Visited Colozzi’s Home
said Colozzi had been closely associated during the last 10 days
with John Lenkowski,
22, a fugitive wanted here in connection with the murder of
of them were convicted of similar offences- thievery, and they
apparently were hooked up together lately. I could not say
whether either of them ever was In the numbers racket."
police, however, seemed certain Colozzi was shot as a result of
a new “numbers war”. They said they had Information that the
dead man apparently was in the employ of a Camden numbers bank.
was given the report that local numbers barons are attempting to
“muscle in” on the “Philadelphia play” when Irving
Bickel, 34, who admits being friendly with Klosterman
was arrested yesterday.
Murphy said, declared he had been contacting numbers writers in
Philadelphia to inform them of a “new setup” and invite them
Sergeant Benjamin Simon
and Detective Edwin Mills questioned Bickel in Philadelphia
yesterday and said he admitted “knowing Klosterman”
but denied he worked for him.
and Mills were in Philadelphia again today working on the
Colozzi shooting to ascertain whether there was any connection
between the slaying and shooting of Klosterman
on Sunday. Simon
said he would investigate to learn if the slain man ever had
been in the employ of Klosterman.
theory advanced yesterday by police that Klosterman
had been shot by killers hired by Atlantic City gamblers brought
on an expression of surprise from shore police.
Captain Frank Feretti said he did not know of any gambling house
near the Union Station in which Klosterman
may have been interested. He said no request had “been made by
Camden police for an inquiry at the resort.”
was murdered at Eleventh and Carpenter Streets, South
Philadelphia, last night. The top of his head was blasted by
shotgun slugs to end1a
career in crime that extended over 30 year, with at least 30
body was found lying across the trolley tracks in a darkened
section near the Bartlett Junior High School.
of the Seventh and Carpenter streets station a few minutes
before received an anonymous telephone call that "there's
been a shooting at Eleventh and Catherine.” The caller hung
squad detectives under Acting Captain William C. Bugle rounded
up a number of persons in the neighborhood but could locate no
one who admitted he saw the shooting. That was what the police
expected, for the section has been the scene of unsolved gang
killings in the past.
Engle admitted the possibility that Colozzi, may have been
allied in some way with Jersey gamblers attempting to poach on
Philadelphia territory, and
had met sudden death for that reason.
Captain Engle described the murdered man as a “cheap thief"
he wouldn't deny the possible link to the threatened outbreak in
a numbers war between rival operators as evidenced by the Klosterman
won't say there’s a tie up, and I won't say there's not”
said Engle. “We can't tell, right now”.
the story told Captain Murphy, head of Philadelphia's vice
squad, by a Camden man known to be a pal of Klosterman,
put further credence in the rumored attempts at revision along
the numbers front
man Is Bickel of a hotel at Delaware Avenue and Market street,
who yesterday was held in $1000
bail for a hearing next Tuesday by Magistrate
Thomas Connor in Philadelphia’s central police court on
suspicion of being connected with the numbers racket. He was
picked up in Germantown.
Murphy said Bickel admitted to him he was contacting various
numbers writers for the purpose of having them pool their
admitted verbally he had the names of several Philadelphia
writers and that he was trying to line up the boys,” Murphy
said. “He is trying to coerce them with a new numbers set-up.
That will cause a revival of gang warfare”.
the murdered man was never known to have had theatrical
connections police said he often boasted he was an entertainer
in a New York cabaret.
of Philadelphia Cop
body of Colozzi, brother of a Philadelphia policeman, was
identified by the officers wife at the Pennsylvania Hospital,
Eighth and Spruce Streets. Five bullets had penetrated his
said Colozzi lived at 113 Westmont Avenue, Westmont, since his
last release from prison, some time during September 1939.
lived with his wife Rose and most of their eight children.
