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John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

The charmed life of Pat Santoro and the rise of organized crime in Connecticut



Pat Santoro came next. An ex-con, bootlegger and gambler across the Naugatuck Valley he had a previous arrest on an attempted murder from December of 1922 but managed to get off with a suspended sentence.  

A year later his brother Danny was murdered in an inter-gang dispute.  Still, Santoro was determined to organized Bridgeport and the Naugatuck Valley under his control. But, like Big Joe Gimigliano, Santoro push to the top didn’t last long either. He seemed to be involved in one bootleg shooting after another and most of the time he caught the worst end of it.

In September of 1927, he was shot in the belly as he walked down Hallet Street in Bridgeport by a hood named Joseph Mamone, who already lost one arm in another bootlegging shootout, then fled to Canada but surrender himself a while later. Mamone, a bootlegger from Waterbury, had a previous conviction for murder.


Two months later, on November 22, 1927, another gangster named Jerry Curmullo and another unknown hood sprayed Santoro’s car with buckshot fire as he drove down Bruce Avenue in Stratford, by gunmen firing from another car. They shot up the entire left side of the car, shattered the windshield and the steering wheel shot out of his hands, but Santoro escaped with but slight face wounds.
Hartford Courant

Santoro charmed life ran out of luck on September 17, 1933, when his badly beaten body was fished out of the Pequonnock River near the Washington bridge. He had been bound with rope and weighted down with sash weights. His legs were doubled up to his back and bound. An old tarpaulin was wrapped around the body and the ropes, weighted down with six window sash weights, were wound around it from head to foot.

Hartford Courant

The spinning propeller of a large gasoline tanker casting off from the dock of the Shell Eastern Petroleum Products Company, Inc., in churning the water near the pier, brought the body to the surface. The body had been in the water for about three days.

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