll and his lieutenants, at least one of which died in last nights massacre. He was Pasquale Del Greco, 32, alias Patsy Dugan. The other dead was Emily Tarrizello, 32, of 1141 Ave., Bronx. (let me stop here and say that the family purposefully gave the incorrect last name at the time. Also note that the street name of Croes was left off the address too) Fiore Basile, 33, a known killer and burglar and brother of Michael Basile, one of Colls most trusted mobsters. Basile and Miss Tarrizello were said to have been sweethearts. The wounded are: Mrs Lena Vineiguerra who’s only address police reported as 15th St. shot in the arm. Joseph Parrone, 19, who lives in the rear of the apartment where the shooting occurred, who was shot in the arm. Luis Basile, brother of brother of Fiore who was shot in the heart and the right arm. Little hope was held for his recovery at Fordham hospital where he and Mrs Vineiguerra were held last night.  (Children in next room) Parrone who who was taken to Bathgate Station after he had been treated at Fordham told police that his father, who is deaf, was asleep in an adjoining room when the fusillade was fired. In the same room were Parrone’s two younger brothers age 6 and 3. Neither they nor his father were hurt. although slugs from the murderer’s .45 caliber ? pockmarked the walls and splintered furniture in both the dining room and living room. The article goes on to say that the apartment belonged to Mrs Margaret Zaccardi, the sister of the Basile brothers. The article also goes on to say that One of the children in the apartment, unschooled in the ways of gangland, ran to the corner of Westchester Ave. informed a policeman that “men were shooting upstairs” That was the official knowledge of the affair although occupants of near by houses and heard the fusillade and screams. None could be found however who would say they saw the killers.

Coll was expected to be present at the apartment and the main target of this hit. Unfortunately he had not arrived yet. From what I have read, the hit man had not actually known what Coll looked like and was unaware he was not among those gathered when he began firing. Coll was successfully killed a few days later on Feb 8th, 1932 (which is my birth day)

This was the original accounting of the event that took place. From the article, to me, it is unclear which of the Basile brothers Emily might have been seeing, was it Fiorie or Michael? What I do know is that the family knew about Emily and what she was doing and was upset over her ‘going out’. She would say she was going to play cards. I can not even begin to imagine the turmoil and heart ache that was felt in the home prior to and after this event that would alter their lives forever.

Death Certificate of Emily Tanzillo

notice spelling of first name which I have seen before 

Death Certificate - Amelia Tanzillo p.1

Death Certificate - Amelia Tanzillo p.2

Frank Tanzillo and his children would remain with Emily’s parents, Filomena (63) and Joseph (64) into the 1940’s with a move to the home at 1114 Metcalfe Ave., Bronx on the 1940 census. My grandparents Frank (33) and Katherine (27) also had moved with them. My father Vincent (5) Coletta (9) were now born. On this 1940 census Frank Tanzillo (44) widowed, listed as son-in-law had no work listed. He had worked 10 weeks in 1939 with an income of $500, granddaughter Angelina (18) was working as a operator telephone company, and their was Phyllis (16) and Bernard (10). In addition, Frank Tanzillo’s brother Louis and wife Anna was also living in the house next door with their children Angela and Bernard.

Frank Tanzillo would go on to live another twenty four years with out Emily. This was a difficult post for me to write about. There is of course more to this story that needs not be shared or remembered. The important thing is to remember that she was a daughter, a sister, a wife and mother. She was loved and missed and remembered. It was important to me that this story not be lost as it is part of who we were and are.

Rest in Peace Emily and Frank Tanzillo 

Tanzillo, Frank

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A simple google search for Mad Dog Coll will yield quite a few articles on him and the event that took place.

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San Gregorio Matese, Caserta, Italy…here she comes

This week I had an exciting phone calling from my 2nd cousin, Anne, who shared with me a life long dream. I will be living this dream through her as she travels to Italy in Sept.. Anne will be spending a fantastic month touring, visiting with family and friends and doing a little reconnaissance/research mission as well. I have kept my request minimal allowing her in the words and heart of the ‘American Pickers’ to do this “free style”.

Below I have freeze framed 3 plagues from the town of San Gregoria Matese, Caserta, Campania, Italy – home of my DeLellis and Langellotti family. Along with those two paternal last names, on the maternal side we also have Loffreda, D’Amico, Ferrito and Fattore to name the top few. On the plaques – family members

I have also added the video from You Tube that I found these memorial markers on. Please take a moment to watch.