Colozzi’s pocket, when a police ambulance arrived at the
scene, was a card bearing his name and the Westmont address.
was one of two brothers of John Colozzi, whose police record was
said to be longer even than Joe’s, and is being sought.
of Haddon Township said Colozzi was known to them only as an
"innocent” junk dealer, who plied his trade picking up
old car parts in and around the section/
last brush with the law according to the Philadelphia police
records, was last Spring when he was implicated in a dress
robbery. He was freed in September after serving part of his
Camden city and county detectives continued their investigations
into the pump gun shooting of Klosterman,
who remained in critical condition at West Jersey Hospital.
was shot down in front of his saloon
at Mount Ephraim Avenue and Mechanic Street at 10:00 PM
Sunday as he went to the street to drive his car to a garage.
The would-be killer sped away.
In Jail Long
had run afoul of the law since early school days, but he often
boasted that “with all the friends I got, I can't stay in jail
long." He invariably managed to regain freedom, only to
renew his jostles with police.
stiffest sentence he ever got was on December 13, 1934 when
Judge Frank F. Neutze
sent him and an accomplice to state prison for robbing a coat
factory at 7 South 3rd Street four months before.
In passing sentence on the much arrested “Manayunk
Joe”, Judge Neutze
put aside pleas the prisoner was the father of eight children
and sent him “up the river” for a term ox six to seven
"You're a typical criminal and a menace to the
public" Judge Neutze
said in a searing rebuke. "A light sentence won't do you
any good. Your record is one of the longest shown to me since l
have been on the bench. You represent a type that is better off
behind bars, for outside of prison you are a menace to the
public. I’ll go the limit with you”
Colozzi merely nodded, apparently thinking of which “friend”
he would call on this time to get him out.
Joe had established a second-hand tire shop on the White Horse
Pike at Lindenwold and escaped serious penalty as police held a
continuous club over his head for suspected escapades.
one occasion he diverted his talents to another
“profession”- extortion. By some means he obtained a police
badge in Clementon township.
A few months later he and
several other members of the police department were
rounded up for
wholesale extortion of money from motorists and truck drivers
were the day of Prohibition, and the White Horse Pike was a
frequently used. Highway for passage of beer trucks between
Philadelphia and Camden and Atlantic City and other sea shore points.
extortion continued among other motorists most of them guilty of
petty violations. There were times when Colozzi took “anything
they had”, police said.
police record dates back to1904, when as a a child of 12 he was
committed to the Glen Mills, Pa. Home for Boys for petty
larceny. He served 19 months.
1909 he was given a two-month sentence In the Montgomery county
.jail at Norristown PA, after another conviction for larcerny.
followed a series of brushes with the law, with Colozzi landing
behind bars a dozen times, but invariably obtaining freedom
before the expiration of his term.
record continues: 1914, committed to Philadelphia County Prison,
larceny, three months;
1915, for receiving stolen goods, Eastern Penitentiary, four
years and six months;
1919, at Newark, larceny, sentenced to two to seven months and
pardoned in December, 1920.
10-year stretch followed during which his name failed to appear
on police records.
1929, State Police of the Hammonton barracks arrested him for
extortion, but he was acquitted in Camden County Criminal Court
May 90, 1930.
1930 he was arrested in Trenton for breaking and entering and
sentenced to a year and six months in Mercer County jail.
1933 he was taken in custody by the U.S. Marshal at Trenton. No
disposition of the case is listed.
in 1933. he was arrested for Larceny in Philadelphia, and no
record is known further of the case.
the same year Camden police arrested him for attempted larceny.
October 1933, he was jailed
by U. S. Marshals for violation of the Dyer Act,
interstate transportation of a stolen auto, but was placed on
five years’ probation.
July. 1934 he was arrested in Camden for breaking and entering
and in December of the same year was sentenced to six to seven
years in State Prison.
last time he appeared in local police records was less than a
year ago, when he was arrested on a detainer for violation of
federal parole and sent to Mercer County jail. A few days later
he was freed.