Born New York, NY, c. 1902
Killed Manhattan, NY, June 18, 1931.
Daniel Iamascia was born in New York in 1902 to parents Giuseppe and Rosina Charamia Iamascia. His parents, born in the Province of Campobasso, Italy, crossed the Atlantic in the 1890s and settled in New York. (Giuseppe was born Feb. 10, 1867, in Macchia Valfortore. Rosina was born Nov. 15, 1881, in Pietracatella.)
He had a number of arrests on his record, but always got off the hook. He was arrested as a youth for assault and battery in Queens in 1918 but then released when the victim suddenly disappeared. He was apprehended on a rape charge in the Bronx in 1919 and then released. Police caught him on a burglary charge in the Bronx later that year, but again he was released.
He was finally convicted of unlawful entry in the Bronx in 1920, but his prison sentence was suspended. Two burglary cases in 1920 and 1924 and a robbery charge in 1922 never went to trial.
Iamascia was among several known criminals in attendance at a Dec. 7, 1929, banquet thrown for Magistrate Albert Vitale at the Roman Gardens in the Bronx. That banquet was held up by seven gunmen but all loot - including a police detective's handgun - was returned shortly after Vitale got on the telephone. The event proved a connection between organized crime and the courts and led to state-sponsored investigations of local New York City government. Vitale was booted off the bench, and eventually Mayor Jimmy Walker was forced to resign.
Daniel continued to reside with his family at 2313 Belmont Avenue in the Bronx. In addition to Daniel and his parents, the home also included his sisters Frances, Catherine and Theresa, his brothers Anthony and Andrew, and Anthony's wife Olga. Two other siblings, Nicholas and Maria, lived elsewhere. On April 15, 1930, Iamascia's father Giuseppe died.
When Joseph "the Baker" Catania was shot to death in the Bronx on Feb. 3, 1931, his close friends Iamascia and Daniel DeStefano were picked up by police as material witnesses. That killing, part of the New York Mafia's Castellammarese War, remained unsolved by police.
Serving as Schultz's primary bodyguard during his war with Vince "Mad Dog" Coll (a former member of the Schultz mob), Iamascia met his end on June 18, 1931. He and Schultz stepped out of a Schultz apartment building at Fifth Avenue and 102nd Street to observe two men apparently hiding in the shadows. Believing them to be Coll gunmen, Schultz and Iamascia opened fire. The shadowy figures reportedly turned out to be police detectives who shot Iamascia in front of 1212 Fifth Avenue and apprehended Schultz.
Iamascia was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital nearby with gunshot wounds to his abdomen and right arm. He quickly succumbed to his wounds.
Iamascia's years of loyal service and his death apparently at the hands of the police earned him one of the most spectacular funerals New York has ever seen. There were 125 cars of mourners and 35 cars of flowers during the procession of his silver coffin (valued by some at as much as $20,000) from his mother Rosina Iamascia's Belmont Avenue home, to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church (Belmont and 187th Street) and then to St. Raymond's Cemetery. Enormous floral displays were provided by Schultz (a large wreath of lillies) and Terranova (a 15-foot-high floral gate of lillies, roses and carnations). Iamascia was temporarily interred at the private mausoleum of undertaker Daniel Scocozzo, it was reported, while his own $25,000 mausoleum was erected. Ultimately, Iamascia was laid to rest in a fairly ordinary grave in St. Raymond's.