It happened on Water Street in Wadsworth, Ohio. To walk down this stretch of a couple blocks today, one would never know about the dramatic – and tragic – events that once kept it in the Gazette headlines during those years from 1913 to 1920. It began quietly – if a shooting could ever be considered such – with only the routine interest of local law enforcement and little fanfare. It grew, no doubt, to be a sizable thorn in the side of then Wadsworth Marshal Thomas Lucas. The central players of the feud include two sets of brothers, a beautiful young Italian girl, and a local barber. By its conclusion, three of them would lay buried in unmarked graves in the Catholic grounds of Woodlawn Cemetery.
Almost everything that follows is ripped directly from the pages of the Gazette. Note that the spellings of some of the names changes from one story to the next.
born Italy, son of Frank & Grace Lenzo, laborer match shop
May 2, 1885 – June 21, 1913
“gunshot wound of intestines; homicidal”
Informant: John Lenzo, Wadsworth, Ohio
Buried in Woodlawn Catholic Cemetery
June 27, 1913 pg. 2 Gazette
“During a quarrel on Friday night Charles Lenzo was shot by a fellow Italian, Frank Butto. The bullet was from a .32 caliber revolver and the shot entered the abdomen. The wound was so serious that Lenzo died Saturday at noon. Funeral services were held on Sunday afternoon. The assailant escaped after the shooting and it was feared that he had made a clean getaway until Tuesday afternoon when he was seen in the vicinity of Western Star. Marshal Lucas was at once notified and made a hurried trip to the place where he was supposed to have been seen. He had escaped, but a little later was located near the traction line south of the Star. He was arrested and taken to Medina to jail.”
June 27, 1913 pg. 4 Gazette
Italian Who Shot a Fellow Workman at Wadsworth Held Without Bail
“Last Friday night Frank Butto shot Chas. Lenzo near Sam Arigo’s boarding house at Wadsworth, the wounded man dying shortly after noon the next day from the wound in his abdomen. On Tuesday, Butto was arrested by Marshal Lucas near Western Star, and landed in the Medina jail. Yesterday a hearing was held before Justice VanDeusen in the court room, 14 witnesses being subpoenaed, and at its conclusion Butto was bound over to the next grand jury without bail, charged with first degree murder.
What the difficulty was about that caused the fatal shooting appears uncertain. It seems that Butto was ordered out of Arigo’s boarding house Friday night, and when outside he dared those inside to come out and fight. Lenzo went and was shot – perhaps because of some difficulty arising over a girl who seems to have had improper relations with some of the men at the Italian boarding house. These Italians were employed on the stone road now building east of Wadsworth.”
October 31, 1913 pg. 1 Gazette
Italian Charged With Killing Fellow Countryman
Crime Committed in Wadsworth in June
“The most serious charge, which came up for trial Thursday morning, was against Frank Butto, an Italian of Wadsworth, indicted for murder in the second degree.”
“Butto is charged with killing Chas. Lenzo, a fellow countryman, at Wadsworth, June 20. The prosecution’s theory is that the trouble started in the boarding house of Sam Arrego, where an Italian girl named Francesca Casselo and her brother were residing, the former being sick. Lenzo went there to call on the girl and while there, Butto appeared on the scene, apparently in the mood for trouble, which he brought on by making defamatory remarks about the girl. Arrego ordered him from the premises, whereupon Butto persisted in continuing the unpleasant situation by inviting any of the occupants of the place outside for punishment. Lenzo went out and met his death at the hands of Butto, who was armed with a revolver, the bullet entering Lenzo’s abdomen to a depth of nine inches. The prosecution will attempt to show that Butto invited trouble by his remarks after being ejected from the house.”
November 7, 1913 pg. 8 Gazette
The Butto Murder Trial
“The trial of Frank Butto for murder in the second degree was resumed in Common Pleas court Wednesday morning after a recess since late last Thursday afternoon. The first of the testimony, that for the state, took until about the middle of the forenoon of Wednesday after which the defense was heard until Thursday noon, when its testimony was completed. Frank Butto took the stand in his own defense, taking the largest part of Thursday forenoon.
The prosecution endeavored to show that Butto maliciously and intentionally killed Lenzo, while the defense contends that there is no assurance that Butto killed Lenzo, on the account that Sam Arrego and Butto were struggling over the prostrate body of Lenzo when a revolver was discharged as Arrego was attempting to take the gun from Butto when it was discharged. The defense also attempted to show that Lenzo went out of the house where the controversy took place with avowed intention to “cut Butto up”.
The lack of interest in this case by the public was very noticeable, there being but a handful of people in the court room through most stages of the trial.
Thursday afternoon several witnesses, including the defendant, were called back to the stand on rebuttal by the State. The two lawyers took 45 minutes each to deliver their arguments to the jury, after which the case was turned over to it for a verdict, at 2:45.
The jury was still out last evening and Judge Rogers left for Akron at 7 o’clock.”
November 14, 1913 pg. 1 Gazette
Is Verdict of Jury After Nearly 24 Hours Deliberation
“Frank Butto was released from the dominion of the law last Friday afternoon about 2 o’clock when the jury which had been deliberating on his case for nearly 24 hours rendered a verdict of not guilty.
The tragedy which resulted in Chas Lenzo’s death and the arrest of Butto of Wadsworth, according to the theory of the defense in this case, was the result of a misunderstanding of remarks made by Butto in the room of Francesca Casello, who was sick in her room in the boarding house of Sam Arrego. Lenzo objected to the brother of the Casello woman reprimanding her and Butto gave his opinion of the right of the brother, as a brother, to do so. This brought on an argument and Lenzo appealed to Arrego to eject Butto from the house, which was done. Butto was rooming at the house and asked that his clothes be sent out to him and later sent his brother for them. While Butto was waiting for his clothes Lenzo attempted to get a revolver and go out and meet him. Failing in this he started with a knife threatening to “cut Butto up”. His friends tried to persuade him to remain in the house but he persisted in going. He attacked Butto with a knife and the latter shows the scars of several gashes received. Butto succeeded in forcing Lenzo to the ground, and sitting on his prostrate body tried to persuade him to desist from his intentions by threatening with a revolver. While in this position Sam Arrego appeared on the scene to lend assistance to Lenzo, and, as the defense fairly made out, in his attempt to wrest the gun from Butto it was discharged, mortally wounding Lenzo.”
born Italy, son of Frank & Grace Lenzo, block feeder for match company
May 8¸ 1882 – January 22, 1915
“homicidal; gunshot wound in intestines & lung”
Informant: Thos. Lucas, Wadsworth, Ohio
Buried in Woodlawn Cemetery
January 22, 1915 pg. 1 Gazette
That Suggests the “Blackhand”, White Slavery or the Vendetta
Victim’s Brother Shot in Same Place. Chance of Recovery. Did the Same Man Do It?
