This web site is under construction and obviously a work in progress.  However, this research project has been in the works for over 30 years.  Because of the horrific nature of my great grandfather's death his children rarely spoke of the event and details where difficult to extract.  Together with newspaper reports, family interviews and additional sources, I will try to piece together all information on this site.


On Saturday, April 10, 1909 Giuseppe Ficarrotta was gunned down as he arrived home around 8 o'clock in the evening.  The family had always claimed the murder was the result of an attempted extortion for money.  Giuseppe Ficarrotta was described as a wealthy wholesale and grocery owner and served as a member of the West Tampa City Council.  There was a possible connection to an earlier murder of B. LaBella.  The accused murderer of that case was Orniferio Chiarmante, who was believed to have gone to Giuseppe Ficarrotta for money to defend him or bribe officials which he was refused, so my great grandfather's assassination was arranged.


The funeral was held the day after the murder on Easter Sunday and was reported in the newspaper as the largest the city had ever seen.  Read some of the condolences letters sent to the family here.


His murder was never solved, however our uncles had always told me that Angelo Albano and Castrenze Ficarrotta, the two men lynched on September 1910 were involved.  My great grandmother Maria Nicolina Pirello Ficarrotta had blamed herself, thinking she aided the assassins by turning on the porch light as her husband Giuseppe arrived home.  She was so distraught that she remain in her room for over a year in mourning and also she always wore black until the day of her death.


Additional information and comments are welcomed, please email me.


Click here to read articles about the murder as reported in the TAMPA MORNING TRIBUNE 1909 - 1910