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Lucky Luciano Buried in New York

Feb. 7, 1962 - The Lucky Luciano story ended in New York City today. The body of the exiled gangster (pictured in 1931) was brought back from Italy for burial in his family’s vault in St. John’s Cemetery, Middle Village, Queens. He died two weeks ago of a heart attack in Naples, where he had lived for the past 16 years. An acknowledged leader of rackets in the New York area, he had had a career marked by violence and flamboyance that was halted in 1936, when Thomas E. Dewey prosecuted him as a white slaver. The cargo plane that delivered his body to Idlewild Airport was met by only two mourners — his brothers, Bartolo and Joseph. Also present were about 50 FBI and narcotics agents and New York state and city policemen. Luciano had been suspected of involvement in the illegal narcotics trade while in exile. Funeral services for Luciano had been held in Italy and there was no ceremony for him today at the cemetery. He was interred in a vault on consecrated ground, a privilege that was denied several years ago to an associate, Albert Anastasia, who was murdered by other gangsters. As the guards closed the bronze doors of the vault, a small stained-glass window in the rear was briefly visible. It depicted a bearded saint leaning on a shepherd’s staff. A newspaperman stopped Luciano’s brother Bartolo as the mourner’s car was about to leave and asked him if he knew the identity of the saint in the window. “I don’t know,” the brother replied. “I’m not acquainted with saints.”

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