“John Lanzo, an Italian about 25 years old, was shot three times early Tuesday morning in Wadsworth.
There are circumstances surrounding the case that make the suspicion that the deed was done for revenge, because of jealousy or in accordance with the unwritten law that governs the “blackhand”.
The victim of the assault left his home on Water Street, an Italian boarding house, at about 4:30 Tuesday morning. He was an employee of the Ohio Match Co. and was on the way to his work. He left the house by the back door, which opens onto a porch that is about seven feet above the ground. Lanzo had followed a walk around the house to the street and proceeded, as nearly as could be judged by the blood stains, about 100 feet, when a man, who had been lying in wait for him under the elevated rear porch of the house and had followed him, as shown by tracks in the snow, opened fire on him with a revolver. A number of those who heard the shots agree that five were fired. Three took effect – the first in the back, the second in the abdomen and the third over the right eye. It would seem that the assailant shot first from the rear and then ran past Lanzo, shooting as he went. He kept on running, and the last seen of him he was on the Erie track headed toward Barberton.
Lanzo, in spite of the desperate character of his wounds, was not dead when assistance reached him almost immediately after the shooting. He was carried back to his boarding house and three physicians summoned who expressed no expectation that he would survive. He was conscious, however, nearly all day, and was able to converse with County Prosecutor Underwood who, with Sheriff Gehman, went to Wadsworth Tuesday morning. In Italian fashion, Lanzo displayed the greatest disinclination to tell his story to the authorities.
By repeated questioning Mr. Underwood was finally able to get a meager description of the man who did the shooting. Lanzo said that he was a man about Mr. Underwood’s size, that he wore a black overcoat that fell a little below his knees and a black cap; that a finger on one of his hands was bound up in cloth. This description tallied pretty well with that of an Italian seen running east on the Erie track a little after this shooting occurred. Lanzo’s replies to the repeated question on the part of the prosecutor as to whether he had any suspicions of who shot him, whether he had an enemy, whether he thought it was the “blackhand”, etc. were either to the effect that he didn’t know or would rather not say.
John Lanzo, in addition to working for the Ohio Match company, was frequently employed as a court interpreter, translating English into Italian and vice versa.
John Lanzo’s brother, Charles Lanzo, was shot to death in June, 1913, at Wadsworth in much the same way as John was shot early last Tuesday morning and at the same place in the street. Charles was also used as a court interpreter at times, and he lived in the same Italian boarding house from which John Lanzo started to work Tuesday morning. Frank Butto was tried in Medina for the murder of Charles Lanzo in November, 1913, and acquitted.
The name of this man Butto comes into an account of this case in other connections. He is said to be a brother of the woman who runs the boarding house. He is the uncle of the young Italian girl, 14 or 15 years old, who lives at the same house, and he is said to have furnished the money to bring her to this country. The report is that she and John Lanzo are engaged and had planned to marry in April. She is now taking care of him in his stricken condition. There is a story that not long ago Butto and another Italian came from Cleveland, where the former has been living since his acquittal of the murder of Charles Lanzo, and tried unsuccessfully to induce this niece to go away with them. She was at school at the time and they went there for her.
John Lanzo has always sustained an excellent reputation in Wadsworth, where he has lived five or six years. A little more than two years ago he filed his “declaration of intentions” to become a citizen of the United States. County Clerk Hatch recalls him as a young man quite superior to the ordinary foreigner who applies for citizenship papers. From his declaration, it is learned that he was born in Racinia, Italy, in 1889 and that he sailed from Naples for this country in 1906. His father died in Wadsworth five months ago.
On Monday afternoon Sheriff Gehman went to Cleveland and located Frank Butto, but did not arrest him as there was not sufficient evidence for taking that step. Marshal Lucas of Wadsworth, however, made the arrest on Wednesday because of two letters found on Butto possibly connecting him with the crime. Consequently, Butto is now in the county jail. Lucas also telephoned the Sheriff very early Tuesday morning that the man with the wounded hand had been located and is under such surveillance that he can be apprehended at any time.
The latest reports from John Lanzo are that he is improving, and that there is a chance for his recovery.
This case involves suggestion of the dreaded “blackhand”. There is also the suggestion of “white slavery” in the case of the young Italian girl, or it may be the recrudescence of a vendetta that had its origin in Italy – no one can tell how long ago. Fate has early thrown in the path of the new Prosecuting Attorney a case of unusual criminal intricacy and interest.”
January 29, 1915 pg. 1 Gazette
JOHN LANZO DEAD
Young Italian Shot by Assassin Succumbs to Wounds
Frank Butto Discharged. Prosecuting Attorney Employs Italian Detective. Four Arrests.
“John Lanzo, the young Italian who was shot while on his way to work in Wadsworth early Tuesday morning of last week, lingered until 3:30 o’clock Friday morning when he died from the effects of his wounds. With him, up to the hour of this death, was a fellow countryman and friend from Rittman, Angelo Cotolino by name, who says that Lanzo steadfastly declared to the very last that he did not know who shot him or why. After he could no longer speak, he made signs for paper and pen, but when they were placed in his hands he could not hold them.
On hearing that Lanzo had died, Prosecutor Underwood and Coroner Strong went to Wadsworth Friday forenoon. A post-mortem examination was held. One 38-caliber bullet was recovered. One shot, it was found, had entered the left side, perforated two intestines and lodged in the groin on the right side. A second bullet had gone thru the large lobe of the right lung. Either of these wounds was probably fatal. The one over the right eye was not so serious.
Frank Butto, after his arrest by Marshal Lucas of Wadsworth and Cleveland detectives, at 2604 E. 27th Street in that city, on the day following the shooting of Lanzo, was brought to Wadsworth and locked up. He was arrested on the strength of two letters found in his possession. One of these letters was addressed to a brother who lives at the same boarding house in Wadsworth where John Lanzo had his home. Lanzo’s friend, Cotolino, went with Marshal Lucas to Cleveland, and it was he who translated the two letters found. They are said to have been confined to the one subject of John Lanzo and the Italian girl, and in one of them there was a suggestion, not to say prophecy, to the effect that Lanzo must discontinue his attentions to the girl or bad luck would befall him.
Butto had a hearing before Mayor Boyer on Saturday and was discharged on the ground that his complicity in the case was not sufficiently shown by the evidence produced. It was held that his own innocence of actual shooting was proven in the fact that the tracks left in the snow by the man who lay in wait for Lanzo were larger than those made by Butto’s shoes.
