Published The New York Times August 28, 1927 • With the discovery late last night of another body, that of a young man who had been shot twice through the heart, and lying in the gutter in front of 78-39 Seventy-sixth Street, Glendale, Queens, detectives who were investigating the murder of the unidentified man whose headless body was found in the woods near Whitestone are working on the theory that both men may have been victims in a Queens gang war.
For a time yesterday and the night before it was thought that the man found murdered near Whitestone was Charles Patti, a restaurant keeper of Whitestone, who disappeared on Tuesday. Patti, however, telephoned to friends that a “mistake had been made” and that he was very much alive.
The second unidentified victim was found by Henry Rosbach of 77-46 Seventy-first Street, Glendale, who telephoned the Wyckoff Heights Hospital and Dr. Judd responded. Dr. Judd said that the man had been dead several hours.
Although he was lying in a pool of blood detectives declared that they did not believe he had been shot where his body was found. It is their theory that his murderers had taken him to some isolated road in Queens and then muffling their weapons in his clothing had shot him twice. Both bullets had entered through his back.
The police found $35 in bills and a woman’s wristwatch in one pocket and a notebook containing several telephone numbers in another. Through these numbers they hope to learn the identity of the dead man.
When Patti disappeared he left a note for a friend, saying that he was “tired of paying alimony” and was going to “beat it.” He had been separated for some time from his wife, who lives in Manhattan at an address the police refused to reveal. Patti told his friends last night that he had gone to Philadelphia and returned to New York. He said he was telephoning from the vicinity of Times Square, but refused to give more specific location.
Woman’s Claim Disproved
At one time yesterday the police thought the murder victim had been identified, but the identification proved to be a mistake. Mrs. Helen Marmaro, 28 years old, of 4217 103d Avenue, Ozone Park, L.I called at the morgue and said the body was that of her husband, James Marmaro, 26, a chauffeur, who disappeared from home Monday. After considerable questioning she admitted that her husband had been arrested twice in 1924, on charges of grand larceny and assault and robbery. He was discharged in both cases, but his fingerprints were on file at Police Headquarters. By comparing them with fingerprints of the dead man it was proved that the murder victim was not Marmaro.
About fifty feet from where the body was found policemen discovered yesterday what appeared to be a man’s tongue in the stump of a tree across a road from the body. This would indicate that the victim was killed by a band of criminals for giving information against them to the police or to a rival gang. The slitting of a “squealer’s” tongue is a common method of revenge among Sicilian criminals. The tongue was taken to Flushing Hospital, where physicians said it seemed to be that of a human being. An analysis will be made by Dr. Howard Neail, Assistant Medical Examiner.
The body was taken to the City Morgue at Bellevue Hospital. Dr. Alexander Gettler, City Chemist, will make an analysis to see whether the man had been poisoned.
Three blocks from the place where the body was found the police found an abandoned automobile of the roadster type. From the license number of the car it was learned that it had been stolen from a Broadway used car company on June 13. This would strengthen the theory that the man was killed by a gang of professional criminals, who commonly use stolen cars for the commission of crimes and then abandon them to avoid being traced by the license number or description of the automobile.
A witness, whose name the police would not disclose, told them that he passed the scene on Wednesday and did not see the car, but that he did see it there on Thursday, in the same position in which it was found. The machine had been run into the sumac bushes near the road and had been stripped of almost all its accessories.