Using google translate I was able to transcribe the memorial headings.

San Gregorio D’Alife to his Valorious Fallen Children For The Greatness of Italy In War 1915 -1918

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Civilian Victims of War 1940 – 1945

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Fallen Of War  1940 – 1945 Soldiers

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The Wonderful You Tube video of our San Gregorio 

 

 

The most common 5 family names SanGregorio from http://italia.indettaglio.it/eng/campania/sangregoriomatese.html

77.50 De Lellis

45.00 Fattore

35.00 Boiano

32.50 Mezzullo

30.00 Loffreda

 

Consigliere

Fernando De Lellis, He was born on 10/08/1983 in PIEDIMONTE MATESE (CE).

Education: Licenza media superiore

He was elected on 11/06/2017 and he was in charge on 12/06/2017 – Party: Lista civica – Civicamente San Gregorio

Consigliere

Vincenzo De Lellis, He was born on 13/07/1989 in PIEDIMONTE MATESE (CE).

Education: Licenza media superiore

He was elected on 11/06/2017 and he was in charge on 12/06/2017 – Party: Lista civica – Civicamente San Gregorio

Consigliere

Pietro Filomeno De Lellis, He was born on 13/08/1964 in REGNO UNITO.

Education: Licenza media superiore

He was elected on 11/06/2017 and he was in charge on 12/06/2017 – Party: Lista civica – Noi per Voi

Consigliere

Salvatore Fattore, He was born on 08/09/1972 in SAN GREGORIO MATESE (CE).

Education: Licenza media inferiore

Job area: Condizioni non professionali

He was elected on 11/06/2017 and he was in charge on 12/06/2017 – Party: Lista civica – Noi per Voi

Our roots run deep in San Gregorio

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Filomena Langellotti nee DeLellis continued

In my last post I left off with the passing of Caterina Loffreda nee DeLellis, the mother of Filomena, my great grandmother and wife of Giovanni Luigi (Joseph)Langellotti. The year was 1918, February 18. Caterina was buried at St. Raymond’s Cemetery, Bronx, New York.

Filomena had married Joseph (Giovanni) in June 1890 in San Gregorio, Caserta, Italy and immigrated to the United States in 1906, joining her husband who had arrived 2 years earlier in 1904. Filomena arrived with her 2 children Ermina, also known as Emily and younger brother Vincenzo, Vincent. With this post I will pick up in the year 1920.

In 1920 the family was still at the E. 149th St, Bronx address. Joseph (45) had switched from the building trade and was working for the city as a street cleaner. Filomena and Joseph had added on more child and the last of their 7 children, Frank (Francesco) was born in 1916. Oldest daughter Ermina (18)  (recorded Emilla) was working as a shirt operator and Vincenzo, 16,  (recorded as Jim) was working as clerk in a factory, Margaret 12, Tony 10, Kate 8 – my grandmother, and Vieda (Rita) 5 were all home. The only curious thing about this census record was the fact that Ermina was listed as immigrating in 1915 and Jim in 1917.

We clearly have the original immigration record for 1906 with the children arriving with their mother Filomena.

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The question raised for me is – had the two children returned to Italy at some time after arriving, lived with relatives and then returned to join the family? This could simply be a census error. I have nothing to support a return. It just seems a little to specific.

I was unable to find the family in 1925 census but located them again in 1930 living at 1141 Croes Ave., Bronx. Much had changed by 1930. Oldest daughter Emily had married Frank Tanzillo shortly after the 1920c on Feb. 19th. Their first child born in 1921 was daughter Angelina Lucy followed by Filomena/Phyllis in 1926 and Bernard in 1930. Husband Frank was working as a bricklayer and the family was living along with Emily’s parents at the 1141 Croes Ave. address.

Also by 1930 daughter Margaret (22), and husband John Leone 21 (spelled Lenone) was at the same address too. John was working as a packer/shoes. I have been unable to find their marriage record. I want to note that I originally  picked up a marriage date and record of 1939 for them. (quite a few researchers list this record as the date) However in researching I found 2 other couples with their same names and I believe one of them is the 1939 marriage and not our couple.  Unless they had their first 2 children before marrying, they married prior to 1933. Their first child Jenny was born in 1933 followed by Emily in 1935 and Phyllis some time after 1940c.