Monday morning Marshal Lucas telephoned from Wadsworth to Prosecutor Underwood stating that he and others at work on the case were becoming disheartened at their failure to find evidence of a nature likely to lead to a conviction and asking him if there was not some means whereby an Italian detective by the name of Martino, who lives in Akron, could not be employed to take up the search. On looking the matter up, Mr. Underwood found that the only money available for such a purpose was his own expense account, limited to one-half the amount of his salary. This is the fund that prosecutors dislike to encroach upon except in cases of absolute necessity. Mr. Underwood, however, unwilling to drop so flagrant a case of brutal murder, especially as it was perpetrated on one often employed as a court interpreter, a young foreigner who had signified his intention of becoming a citizen of the United States and had always borne an excellent reputation in the community, opened negotiations, thru Marshal Lucas, with Martino.
As a result, Martino was asked to come to Wadsworth to look over the case. This he did, arriving Monday noon. He worked continuously from that time until Tuesday afternoon. Monday night he had as many as 60 Italians assembled in the town hall, questioning, cross-questioning, grilling and applying the “third degree”. Indications of complicity began to point to a group of Italians who made their home in a lonely house on Water Street.
They had boarded (or some of them had) in the house run by Sam Arrigo where John Lanzo lived. A few days before the attack on Lanzo, they had paid $7.50 on board account. Either the same day, or a little later, apparently having repented of letting go of the money, five of them got Sam Arrigo down on the railroad track and tried to induce him to return the money, using all sorts of threats, it is said. Arrigo, who was frightened, told them he hadn’t the money, whereupon they searched him. They failed to find it but did find and take a 38-caliber revolver belonging to John Lanzo that Arrigo was carrying. Finally, the group let him go on the promise that he would return to them the $7.50 in weekly payments of 50 cents.
Arrigo returned to his house scared nearly out of his wits. He told the story to Lanzo who advised him to keep under cover, saying that he would get his revolver back.
Mrs. Arrigo told, after much coaxing and the promise on the part of Detective Martino that her home would be protected, of an interview with one of the Italians, shortly after the revolver episode, in which he had called her a “stool pigeon”. She had asked him what had become of Lanzo’s gun.
Martino and Marshal Lucas finally felt that they were warranted in arresting the Water Street outfit. They went for the purpose about midnight on Tuesday. Four were taken, three in an attic and one in a lower room. The one, Loui, suspected of being directly responsible for the shooting of Lanzo (the man with bandaged finger) was not there. He had flown.
Three revolvers were found in the house, a big knife, at least one letter ready for mailing that seemed to be of the blackhand variety; also other letters that indicated that one of the men, Dominico Cacciala, was wanted in Fulton, N.Y., for an attack with a beer glass on a bartender there.
The four men arrested, young fellows ranging in age from 21 to 25 years, were brought to Medina Wednesday forenoon by Deputy Sheriff Floyd Pelton and Prosecutor Underwood. They came in two automobiles, two prisoners hand-cuffed together in each. Their names are: Dominico Cacciala, the oldest of the group and thought to be the leader, Logendice Onofrio, Cresofulli Antonino, and Salvatore Cattafo, the youngest, who has been used to deliver threatening letters written by his fellows.
On Wednesday afternoon an affidavit charging both assault with intent to rob and robbery against each of the four, was sworn to by George Martino, the Akron detective. The hearing was before Justice VanDeusen. The Italians, acting under the advice of Judge F.O. Phillips, who was called into the case, waived examination and were bound over the grand jury. The bail of each was fixed at $500.
As the next meeting of the grand jury is in April, and there is little expectation that the Italians will be able to give bail, the likelihood is that they will have to stay in jail, unless the Prosecuting Attorney concludes that the State will not be able, thru them, to convict the murderer of John Lanzo. One reason for preferring charges against them was that they might be at hand as witnesses in case they are wanted in the John Lanzo case.
As has been hinted before, the man Loui, most wanted and the one more strongly suspected of the murder than any of the others, was not found when the Water street was raided. One other was missing. Letters found in the place indicated that one or both of them would likely be located with friends either in Fulton or Oswego, N.Y., and on Wednesday evening Detective Martino started in search for them, especially for Loui.
Before employing the Akron detective, Prosecutor Underwood took the precaution to make careful inquiries concerning him and his work at the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office in Akron. There they commended Martino highly, both professionally and as a man.
Frank Butto, meanwhile, is out of the limelight in the case, but he has not been forgotten and is under surveillance.
It looks now as if future developments in the case hinge largely on the success or failure of Martino to get the man he is after.
To the outside observer no sufficient motive for the murder of John Lanzo yet appears, so far as the group under arrest is concerned. The fact that he was a court interpreter might promise trouble to men engaged in blackhanding. The fact that they had stolen a revolver, valued at $15, that belonged to him and which he said he would recover is something, but scarcely enough, seemingly, for so desperate a measure, even on the part of lawless men.
As the case progresses it becomes more complicated and further developments will be watched with interest and concern by a community that has thus far been notably free from the methods that terrorize many other places.”
February 5, 1915 pg. 1 Gazette
The Lanzo Murder Case
“The murderer of John Lanzo is still at large. Nothing startling in the way of evidence has developed this week. On Monday Tony Crisofulli, one of the four Italians lodged in jail last week Thursday charged with robbery and attempting to rob, was released on a $500 bond furnished by relatives. One condition of his release was that he should tell all that he knew of the case. He suggested an Italian in Cleveland. Detective Martino made an investigation but soon concluded there was nothing in it.
Joe Graffalo, a young Wadsworth Italian who has a good reputation, admits that he is a member of the gang, by fear rather than choice, of which Dominico Cacciala, now in jail, is the leader. Graffalo says that two days before the murder of Lanzo, Cacciala took up a collection from the members, to which he contributed $10. When asked the purpose of the collection he said he didn’t know and hadn’t asked – hadn’t, in fact, dared to ask.
Having run down with all the clues and dug up all the evidence he can for the present in Wadsworth, Detective Martino started on Wednesday to find the man, or men, addressed or suspiciously referred to in the letters found in the raided house on Water Street. He planned to go first to Lorain, then, if necessary, to Ravenna, and thence to Oswego, N.Y.”
February 12, 1915 pg. 1 Gazette
Developments in Lanzo Case
“The unraveling, or the attempt to unravel, the mystery surrounding the murder of John Lanzo in Wadsworth three weeks ago has developed several interesting phases during the past week.
