Joe Raimo and the Black Hand Part 1

May 22, 2017

Kansas Police Officer Joe Raimo was born September 23, 1879 in Naples Italy. He came to the United States, in 1892, when he was 13 years old.  The Raimo family lived in Chicago until 1897. Joe and his mother moved to Kansas City, where he married, Genaverffa (Jennie) DiFeo on July 3, 1898. They were married by Father Cesare Spigardi at her parent’s home in the Italian neighborhood at 910 Missouri Ave. Their first child, Frank Joseph Raimo was born May 26, 1900. They would have six children altogether, but only 4 lived, Frank, Josphine, Benjamin and Fanny

Joe Raimo was hired as a Kansas City on June 28, 1909 and he was the first Italian police officer hired. Chief Wentworth Griffin assigned him the North End or the Italian neighborhood. He actually lived in his patrol area at 521 Charlotte.

In December, 1910, a Paulina Pizano, who runs a North End grocery store at 301 Campbell, received a black hand letter asking for $50.00. The next month, in January, 1911, another shopkeeper, Vincenzo Lasiado, was killed in front of his store at 412 East 4th St. Joe was investigating these murders when he received a threatening letter from the Black Hand. In February, 1911, Joe was off duty in a saloon over by the city market when he overheard three men talking about these murders. As they talked, one man looked around the saloon and recognizes Joe. After that, he had have informants that are warning me of a plot to have him killed. and it got a threatening letter. It is translated here.

“Mr Raimo, Traitor, the others want money and you know it and this notice brings you death. Beware! The last notice!”

In this episode Gary and Aaron interview the ghost of Joe Raimo and tell about the murder and how his son, Frank, found the Black Hand letter and gave it to Kansas City Star  reporters.

Thanks to Alex Virgo for his impersonation of Officer Joe Raimo. Click here to see a performance.
Don’t forget to listen to Aaron on the Big Dumb Fun Show, live on Monday nights.
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