Daniello, Ralph (1878-1925)

Born Eboli, Italy, 1878.

Killed Metuchen, NJ, 1925?

Raffaele "Ralph the Barber" Daniello, whose real name appears to have been Alfonso Pepe (newspapers also referred to him as Giuseppe Pepe), was born in southern Italy. After marrying, he settled in Nocera Inferiore, just outside Naples, for a while before transplanting his young family across the Atlantic in New York.

In Brooklyn, Daniello became a member of a large Neapolitan Camorra organization. He participated in the feud between that gang and the Morello-Terranova Sicilian Mafia clan in New York. He performed several murders and conspired in others.

Facing murder charges, Danniello fled New York in 1917 and trusted in his Camorra associates to support him and his family. Camorra boss Pellegrino Morano was stingy, however. Daniello interpreted the lack of support as evidence that he had not long to live. Arrested in Reno, Nevada, the disheartened Daniello told his story to the police. That story included details of 23 gangland murders.

He and associate Tony Notaro testified against their former bosses as the Brooklyn Camorra leadership was tried and convicted in 1918. Camorra leader Allessandro Vollero was among those sent to prison. Daniello's own prison sentence was suspended because of his cooperation.

The following year, Daniello - then a resident of Elmhurst, NY - shot a man during a quarrel at the Coney Island elevated train station. Efforts to convince the victim to forget the incident were unsuccessful, though they reportedly included the burning of the man's New Jersey home and the poisoning of his dog. Daniello pleaded guilty to the shooting in January 1920.

Some sources indicate that in 1925, after his release from prison, Daniello was shot to death on a highway near Metuchen, New Jersey.