The story left off in our last issue with the departure of George Martino, the Italian detective, for the East on the hunt for two Italians, known to be members of the gang who are suspicioned of complicity in the case. These two men had disappeared from Wadsworth about the time of the Lanzo murder. One is called Lui and the second Rosario Patti. The collection taken up by Dominico Cacciola, who is one of the first four Italians lodged in jail and and considered the leader, a few days before Lonzo was killed is now supposed to have been for the benefit of Patti, the money, in short, with which he made his getaway.
On Monday morning Prosecutor Underwood received a telephone communication from Martino, who was then in Brooklyn, N.Y., in which he stated that Patti had been seen in Brooklyn on the Saturday previous, and that he, Martino, was then working with the Brooklyn police for his arrest.
Mr. Underwood received another telephone message Monday forenoon, bearing on the Lanzo case, that promises to inject into it a new element, and one that will perhaps prove tragic. The second message was from Marshal Lucas in Wadsworth. He reported that quite early in the morning he had been called up by the Sam Arriaga boarding house where both the Lanzo brothers had been living at the time they met death. The person talking to Lucas from the Arriaga place asked him to “come quick,” that a man had been seen going under the porch at the rear of the house where the murderer of John Lanzo had lain in wait for his victim. Lucas hastened to the place, but by the time he had arrived the intruder had departed more stealthily than he came, for no one had seen him go. His tracks were plainly visible in the snow. The Arriaga household was in a state of cowering fear, as what household wouldn’t under similar circumstances? They felt sure that death was lurking for one or more of them, as it had waited for John Lanzo, and were afraid to leave the house until assured by Marshal Lucas that the coast was clear. Under such circumstances it is natural to suppose that the marshal of Wadsworth is keeping a sharp look-out for more trouble. In this case, as in so many in which Italians in this country are mixed up, disconcerting features of it are the secrecy, the suddenness, the recklessness, the utter disregard of life that are displayed. Danger lurks and no one ever foretell where next it may make its dread appearance.
A third angle in the case came to light also on Monday when Sam Boemi, a well-to-do Italian of Wadsworth, appeared in Medina and offered to give bond for the release of Dominick Cacciola. It appears that Cacciola had written him a letter. Boemi told Marshall Lucas on Saturday, very emphatically, that he would never go on Cacciola’s bond, but on Monday he was in Medina for the purpose. There is something sinister in the way that Cacciola’s verbal and written requests bring results. It was not acceptable to Prosecutor Underwood that Cacciola be let out on $500 bail, and he is still in jail.
On Wednesday Prosecutor Underwood wrote to Detective Martino in Brooklyn saying that he did not think it worth while for him to stay longer in the East looking for Rosario Patti, and asking him to return.
On Thursday afternoon three young Italians came to Medina from Wadsworth. They said that they wanted to visit Dominico Cacciala, who is now the only one of the group of four still in jail. The authorities did not permit them to see him.”
February 19, 1915 pg. 5 Gazette
THE LANZO MURDER CASE
“In regard to the John Lanzo murder case, there have been few developments this week. Geo. Martino, the Italian detective, returned from Brooklyn, N.Y., Saturday evening. The man he was after there, Rosario Patti, escaped on a boat sailing for Italy. This fact was discovered by the use of a fake registered letter which brought from a cousin of Patti the admission that it could not be delivered and the reason why. He had previously insisted that he knew nothing of Patti’s whereabouts. Prosecutor Underwood, on Martino’s return, relieved him from further investigation in the case. The Wadsworth authorities, however, wanted the County Commissioners to retain him a few days more for work on the case there. This they consented to do. He reported to Mr. Underwood on Tuesday that Sam Butto, brother of Frank Butto, whom it will be remembered was tried for killing the first Lanzo and whose name was mixed up in the John Lanzo case in its early stages, lives at the Sam Arriga boarding house in Wadsworth, the same that the Lanzos lived in. Martino heard that shortly before John Lanzo was killed Rosario Patti, the man who fled to Italy, came to the Arriga house and traded revolvers with Sam Butto. The detective thought he would look into that fact a little and so he took Butto to the house where Patti had boarded and began questioning both him and the landlady about it. A little girl spoke up, saying “Yes, that’s the gun that Rosario (Patti) killed John Lanzo with.” At that, her mother struck her a blow that laid her flat on the floor. This incident is significant, but not, of course, conclusive. Dominic Cacciola still remains in jail, the only one of the four Italians originally arrested in the case still in confinement. He, it is said, is to be tried. Authorities, the claim is, want him in Fulton, N.Y., on three charges.”
February 26, 1915 pg. 5 Gazette
“In the case of John Lanzo, the respectable young Italian who was shot to death on one of the Wadsworth streets four weeks ago, there is nothing new to report. The Akron Italian detective, George Martino, has been called off the case, and the view now generally accepted is that Lanzo was murdered by Rosario Patti, reason not known, and that Patti has made his escape from this country.”
May 14, 1915 pg. 1 Gazette
IN COMMON PLEAS COURT
“The case of the State of Ohio vs. Dominico Cacciola came on for trial Thursday. The defendant is an Italian, about 25 years old, who lives in Wadsworth. He is one of the group who came into the limelight at the time of the killing of John Lanzo early in February.
The claim of the State in this case is that one evening last September Dominico Cacciola was the ringleader of a group that enticed Sam Arriago out on the railroad track near Wadsworth and there forcibly took from him $7.25 in money and his revolver. The charge is called “assault with intent to rob and robbery”. Cacciola denied the charge, admitted having taken the revolver, but explained that he did so to prevent trouble, and that he had no intention of keeping it. There were several witnesses on each side. Most of them spoke thru an interpreter. The jury at 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon brought in a verdict of not guilty.”
June 4, 1915 pg. 1 Gazette
Murderous Shooting Among Italian Colony at Wadsworth
The Mystery Surrounding the Fate of Lovers of a 16-Year Old Girl. Victim Still Living.
“Another murderous shooting occurred among the Wadsworth colony of Italians last Monday morning. It will prove not to be a murder only because the victim, desperately wounded, may survive his wounds.
The victim this time is Dominick Cacciola, who was acquitted of the charge of highway robbery committed on Sam Arrigo, keeper of an Italian boarding house in Wadsworth, in Medina common pleas court only last month. He is one of a group of four Italians, considered bad men at Wadsworth, who came into publicity in connection with the killing of John Lanzo near the Arrigo boarding house in Wadsworth last January. He had been in the Medina jail since Jan. 26 last, along with his companion Nofario Lo Guidice, who was charged likewise with extortion committed against Sam Arrigo. Two other Italians, who lived with Dominick and Nofario in a single room by themselves, were arrested at the same time charged with complicity in the extortion, but later released.”
