Killed Bronx NY, Sept. 10, 1931.
Vincenzo "Jimmy Marino" LePore was one of a small number of Salvatore Maranzano loyalists murdered following Maranzano's Sept. 10, 1931, assassination. His killing helped to give life to the "Night of Sicilian Vespers" legend in the U.S. Mafia.
Vincenzo LePore was the third child (second son) born to Alphonse and Crescenza D'Altri LePore, residents of the Abruzzo region of Italy. In the early 1900s, the family emigrated from Italy to the U.S. Six-year-old Vincenzo crossed the Atlantic in October of 1905 with his mother, his grandmother Filomena Fadrianni D'Altri, his brothers Raffaele and Ettore, and his sisters Filomena, Carmela and Giovanna. The family settled initially on Carmine Street in Manhattan, but soon moved to Washington Avenue in the Bronx.
|New York Times|
The Castellammarese War was under way in New York City at that time, and the Sicilian-Italian underworld was in a state of chaos. LePore was reputed to be a "muscle man" and racketeer in the Bronx, where the murders of several important Mafia leaders left organization hierarchies in shambles.
LePore may have been connected with a bootlegging scheme to create palatable whiskey by steeping shavings from the inside of old liquor barrels in alcohol. Newspaper accounts from June 1930 name a "John Lepore" as one of the 136 individuals and businesses accused of participating in that racket. Vincenzo LePore was known to be engaged in bootlegging, and the local press called him "the boss of the grape racket around the Webster Avenue yards of the New York Central Railroad." This was a reference to the sale of grape concentrate - known as "wine bricks" - used in winemaking.
Just two hours after Salvatore Maranzano was murdered in his Manhattan offices, Vincenzo LePore was gunned down in the Bronx. (Other Maranzano supporters were murdered in New Jersey and in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Additional Mafiosi were targeted in the Bronx. Years later, the deaths - greatly magnified in number - became the basis for a legendary "Purge" orchestrated by Charlie Luciano. There is no evidence to link Luciano to the killings and every reason to believe that individual Mafiosi took advantage of the elimination of Maranzano to act against rivals who had been supported by Maranzano.)
LePore had taken his two young daughters - ages 4 and 6 - to have their hair cut. He picked them up at his mother-in-law's home, 540 East 187th Street, and drove them to an Arthur Avenue barbershop. LePore was standing in the shop's doorway, complaining about the late summer heat, when he was struck in the head and chest by six bullets. He died at the scene. Some witnesses stated that LePore was shot by gunmen passing by in an automobile. Others said an auto stopped nearby, a gunmen emerged, walked up to LePore and shot him, and then returned to the auto.
When police went to LePore's home, they discovered a revolver, a rifle and a single-barreled shotgun, all loaded, in the apartment.
LePore was buried at St. Raymond's Old Cemetery in the Bronx. His surviving family moved from St. Peter's Avenue. By 1935, they resided in a Bathgate Avenue apartment.
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- Organized Crime and Illicit Traffic in Narcotics, Hearings before the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, U.S. Senate, 88th Congress, 1st Session, Part 1, Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1968, p. 232-233.
- Passenger manifest of S.S. Citta di Napoli, departed Naples on Sept. 21, 1905, arrived New York on Oct. 6, 1905.
- United States Census of 1910, New York State, New York County, Ward 9, Enumeration District 134.
- United States Census of 1920, New York State, Bronx County, Assembly District 7, Enumeration District 407.
- United States Census of 1930, New York State, Bronx County, Assembly District 6, Enumeration District 3-506.
- United States Census of 1940, New York State, Bronx County, Assembly District 7, Enumeration District 3-1126.
- "La Cosa Nostra," FBI report no. 92-6054-740, NARA record no. 124-10205-10471, Aug. 21, 1964, p. 75.
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- "Rum shavings ring pays $14,800 fines," New York Times, June 5, 1930, p. 12.
- "Baccus bottle case last in rum chip drive," Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 5, 1930, p. 3.
- "Silent on killing, 6 witnesses seized," New York Times, Sept. 11, 1931, p. 2.
- "Four witnesses indicted," New York Times, Sept. 12, 1931, p. 4.
- "James Le Pore," Find A Grave, findagrave.com (accessed March 25, 2016).