Lieutenant Giuseppe "Joseph" Petrosino

Lieutenant Giuseppe "Joseph" Petrosino

New York City Police Department, New York

End of Watch Friday, March 12, 1909

Giuseppe "Joseph" Petrosino

Lieutenant Joseph Petrosino was assassinated by the Italian mafia in Sicily, Italy. He had founded the agency's Italian Squad, which was responsible for dealing with the Italian mafia in New York City and was responsible for decreased Italian mafia crime by fifty-percent. He was sent to Italy in an attempt to infiltrate the mob to collect evidence that would shut them down for good. The mafia received a tip that he was a police officer and killed him. More than 250,000 citizens attended his funeral.

A trial was held in connection with Lieutenant Petrosino's murder; a local crime boss had been arrested by Lieutenant Petrosino years before for involvement in a New York murder, then deported, but was brought back for trial for involvement in Lieutenant Petrosino's death. The suspect was acquitted because of an alibi but did claim afterward that he had killed Lieutenant Petrosino. The suspect was imprisoned years later on another murder charge and died in prison in 1943.

In addition to the crime boss who is believed to have masterminded Officer Petrosino's killing, there were two other suspects who were believed to have been the actual triggermen, one was arrested but released for lack of evidence and died years later in a mental hospital; the other committed suicide in 1969.

Lieutenant Petrosino had been with the agency for 25 years and was survived by his wife and infant daughter. He is buried in Cavalry Cemetery, Woodside, Queens County, New York.


  • Age 48
  • Tour 25 years
  • Badge 285

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Overseas
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced to life; deceased

Most Recent Reflection

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Rest In Peace Brother. You are an inspiration to all L.E.O. everywhere. We thank you for your courage, service and sacrifice. You will never be forgotten.

Officer Mike Robinson, (Ret)
Upland Police Dept. CA

October 14, 2017

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