A Mysterious Circumstance
“Sam Arrigo has a daughter, Antoinette, 16 years old, living with him and his wife at their boarding house. Officers say that Charlie Lanzo wanted to marry this girl – and he was shot dead in the street near the Arrigo house where he boarded, in September 1913. John Lanzo, a brother of Charlie Lanzo, wanted to marry this girl Antoinette. He was a boarder at the Arrigo place. One morning last January he was shot down and killed by an unknown assassin after he had left the Arrigo place to go to his work, and his murderer could never be found. Again the girl is supposed to have been loved by Dominick Cacciola – and he was shot down last Monday morning by a brother of Mrs. Arrigo.”
Story of the Shooting
“Last Sunday morning Sam Arrigo’s daughter Antoinette disappeared from his boarding house home in Wadsworth. Nofario Lo Guidice (friend of Dominick Cacciola) was found to have disappeared at the same time. Sam Arrigo, the father, declared Nofario and Dominick to be in a plot to get his daughter away and that Dominick would follow them and marry Antoinette. The father got Marshall Lucas Sunday afternoon and told him his story, and together they went to Barberton to search for Antoinette and Nofario. They did not find them and returned to Wadsworth in the late evening. Arrigo wanted Marshal Lucas to go home with him to defend him from possible attack, but as Mrs. Lucas objected because of her fears of danger to her husband he did not go. Very early Monday morning, Marshal Lucas was called to Arrigo’s place where he found everybody excited over the missing girl and was urged by Arrigo to arrest Dominick as having a part in alluring his daughter away so that he might later follow and marry her. Lucas refused to make the arrest on the ground of having no evidence against Dominick, and after a little while returned to his home. A half hour later, about 7:30 o’clock, Sam Arrigo, Sam Butto (Mrs. Arrigo’s brother) and Andy Casiguerra were going from Arrigo’s place up Main Street to take a car to go to Barberton where they would continue this search for Antoinette. On the street, part way to the public park, they met Dominick returning from getting his breakfast. Arrigo (so Butto says) asked Dominick where Antoinette was, to which Dominick replied: “To hell with Antoinette!” Without more words, Sam Butto pulled out a 38-caliber revolver and began shooting Dominick. The first bullet fired entered at the hip and lodged near the pelvis. Dominick clinched with Butto and tried to get the revolver. Butto says he then shot three times more in self-defense, one bullet going thru Dominick’s neck, grazing both the jugular vein and “windpipe” and coming out beneath the chin, and another passing through the left forearm and another piercing the left hand. The last two shots were fired while Dominick was down. Evidently, he was also beaten over the head by the revolver and kicked while down. Marshal Lucas had heard the shooting and ran to the scene, finding Dominick on the sidewalk in a pool of blood and his assailants standing about him. Butto submitted to arrest by Lucas without any resistance, boldly asserting he had shot Dominick. He was placed in the Wadsworth lockup till afternoon when he was brought to Medina jail by Deputy Sheriff Pelton and Prosecutor Underwood who had gone to the murder scene at once upon learning of the occurrence Monday forenoon.
Dominick declares that Arrigo took the revolver from Butto and fired the two shots that struck him while he was lying already, wounded on the ground, and that Butto attacked him after he was down.
Dominick was at once taken to Dr. Bolich’s private hospital, desperately wounded and presenting a fearful appearance, where he now is, with a fair chance for recovery.
Butto, dull witted and seemingly indifferent to his crime, is in the Medina jail, bound over to the next term of the court on the charge of “shooting to maim”, which charge was placed against him after a hearing before Wadsworth’s mayor held Monday forenoon before Butto was brought to the county jail.
The sympathy of Wadsworth citizens seems to be with Butto and Arrigo, for Dominick and his pals are regarded there as a thoroughly bad lot and desperate. But read a paragraph in our Wadsworth newsletter in this Gazette if you want another and very sensible view of the situation.”
January 31, 1919 pg. 1 Gazette
SAM ARREGO IS ONCE MORE IN TROUBLE
“Sam Arrego was received at the county jail from Wadsworth Monday and is being held under care of Sheriff Bigelow in default of $5000 bail imposed by Mayor Boyer. Arrego is accused of assault with intent to kill. It is alleged that Foreman Nicodemus of the Ohio Match Works discharged Arrego’s wife and that Arrego lay in wait for Nicodemus and struck him with a big club. The club struck the foreman’s head a glancing blow but had it hit true would have caused serious damage.
Arrego has something of a reputation in Wadsworth and Medina County, having been mixed up as principal, accessory, or onlooker in a number of unsavory affairs, such as murder, shooting scrapes, kidnapping, etc., etc. He is the father of pretty Antoinette Arrego, who was only 16 years of age when in 1913, Charlie Lango, who wanted to marry her, was shot down and killed near the Arrego home, where he boarded, Frank Butto was tried and acquitted of the crime, and then less than a year afterwards Sam Butto shot Dominick Cacciola, who also wanted to marry Antoinette, the Buttos being brothers of Mrs. Arrego. Sam Butto was sent to the Mansfield reformatory but afterwards was released. There were many other events and incidents concerning the Arregos, the ramifications of which are too long to be given in detail here, part of which relate to the running away and kidnapping of the girl. And now Arrego is up against it again.”
June 13, 1919 pg. 4 Gazette
A GOOD LONG TIME
Frank Butto is Likely to Spend it in Jail
“Frank Butto, the Wadsworth Italian, who shot at Dominic Cacciola several times a week ago Saturday and who was bound over to the grand jury is still languishing in the county jail in default of $1500 bail. In fact, he is likely to remain there until the September grand jury meets as it is not likely either he or his friends and relatives can raise that fund. Butto tells Sheriff Bigelow that he does not care at that, because he is not at all fond of working and the Medina county jail is very comfortable and the living there very good. The Wadsworth Banner-Press seems to have kept a better tab on the history of the Butto-Arrego-Cacciola troubles than people at a distance from Wadsworth can, and gives the following chronological account of them with a possibility that there are other items to be added:
The shooting is only another episode of what appears to be an Italian feud. It will be recalled that on June 20, 1913, Charles Lenzo, 28, was shot and killed in front of Arrego’s house, while Arrego and Frank Butto were attempting to take a revolver from him. John Lenzo, a brother of Charley, made a desperate attempt to convict Butto of murder. He left nothing undone to secure evidence bearing on the case, but a jury in Medina County courts returned a verdict of not guilty on the grounds of accidental shooting.
