Crocevera, Isadoro (1873-1920)

Born Palermo, Sicily, Dec. 23, 1873

Killed Buffalo, NY, Aug. 8, 1920

A member of a New York City-based counterfeiting gang led by Giuseppe Morello, Isadoro Crocevera was one of a few gang members arrested for passing counterfeit currency in 1903. He was charged along with Giuseppe DePrima, Giuseppe Giallombardo and Salvatore Romano. Federal Judge E.H. Thomas sentenced the three men March 17, 1903, to prison terms in Sing Sing. Giallombardo was given five years, DePrima four years, and Crocevera three years.

The counterfeiting case was neither Crocevera's first involvement with the Mafia underworld nor his last. In Palermo, Sicily, during the 1890s, Palermo native Crocevera was known to have been friendly with Giuseppe DiCarlo, later the crime boss of Buffalo, NY. Immigrants to the U.S., both settled for a while in New York City (after Crocevera's release from prison, probably in 1905). DiCarlo moved on to Buffalo, NY, a few years later. Crocevera remained in Brooklyn but visited DiCarlo regularly. Their visits were interrupted for a period of about two and a half years before they last got together.

During Crocevera's final visit to Buffalo, he became involved in a gunfight near DiCarlo's saloon, 166 Front Ave., Buffalo. In the Aug. 8, 1920, shooting, Buffalo resident Vincent Vaccaro was wounded in the leg; Crocevera was shot in the back and killed. Police decided that Joseph DiCarlo Jr. and Crocevera argued with brothers Vincent and Anthony Vaccaro, possibly over the division of rum-running profits.

DiCarlo was charged with causing Vincent Vaccaro's injury. Vincent Vaccaro accepted responsibility for killing Crocevera, but there was some suspicion that he was shielding his brother. Anthony Vaccaro was formally charged with killing Crocevera. Nothing came of the charges.

Crocevera had worked at the Brooklyn docks. At the time of his death, he was a stevedore foreman for the Pierce Brothers firm. Many Sicilian and Italian immigrants found employment at the docks, and stevedoring was often a cover for organized criminals.

Crocevera left behind a large family - a wife, Marianna Carbone Crocevera, and seven children - at 63 Duffield Street, Brooklyn. Just months before his Crocevera's death, he was visited by a relative from Palermo, Sicily. On Jan. 5, 1920, his 41-year-old brother-in-law Giorgio Mazza entered the port of Boston, heading to Crocevera's residence in Brooklyn.