Ernest Rossi
Ernest Rossi
Ernest Rossi
Born Ernesto Rossi
May 27, 1903
Manhattan, New York, United States
Died April 17, 1931
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Cause Gunshot
Alias(es) Hoppy
Occupation Chauffeur
Parents Pasquale & Anna Rossi

Ernest "Hoppy" Rossi (born May 27, 1903 – died April 17, 1931) was a follower of Frankie Yale and friend and associate of Al Capone before he moved from Brooklyn to Chicago.

Birth and early life[edit | edit source]

Ernest was born on May 27, 1903 to parents Pasquale Rossi and Anna Costa at 250 Mott Street.[1] Immigration ship manifests show that his parents were recent immigrants to New York City from Naples, Italy.

Criminal background[edit | edit source]

According to police, Rossi had a long police record and was described as a "gangster and racketeer". He was a known follower of Frankie Yale and was a friend and associate of Al Capone when he lived in Brooklyn.[2]

Rossi was described by police as having a police record "as long as your arm", and by Auguest 1929, had been arrested four times without being convicted of a crime.[3]

Death[edit | edit source]

On April 17, 1931, Rossi was shot and killed in a Cadillac bearing the license plate "2-Z-2950" as it was stopped in front of the home of Police Captain Lewis J. Valentine at 1650 68th Street in Brooklyn. Witnesses stated three reports, at first taken as engine backfires, were heard and then two men leaped from the rear seat and ran down 68th Street.[2] When found, he was slumped over the steering wheel with six gunshot wounds, all from the rear. The motor of the car was still running with clutch disengaged and one rear door hanging open, indicating the car had come to a stop before the shooting.[4]

Motive and legacy[edit | edit source]

There is disagreement over whether Rossi's murder was a reprisal killing for the murder of Joe Masseria, boss of what is now called the Genovese crime family, two days before. Rossi was not seen as an important enough figure to be a target, but some past associates of Frankie Yale were murdered after the Masseria murder.[2][4]

An alternate explanation is that the murder was the result of a personal feud with Cattilo Grimaldi of 114 12th Street. Police believe Ernest had a hand in the shooting and wounding of Cattilo a month prior to his death.[4]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Rossi, Ernesto (1903). Certificate and Record of Birth #22784. Manhattan, New York, United States: City of New York. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "RACKETEER SHOT DEAD AT DETECTIVE'S HOME; Slain as Auto Stops in Front of Brooklyn House--Believed Reprisal in Joe the Boss Killing.". New York Times. 18 April 1931. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F3091EF83F5F11738DDDA10994DC405B818FF1D3. Retrieved 12 March 2011. 
  3. "Uale's Successor Slain, 2 Aids Shot While They Await Gang Peace Envoys". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. 28 August 1929. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "SLAYING OF SMALL RACKETEER LAID TO FEUD, NOT REPRISAL". Brooklyn Standard Union. 18 April 1931. http://www.bklyn-genealogy-info.com/Newspaper/BSU/1931.Death.April.html. Retrieved 12 March 2011. 

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