Eighteen months later, on Jan. 21, 1915, John Lenzo was shot by an unknown assassin while on his way to work as a block-feeder at the Match shop. The shooting occurred before daylight. Three of the four shots fired entered his body, but he was able to walk back to Arrego’s boarding house and died in the same room where his brother passed away a year and a half before.
Another incident in the line of murder or near-murder occurred on the Injector hill when Dominic Cacciola, the intended victim of Frank Butto’s Saturday night attack, was shot by Sam Butto. Cacciola had made love to Arrego’s daughter and this was resented by Mrs. Arrego’s brothers, Sam and Frank Butto. The girl disappeared and Cacciola was charged with kidnapping. Upon his acquittal he was fired upon early one morning by Sam Butto, five of whose bullets found their victim but failed to reach any vital spot. Sam Butto, was sent to the reformatory and at the expiration of his term returned to Wadsworth. In the meantime the kidnapped girl returned and married Cacciola. From recent events, it would seem that the course of true love has been full of ruts.
Arrego, himself, was released only three weeks ago after being held on a charge of assault with attempt to kill Oscar Nicodemus. The assault occurred near the Arrego home and Nicodemus testified positively as to the identity of his assailant. Not withstanding this fact, the jury acquitted Arrego.”
born Italy, laborer, died September 5, 1920, aged 34 years
“murdered by Dominick Caccilo by gun shot; shots piercing heart & lungs”
Informant: Thos J. Lucas, Wadsworth, Ohio
Buried in Catholic Grounds, Woodlawn Cemetery
September 9, 1920 pg. 1 Gazette
THE FINIS FOR FRANK BUTTO
The Wadsworth Italian Killed By Dominick Cacciola
A Feud of Six Years
This Was the Third Murder and There Have Been Other Violent Episodes – Mostly Caused by A Pretty Italian Girl
“The Buttos are once more in the limelight, or at least one of them, Frank was Sunday. This time he was the victim of the feud which has existed in Wadsworth for several years, and is today sleeping beneath the sod, never more to be a terror to his fellow countrymen and officers of the law in Wadsworth, and a nuisance and nightmare to jail officials.
Frank Butto was shot in the back and almost instantly killed last Sunday afternoon by Dominick Cacciola in front of the latter’s barber shop on Water Street, in Wadsworth. Cacciola is now in the Medina jail, charged with first degree murder. Also incarcerated in the jail is Butto’s friend, Phillippo Sinatra, by name, who shot five times at Cacciola after the latter had killed Butto, none of the bullets, however, finding its mark. The charge against him is shooting with the intent to kill.”
Story of Shooting
“Dominick Cacciola has had reason to fear Butto, so he says, and events would seem to justify his fear, for Butto a little over a year ago shot at him. For this reason not long since he purchased a repeating shot-gun. Saturday night it was reported to him that Sinatra, a stranger, appeared at Cacciola’s door and asked for a drink of water. At 2 o’clock in the afternoon, Butto and Sinatra came together and idled around the barber’s pole, only ten feet from the door, making no hostile movements, however. They had their hands in their pockets, says Cacciola, and this made him afraid that they were prepared to shoot him. Accordingly, he took his shot-gun and shot directly at Butto, who was standing with his back toward him. Butto crumpled up and, without uttering a word or cry, fell to the ground. The charge tore a hole in his back and entered the heart and lungs.”
“Instantly, Sinatra drew a revolver and shot five times. Two of the shots were fired while Cacciola yet stood in the doorway and three of them through the window after Cacciola had slammed the door shut. Sinatra ran up the street a short distance, threw his gun away and returned to the scene of the trouble.
In the meantime Cacciola had called to a neighbor to summon Village Marshal Tom Lucas. He arrived in a few minutes just as Butto was breathing his last. Placing Cacciola and Sinatra under arrest he took them before Mayor F.W. Boyer, who committed them to jail. Cacciola of course without bond, but without fixing the amount for Sinatra, who was entitled to release without sufficient sureties.”
A Sanguinary History
“Sam and Frank Butto have filled a somewhat large place in Medina county’s criminal history the past seven years. In July 1913, Frank was accused of the murder of Charles Lenzo but was acquitted on the 7th of November of that year. Butto killed Lenzo as the result of a quarrel in Sam Arrego’s boarding house. It was said that Lenzo wanted to marry Arrego’s pretty daughter Antoinette whose mother was a sister of Butto, and that this was the moving cause of the fracas. Later John Lenzo, a brother of Charles, wanted to marry the girl, and one night in January, 1915, he was shot and killed on the street. No arrest was ever made for this crime.
Soon after Dominick Cacciola was accused of highway robbery committed on Arrego, but a jury acquitted him. Then the girl, who was only 15 years old, disappeared and Arrego accused Cacciola of having kidnapped her. In a street quarrel Sam Butto shot Cacciola three times and the latter nearly died. Sam was tried for shooting to kill, but the jury found him guilty in July 1915, of the lesser crime of shooting with intent to wound and he was sentenced by Judge McClure to the Mansfield reformatory.”
Frank Shoots at Cacciola
“Over four years elapsed before there was any other serious trouble, and in the meanwhile Cacciola had married Antoinette.
Then on May 31, 1919, just four years and one day after Sam Butto shot Cacciola, Frank Butto, during a quarrel in which half a dozen others were mixed up, shot at Cacciola several times. He was charged with intent to kill, but after several months confinement in jail, changed his plea of not guilty to guilty and was sentenced by Judge McClure, Nov. 15, to six months in the Canton workhouse, being released from there early in the summer.
Both Sam and Frank Butto, when confined in jail, made themselves common nuisances, attempting to commit suicide at different times, crying and howling and otherwise disturbing the peace. After Frank was sentenced last November he created a scene in the court room and had to be knocked down and dragged out by the sheriffs.
Joe Licitri, 786 Allyn St., Akron with whom Sinatra boarded, was in Medina to see the latter Monday. He said that Sinatra, who was ordinarily quiet and peaceable, had many friends in Akron, who would help him to get bail. He said that Sinatra told him he had purchased his gun to shoot the man who ran away with his wife and $800, and that he had information he would find him in Wadsworth.”
September 23, 1920 pg. 1 Gazette
“The indictments are as follows:
Dominick Cacciola, murder in the first degree. Cacciola is the Wadsworth Italian who, on Sunday, Sept. 5, shot and killed Frank Butto, this homicide being one in a long line of violent episodes in the Butto-Cacciola feud, including two other killings. For neither of the others was anyone punished.
Philp Sinatio, shooting with intent to kill. Sinatio is the Akron Italian who shot at Cacciola, after the latter had killed Butto, whose companion Sinatio was.”
