“The Homicidal ‘Corpse’ – A Bloody Melodrama Enacted on the Sidewalks of New York”


Max Peter Haas, [Sidewalk gun battle, gunman and crowd, 35th St., New York], January 14, 1941 (2016.4.2)

7. Baxter, the Altman doorman, continues to hold Esposito’s foot as police come up. He and the spectators are looking at the arrival of another squad car. The policeman watches Esposito.


Max Peter Haas, [Sidewalk gun battle, Anthony Esposito and police, 35th St., New York], January 14, 1941 (2016.4.11)

9. Max Haas, photographer, swings his camera eye across the street where other police have grabbed snarling Anthony Esposito, Patrolman Cotter holds one of his three guns.


Max Peter Haas, [Sidewalk gun battle, Anthony Esposito and police, 35th St., New York], January 14, 1941 (2016.4.4)

10. Swarthy Anthony. Police Commissioner Valentine called him and his brother “mad dogs.” They have long police records. Their father served time, their sisters were shoplifters.


Max Peter Haas, [Sidewalk gun battle, Police and Anthony Esposito, 35th St., New York], January 14, 1941 (2016.4.6)

11. Anthony cursed and wept in an orgy of self-pity after police grabbed him. Later he and his brother turned mute, stared blankly when talked to and let their beards grow.


Max Peter Haas, [Sidewalk gun battle, Leonard Weisberg, police, and Anthony Esposito, 35th St., New York], January 14, 1941 (2016.4.1)

12. Max Haas took 12 pictures. This is the first time all have been published in sequence. His last picture shows Leonard Weisberg, heroic taxi driver.


PM, January 15, pp. 18-19 (Photos by Irving Haberman and John Muller)

2 Killed, 3 Shot in 5th Ave. Holdup… Here’s How It Happened

PM’s story of crime-doesn’t-pay tragedy at Fifth Ave. and 34th St. is narrated herewith in pictures, diagram and captions.

Joseph [Anthony] and Angelo [William] Esposito, brothers who also called themselves Di Stefano, are in the prison ward at Bellevue, may die in the electric chair for the shooting spree that cost the lives of a linen merchant and a policeman, and struck at the foundations of serval law-abiding New York families.

These savage gunmen are the gunmen are the sons of an Italian immigrant, Vincenzo Esposito, who came from Casteltermini, an inland town in Sicily, when Joseph was a baby. Esposito opened a grocery store in First Ave., near 12th St., died in 1927, leaving three sons Joseph [Anthony], Angelo [William], Emanuel, and a stepson Nino.

All were bad, vicious movie-type Dead-End kids, gun-toters in their teens, problems for the police. Emanuel and Nino are now in Sing-Sing.

For journalism’s most vivid story of Death in Fifth Ave., PM recommends its readers to today’s Daily News. Max Peter Haas, German-born photographer, was filling his Leica camera in his office in the European Picture Service, 353 Fifth Ave., when he heard shooting.

When he reached the street, two men were stretched out on the sidewalk, citizens were struggling with a man they’d captured. Mr. Haas snapped 14 [or 12] shots, rushed back to his office and fainted from the excitement. He revived in time to sell his pictures to the News for $750.
PM, January 15, 1941, p. 18


He’s not dead

Angelo [William] Esposito lies on 35th St. after the battle has subsided. He’s not dead. He was shot in the Leg during the chase and kicked in the head and face by passersby. Cops arrived in time to rescue him from crowds, Photographer John Muller, who took this picture, was on his way to a camera repair shop when the shooting began. He ran to his 40th St. office, grabbed some equipment and got back in time to make this photo. Angelo [William] Esposito was removed to the prison ward of Bellevue in an ambulance with a woman surgeon (right). Both he and his brother, who’s also there. are doing well. Patrolman Maher, who Angelo [William] killed, was about to retire after 29 years. Leonard Weisberg, the cab driver, is in critical condition. Mueller, the bank guard, is expected to recover. The Esposito brothers are hardened criminals. Both served time in Sing Sing. At Bellevue, police say, one brother snarled at a priest: “Go away. I was through with you guys 30 years ago.”
PM, January 15, 1941, p. 19

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1 Response to “The Homicidal ‘Corpse’ – A Bloody Melodrama Enacted on the Sidewalks of New York”

  1. icplibrary says:

    Big fans of dark fans in a flashbulb content

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