Along with daughter’s Margaret and Emily was my grandmother Katherine (17), with her new husband, my grandfather Francesco (22), Frank Civitano at the 1141 Croes Ave. They were married on the 14 of Sept. 1929. I have a wonderful wedding photo for Frank and Katherine but I would like to save it for another post.

Katherine DeLellis’s  engagement photo 

CatherineEngagement copy

So by 1930 three of their four daughters were married. I was not able to find the youngest daughter, Rita, she was not listed on the census with her parents. She would have been 16 at the time. At home with Filomena and Joseph were  their three sons. James (26), working as a window trimmer, Anthony (20) was employed in a butcher shop as a helper and Frank (16), had ‘none’ next to employment, and no mention of student/school. It is possible Rita was simply left off the census or at another location.

1141 Croes Ave. was a multi family home built in 1927 (red awning)  

1141Croes .jpg

1932 was a year of tragedy for the family with the death of oldest daughter Emily Tanzillo on Feb. 2nd. Emily was killed in the cross fire in an ongoing gang war between gangster Vincent “Mad Dog” Coll and the Dutch Schultz gang. This tragedy alone, deserves its own blog post. Needless to say this event would forever be engraved in the minds and psyche of the family. Emily left behind her husband Frank and her three young children, Angelina, Philomena and Bernard.

Sometime between 1930 and 1935 Joseph and Filomena moved to 1114 Metcalf Ave., Bronx. Following his in-laws, my grandfather Frank (33) had moved to the same address with his wife Katherine (27) with their daughter Coletta (9) and Vincent (5). His occupation was listed simply ‘coal’. We know that the extended Civitano family members were all involved in the ice and coal business. 1940 was a very busy year, Filomena (63) had her hands full on the home front. Living with them was son James (37) an assembler, and Anthony (30) with no occupation listed, Rita (25) was on this census and working as a clerk. Their son-in-law, widower Frank Tanzillo (44) was living with them along with their three grandchildren Angelina (18) a telephone operator, Phyllis (16) and Bernard (10) My Uncle tells me that he can remember Bernard sharing a room with my father in those early years. Also in the unit next to them was Franks brother Louis Tanzillo (40), a machine mechanic and his family. Wife Anna(38) children Angela (15) and Bernard (10).

My dad Vincent Civitano and Bernard Tanzillo 

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1114 Metcalf Ave home (without awning) 

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Grandparents Katherine and Frank Civitano                                                                          with my father Vincent and his sister Coletta 

familypic4 copy

This picture is labeled 1930’s but I believe it is most likely 1939 – 1940. Coletta (9) in the 1940 census and Vincent (5).

Looking very close to the same year, here is a photo of Filomena Langellotti nee DeLellis with my father Vincent and sister Coletta.

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All three of Filomena and Joseph’s son’s were married in 1940. First was Arthur Frank to Teresa Venerose on Feb. 17th followed by Vincent James to Elizabeth Festa on Sept. 21st, and then Anthony to Marie Visaggi on Dec 11th. All the weddings took place in the Bronx.

Arthur Frank and Teresa Venerose                                                        

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My Aunt Coletta was the flower girl and my grandfather Frank the best man

Vincent James and Elizabeth Festa  

LangelottiJimwedding copyCourtesy of a family member

Daughter Rita Lucy married  Steve (Stefano Giovanni Battista)  Staluppi in 1959. Both of Rita’s parents had passed away by that time.

Rita and Steve Stalupi

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Filomena Langellotti nee DeLellis passed away on November 9, 1942 at the age of 65. No cause of death is listed on her death certificate but the signature of the physician indicates it was natural causes. The informant of the document was her son James (Vincent). *note on the gravestone photo (to follow) the birth year is incorrect.

Death Certificate - Filomena Langellotti p.1

Filomena Langellotti 

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Five years later on April 6, 1947 husband Joseph (Giuseppe Luigi) Langellotti passed away. Informant on his certificate was his daughter Rita. There is no cause of death but again the signature attests to natural causes. Both are buried at St Raymond’s Cemetery.

Death Certificate - Joseph Langellotti.jpg

Langellotti, Joseph

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Working on this post I realized I do not have a single photo of Joseph (Giuseppe) Langellotti. Of course I have added this to my must find list 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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