September 30, 1920 pg. 1 Gazette
It Was Criminal Day In Common Pleas Court
“Tuesday was criminal day in common pleas court, three of the four indicted by the grand jury being arraigned. All three pleaded not guilty and Judge McClure set Nov. 8 as the date for beginning of trials, the first case to be taken up being that for murder against Dominick Cacciola, who shot and killed Frank Butto. Cacciola will be defended by Nick Greenberger, ex-city solicitor of Akron, and Don Hotchkiss, son of the ex-superintendent of schools, also of Akron. The same lawyers will also defend Philip Sinatio, Butto’s friend who tried to shoot Cacciola after he had killed Butto. Sinatio says he has nothing against Cacciola, not even having his acquaintance, merely going along as Butto’s friend.”
November 4, 1920 pg. 1 Gazette
CACCIOLA’S TRIAL SET FOR NOV. 22
“Judge McClure has set the date of the trial of Dominick Cacciola, of Wadsworth, of first degree murder, for Nov. 22, and has ordered a special jury drawn.”
November 18, 1920 pg. 1 Gazette
CACCIOLA’S TRIAL WILL START NEXT MONDAY
“The trial of Dominick Cacciola, Wadsworth barber, on the charge of first-degree murder, will be begun next Monday morning before a special jury with Judge N.H. McClure on the bench. Cacciola killed Frank Butto in cold blood Sept. 5, although it is claimed for him that he was in fear of his own life. The killing was the third in a six year-old Italian feud at Wadsworth. As a result of neither of the other cases was any one punished for the crime but it is not at all likely that Cacciola will escape scot free although it is hardly probable that he will be convicted of first degree murder. Indeed the state indicated some time since that it would accept a plea of guilty to a lesser offense but Cacciola’s attorney, N.M. Greenberger, of Akron, would not permit it. Prosecuting Attorney Jos. A. Seymour will be assisted by his father, J.W. Seymour.”
December 2, 1920 pg. 1 Gazette
NOTE: some parts of this article were difficult to make out or entirely unreadable. The presumed words are in parentheses and others, not known, indicated by asterisks (*).
A LONG-DRAWN-OUT AFFAIR
Cacciola Murder Trial on its Second Week
ARGUMENTS ON FRIDAY
And it Looks Now as Though the Jury Would Get the Case Before Nightfall Tomorrow – Effort to Prove Self-defense
“(The) trial of Dominick Cacciola, Wadsworth barber, for murder in the (first) degree, the killing of Frank (Butto) Sept. 5 last promises to be (one of) the longest in the history of the county.
(The) State consumed about two (hours) and a half presenting its evidence but the outlook is that the defense (*) not use up more than a (hour) and a half and will finish by tonight. The arguments will be presented Friday and it is expected the (jury would) have the case before nightfall. (*) Cacciola killed Butto is (*) and the sole question is (whether) it was justified or not. The (*) of course, that he was (*) that the deed was cold-blooded and premeditated, and that (he) had threatened Butto. On (the other) hand the defense asserts (Butto had) threatened Cacciola (and the) latter was in fear of (*) Butto was outside of (*), prepared to kill him and (he) shot Butto in self-defense (*) had been devoid of any (*) features and his back (*).
Evidence Starts Monday
“(As printed) in last week’s Gazette (that) Monday and Tuesday and the (better) part of Wednesday morning (were) consumed in securing a jury, (so) then Wednesday afternoon was (taken) up with a visit to the scene (of the) killing in Wadsworth, after (*) adjournment was taken over (the) Thanksgiving holiday to Monday when the real work was started (*) opening statements were made (*) Prosecuting Attorney Joseph A. Seymour for the state and Attorney N.M. Greenberger, of Akron for the (defense). Mr. Seymour said that the (state) expected to prove that the crime was committed without (provocation) and with premeditation on (the) part of Cacciola. He traced the movements of Butto and his companion Philip Sinatra, on their (way) to Wadsworth from Akron and stated that Butto had refused to go (*) Cacciola’s shop with his companions because the barber was an “enemy of mine”. Seymour said (that) while Butto stood peacefully (outside) the shop Cacciola suddenly (opened) the door and fired the fatal (shots). The Defense Statement Greenberger said that they would (show) that Butto’s right hand, as he (stood) outside the shop, was in his pocket grasping a revolver, the (*) of which protruded from the pocket. Butto came to Wadsworth, he contended to “get” Cacciola, and (*) the latter had been warned to (that) effect. Cacciola has been (pursued) he said for years by Butto and members of his family, and at (this) very time bears in his body five (bullet) holes inflicted by Sam Butto. (The) State’s first witness was Assistant County Surveyor Tanner, who described a plat of the surroundings of Cacciola’s barber shop. He was followed by Coroner Crum, of Lodi, Undertaker Hilliard, of Wadsworth, Sam Lucas, marshal, and Ben Witshey, deputy marshal, of Wadsworth, Philip Sinatra, of Akron, Butto’s companion, now under indictment for shooting with intent to kill and Tony Cruppa, a Wadsworth Italian. Cruppa was still on the stand when court adjourned Monday afternoon. Tuesday’s Proceedings Tuesday, the following witnesses were examined after Cruppa had finished his testimony: Mrs. Cruppa, Sam Bueni, Mrs. Bueni, Joe Diepetro, Dominick Scoparia, and Sam (Butto). The only testimony of importance was elicited from Scoparia, (who) testified on cross examination (that) Butto had told him only a few (days) before the shooting that he (wasn’t) working and had no interest (in life), that if someone killed (him) there would be no loss and (that) if he killed someone, he (would) only serve six months as “(*) helps me”. Diepetro was the (*) who accompanied Butto and (Sinatra) on their visits in Wadsworth the night before and on the (day of) the shooting, and went into Cacciola’s barber shop, while Butto and Sinata remained on the outside. Sam Butto, Frank’s brother, who played quite an important part in (the) Wadsworth feud, caused considerable sensation Tuesday by insisting (on) being in the court room, already called as a witness. He was (*) twice and was searched by Sheriff Bigelow to see if he had a (*) concealed on his person. None (was found) however. Defense Starts Wednesday Tuesday morning, the state after having put on Antonio (*), Tony Cozio, and Sam (*). The defense introduced a dozen witnesses and then, (after) 3 o’clock court was adjourned because it had no more to (*) that time. The chief (efforts of the) defense seemed to be to (*) (Butto’s) character and to show Cacciola was in fear of his life () hands. The witnesses (were as) follows: Sheriff P.C. Bigelow, County Clerk G.C. Frazier, (*) R.L. Gehman, Marshal (Tom Lucas), Teresa Di Biesi, Dwight (*), Dominick Scofario, Sam (Bueni), Philip Sinatra, J.B. Hilliard. (Sam) Butto, Scofario, Hilliard (*) had all been originally (*) for the state. Though (*) brother and without (*) his sympathies being (*) Cacciola. Sam Butto was put (*) defense. It was brought out that Cacciola had threatened Butto, thus doing the defendant no good.
