The Murder of Salvatore and Felicine Scalpone


One of the most dramatic passages in the history of the Scalpones was the brutal murder of Salvatore Scalpone, his bride Felicine (Fosco), and an older woman who had recently come to live in their apartment in New York City’s Lower East Side.  Married in 1909, the couple were found murdered in January 1910.  The crime was never resolved. Was it robbery?  Was Salvatore (owner of a barber shop nearby) involved with the underworld?  Far- fetched as it may seem, at one point it was hinted that Salvatore’s father Alfonso had committed the murder because he disapproved of his choice of Felicine as his wife.

There are three articles from the New York Times describing the murders, and one from the Washington Post, which gives a number of details not found in the NY Times articles.  They are all fascinating not only for their detail, but also because of the unusual style adopted by the writer–journalist a century ago. Click on the headline to read the article.

1. First NY Times article, dated January 21, 1910 :

THREE FOUND KILLED IN EAST SIDE FLAT
Italian Barber, His Young Wife and an
Aged Woman Friend Beaten to Death

Shrieking Relatives Forced by Police to look
Upon Scene of Crime — No Clue to Murderer

2. Washington Post article, dated January 23, 1910 :

MURDER OF THREE BAFFLES
New York Police Fail to Get Clew to Slayer

3. Second NY Times article, dated January 22, 1910:

POLICE LACK A CLUE IN TRIPLE MURDER
Brutal Eastside Killing Threatens to Go Unsolved
Like Thirty Seven Others of 1909

BURGLARS NOW SUSPECTED

4. Third NY Times article, dated January 29, 1910:

THE ELDER SCALPONE TURNS UP