The Cesaro Badolato Murder On Factory Street, Watertown, N.Y. 1904
One of the early 20th century crimes committed in Watertown, N.Y. that garnered a lot of press was the Cesaro Badolato Murder on Factory Street in 1904. The incident made the front-page headline of the Watertown Re-Union the following day, Wednesday, October 5, with the bold headline “Italian Stabbed To Death In Street Fight.”
As the article would report–
In a clash of armed Italians in Factory Street Shortly after 10 o’clock Saturday night Cesaro Badolato, aged 28, was stabbed and almost instantly killed and Guiseppo Frorillo was wounded in a fight the right shoulder and the face. The police have several Italians locked up as witnesses or suspects.
Shortly before 10 o’clock Saturday night Badolato and Frorillo were in John McCutcheon’s saloon in Factory Street, where they met another Italian. They was a wordy quarrel and Badolato and Frorillo left the saloon and went acros (sic) the street and entered the grocery store of Tony Scullo in the York Block. They made some purchases and left the store. AS they reached the sidewalk they met the man with whom they had quarreled in the saloon and he had a party of half dozen or more other Italians with him.
Nearly all of them carried drawn knives, and they at once attacked Badolato and Frorillo. In a moment the men were stretch on the way in pools of blood, Badolato falling across the threshold of Schullo’s store. The attacking party dispersed and ran.
None of the suspects or witnesses that were rounded up had “more than a rudimentary knowledge of English,” the Re-Union reported, many of them refusing to speak, even through an interpreter.
One suspect apprehended, Michele Spano, would ultimately be charged and convicted of Badolato, a married man with children who was employed by Bagley & Sewall, who lived further down on Factory Street.
The Watertown Daily Times would recall the Cesaro Badolato murder in North Country Remembered series on June 1, 1976, noting that Spano served 12 years of a 19 year sentence, while Badolato was remembered “to have been an industrious, an honest and a peaceable man” by his employers and fellow coworkers.