One reason that the trial moves so slowly is that so many witnesses are Italian and their testimony must go through an interpreter. William Marlot, of Akron, is the interpreter and he is a good one too.”
December 9, 1920 pg. 1 Gazette
NOTE: some parts of this article were difficult to make out or entirely unreadable. The presumed words are in parentheses and others, not known, indicated by asterisks (*).
DIDN’T TAKE LONG TO ACQUIT
Jury Out a Little Over Half Hour in Cacciola Case
ONE VOTE FOR CONVICTION
But (the) Odd Man Soon Agreed to (Acquit) With the Other Eleven – (Closing) Scenes in a Hotly Contested Murder Trial
“(*) the jury in common pleas (*) Friday just a trifle over (a half) hour to decide that Dominick (Cacciola) , the Wadsworth barber, was (acquitted) of murder in the first degree (*) other degree, or (crimin) all when he killed (*) on the 5th of last September. The verdict was anticipated (by) practically everyone who (*) testimony or was familiar (with the) circumstances, and was (*) approved. (*) the only defense that (*) made was that of self-defense as much as Cacciola (admitted having) shot and killed Butto (dingly) along that line (the) attorneys for the accused (*) their efforts. Both the (*) the defense worked hard, (*) convict and the other to (*) the lawyers on each side (*) their ability and (re). The state, had, (how) job and a really (*) under the circumstances (*) the result was a foregone conclusion.” Sinatro Gets Off Easily “The court room had been (*) of spectators another (*) was held and Philip (Sinatro), of Akron, Frank Butto’s (companion) when he was shot and (*) indicted for shooting (with intent) to kill, was arraigned (and) permitted to withdraw his (plea of not) guilty and to plead guilty (to a lesser) charge. Judge McClure (*) sentenced him to pay a fine of (*) costs and to six months in a (Canton) workhouse, suspending (the latter) part of the sentence (dur) (good) behavior. (Sinatro), it will be remembered, was outside the Cacciola domicile when Butto was shot. He drew a (revolver) and fired it five times through the window and door with the (*) object of hitting Cacciola but failing.” The Court Room Scene “The jury retired about 2:30 and rendered its verdict shortly after 3 o’clock. It is understood that three ballots were taken in this (trial) the vote standing on the first two 11 for acquittal and one for conviction. It is understood that the one vote was cast by Alfred Coolman, the only Wadsworth man on (the jury). J.E. Gault, of Lafayette, county commissioner-elect, was foreman of the jury. The court room was packed with (*) men and women when the verdict was rendered. Large crowds (*) the testimony and listened (*) arguments all during the (w) when the court had (*) jury not a soul left the (*) anticipating an early verdict. (As) Clerk Frazier read the verdict (there) was started a ripple of (applause) quickly suppressed by Judge (McClure) and Bailiff Clark. Antoinette Cacciola, Dominick’s wife, (the niece) of the Buttos, who had (been) present throughout the trial and who testified in her husband’s (*) turned to him and kissed (him). Attorney Greenberger, leading (council) for Cacciola, extended his (hand) to Dominick, but instead of merely shaking it, the Italian raised it to his lips. Cacciola was closely guarded by friends as he left the court house and took an automobile for Wadsworth. Sam Butto, Frank’s brother, who (once) put five bullets into Cacciola, was watched by officers until Cacciola had left town.” Closing Scenes “The witnesses on Thursday for the defense were Cacciola himself, his wife Antoinette, Philip Sinatra, Mayor F.W. Boyer, Coroner E.L. Crum, Charles Sofia, and Joe Currisso. Boyer and Crum had both been called by the state. Cacciola and his wife both described the events of the fatal day, and the constant fear they had entertained for years of the Buttos. Currisso was really the star witness for the defense. He had not been subpoenaed but voluntarily (*) Medina and gave his testimony. He told how Frank Butto had said to him “I missed him (*) (referring to having shot at (Cacciola) over three years ago) but (*) next time.” (*) arguments were started the (*) Friday morning. Prosecuting Attorney J.A. Seymour opened for the state in a half-hour (ad*) and was followed by J.D. Hotchkiss, for the defense, who talked the same length of time. Hotchkiss’ associate, N.M. Greenberger, then consumed an hour and court adjourned for the noon recess. J.W. Seymour finished for the state after dinner, taking about an hour for that purpose.”
December 16, 1920 pg. 1 Gazette
SAM WANTS FRANK’S CLOTHES AND REVOLVER
“Sam Butto has written a letter or probably someone wrote it for him from Rittman addressed to the “Court House, Medina, Ohio,” and starts out “Dear Judge”. He then says that he will be in Medina next week and wants his brother Frank’s clothes and revolver. He adds that he “needs the clothes” but does not state whether he needs the revolver. The clothes which were used as evidence in the Cacciola trial seem to have disappeared. If found he will probably get them but it is sufficient to say that he won’t get the revolver.
Last week’s Wadsworth Banner Press contains the following:
Dominick Cacciola acquitted Friday of the murder of Frank Butto on Sept. 5 last and Phillip Sinatio, who escaped with a $50 fine after shooting five times at Cacciola are both back in Wadsworth, Sinatio as Cacciola’s guest. They called at the municipal offices together Monday and paid their respects to Mayor Boyer. Cacciola says he does not intend to stay in Wadsworth but will leave for several years. He intimated that there might be further trouble if he remained and that to avoid this he would depart. The men seemed to be the best of friends and had evidently patched up their differences during the three months they spent in jail together.”
Cacciola continued to be a magnet for trouble when he did return. He would serve prison time on a liquor indictment as would his bride, Antoinette. The two had indeed been married on August 20, 1917. They would bury their newborn daughter Victoria; dying on November 15, 1918 being only a week old. A small monument marks her final resting place in the Catholic section of Woodlawn Cemetery. Antoinette died July 12, 1959 in Stark County in Massilon State Hospital. Dominick’s fate thus far eludes my search efforts.
`The Cacciola Place’ was the site of yet another pair of shootings on March 29, 1930. Operated by one Henry I. Vaughn after Cacciola had moved over into Summit County, it would be Vaughn who stood trial for the murders of Charles Dawson and Clarence Tedrow. But that is another story for another time…