Item iw-glen-20 - Emilio Picariello's letters

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Emilio Picariello's letters

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GLEN glen-1857-iw-glen-20

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  • 1922-1923 (Creation)
    Picariello, Emilio

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27 letters (37 p.). -- 2 items (5 p.)

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Picariello, Emilio

Biographical history

Emilio Picariello, 1879-1923, was born in Capriglia, Avellino, Italy. In 1904 he married Marianino Maria Marucci, 1883-1976, who was born in San Marco, D'Cavoti, Italy. They had seven children, Stephano "Steve", 1905-1971, Angelina Rose "Julie", Carmine Mario, 1914-1966, Luigi "Louie", Charles "Chuck", Albert, 1918-1985, and Florence Eleanor "Helen" (Matson), ca. 1922- . The family moved to Fernie, British Columbia in 1911, and subsequently to Blairmore, Alberta, where Emilio's family moved into and ran the Alberta Hotel. He also owned and operated many other businesses in Blairmore. After prohibition became law in Alberta in 1916, he became a bootlegger, running illegal alcohol across the Alberta-British Columbia border through the Crowsnest Pass, and over the foothills from Sweetgrass, Montana. On the afternoon of September 21, 1922 his son, Steve, age 16, suspected of transporting liquor, refused to stop when ordered to do so, and was shot in the hand by Alberta Provincial Police (APP) Constable Steve Lawson. That evening, Emilio and Florence Lassandro (or Filumena Losandro), Mrs. Picariello's housekeeper and nanny to her children, went to see Lawson to get information as to Steve's condition and whereabouts. They were involved in a confrontation with Lawson during which the policeman was killed. Emilio and Florence were convicted of murder and hanged at Fort Saskatchewan jail on May 2, 1923. They are buried in an Edmonton cemetery. There are still doubts about their guilt. For further information see Neil Watson's entry, "Filumena (Florence) Sanfidele Lassandro Costanzo", in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. XV, at

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  • The material is in English except for the passport which is in Italian.

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  • General note: Consists of letters written by Emilio Picariello, Italian immigrant, to his wife and family, while in prison waiting to be hanged for the murder of police officer Steve Lawson. Some of the letters were written on the reverse side of letters from Picariello's lawyers and bank. Includes these two items: Picariello's marriage certificate (1904), and his wife's passport(ca. 1930).

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