by reprinting a mislabeled portrait
A 1931 photograph said by Italian periodical Piccola to be a likeness of New York-based Mafia leader Salvatore Maranzano has turned out to be an image of a German mass murderer.
It was hoped that the discovery represented a victory in the eighty-eight-year quest for a photo of the living Maranzano. (There are a couple of crime scene photos taken following Maranzano's September 10, 1931, murder.) But, like another photo long believed to be the Mafia boss (but a decade ago proven in Informer to be a mug shot of an English vice criminal), it turned out to be someone else.
Due to the efforts of a keen-eyed European crime historian, the recently discovered photo was traced to portraits made of convicted multiple murderer Peter Kurten. Some known photos of Kurten - often referred to as "The Monster of Dusseldorf" or "The Dusseldorf Vampire" - match the supposed Maranzano photo published in the November 10, 1931, issue of Italy's Piccola. The photos match in facial details, hat and clothing. One also shows identical facial positioning and seems to be the original full-length image from which the Piccola portrait was cropped.
|Image above from Criminal Encyclopedia|
We apologize to our readers for inadvertently contributing to the generations-old "Maranzano muddle."
Image at left from Murderpedia