Joe Petrosino Remains the Toughest Cop in NYC History

Petrosino was a champion of the people, feared by the mafia, whose legend lives on today.

The following article, written by Jay Maeder, appears on

NYPD mob cop Joe Petrosino: The Italian-American crime fighter who battled the Black Hand

After a time it became just a matter of course for the more established southern Italian hoodlums to walk their newly arrived countrymen to a point near Police Headquarters and point out to them the short, squat, derby-hatted detective, so that in the future they might recognize him on sight and accord him wide berth. Petrosino was his name, Joseph Petrosino, and he was out to get every one of them. He was fearless, Petrosino was; he would stomp into a basement and collar two desperate killers at a time and march both of them off to the electric chair by the scruffs of their necks, and the room could be full of armed men and nobody would dream of drawing on him. Of Joseph Petrosino it was most wise to beware.

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