Friday, January 15, 2016

Who Killed Gus Rizzo?

A young man, Gus C. Rizzo, was interred in 1924 in the St. Louis Archdiocese Cemetery of Calvary, Section 12, Lot 1657.
He is laid to rest with his parents, Charles and Rose (Quattrocchi), siblings Anthony and
Charles, and grandparents,  Frances and Michael Quattrocchi.

Gus was wounded in the stomach with a bullet during a very mysterious affray.  He was taken to City Hospital and passed at 3:40 a.m. on April 19.  He never mentioned how or why he became a victim, nor did he reveal who might have committed this crime.

The image of his death certificate can be found on the Missouri Digital Heritage site :
Young Gus was only 16 years old.  Such a shame.  He was questioned by doctors and police about the incident.  He told them of three "unknown" men who had driven by him in an automobile.  But, he seemed to change his story, making conflicting statements.

His cousin, James Russo, was the person who had taken him to the hospital.  James also reported another story which did not  match any information that young Gus had relayed.  The police went to the site of the shooting where they found a large pool of blood, in addition to two caps and two bullet holes in a nearby fence.  The location was by the home of James Russo.

James Russo was the brother of "Shorty" Russo, a black hand mobster believed to have murdered a man just three days prior to the death of young Gus.  An accomplice of his was Vincent Spicuzza, also believed to have been dabbling in the black hand business.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch covered the story in a short three paragraph article on April 19, 1924.

As of yet, I have not found the names of the men who slayed young Gus Rizzo.  If you have any further information on this case, please add it to the comments section.


  1. Interesting read! I love family mysteries.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Sharon,

    I want to let you know that your blog is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

    Have a great weekend!

  3. You should read Daniel Waugh's book on the gangs of St. Louis.