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 Giovanni Vitale

Giovanni Vitale

Cinisi, Città Metropolitana di Palermo, Sicilia, Italy
Death 28 Sep 1920 (aged 44)
Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, USA
Burial Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, USA
Plot Section: 53, Tier: 7, Grave Lot: 168
Memorial ID 7814154 · View Source
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Organized Crime Figure. Boss of one of Detroit's first Mafia families. Born in Cinisi, Sicily, he first immigrated to Detroit in 1903, returned to Sicily four years later, and back to Detroit permanantly in 1910. He soon became embroiled in a bloody, treacherous gang war with the three Giannola brothers. He fought the better war and managed to eliminate two of the Giannolas, but instead of taking control of the Detroit Mafia, he found himself under attack by the survivors of the Giannola family. The war got so bad Vitale refused to leave his Russell Street home. When he finally did on August 18, 1920, shotgun assassins opened fire on him, killing his 18-year old son Joe and wounding him. A month later, John Vitale was betrayed and murdered a block away from the Michigan Central train station by his bodyguard Andrea Licato, who incidentally had helped betray Vitale's arch-rival Tony Giannola a year and a half before and would himself be killed three weeks later.

Bio by: Dennis Rice

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Dennis Rice
  • Added: 1 Sep 2003
  • Find A Grave Memorial 7814154
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Giovanni Vitale (24 Jun 1876–28 Sep 1920), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7814154, citing Mount Olivet Cemetery, Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .