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Gaetano Reina (1889 - 1930)

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Gaetano "Tommy, Thomas" Reina aka Riina
Born in Corleone, Palermo, Italymap [uncertain]
Ancestors ancestors
Son of [uncertain] and [uncertain]
Husband of — married in Manhattan, New York, New York, United Statesmap
Father of , , , , [private son (1910s - unknown)], , [private son (1920s - unknown)], [private daughter (1920s - unknown)], [private son (1920s - unknown)] and [private daughter (1920s - unknown)]
Died in Bronx, New York, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 29 Nov 2015
This page has been accessed 1,145 times.

Categories: Corleonesi Immigrants to New York | Lucchese crime family | Murder Victims | Corleone, Italia | Gangsters | Corleone Mafia Family Members.


According to the Wikipedia entry, which cites Critchley, Gaetano "Tommy" Reina is born in September 1889 in Corleone to Giacomo Reina and Carmela Rumore. Giacomo and Carmela married in 1891. No baptismal record for Gaetano has been found in the Corleone records, however, he may have been born in Calatafimi.

A secondary source supports Giacomo and Carmela as Gaetano's parents. The 1909 immigration records of Antonio Riina, who is the son of Giacomo and Carmela, indicates that Antonio is joining his brother, Gaetano, in New York. Antonio was born in Calatafimi, according to the manifest. Giacomo, a field guard, and Carmela both lived in Calatafimi when they married in 1891. Giacomo and Carmela are both natives of Corleone, and returned there by the time their son, Salvatore, was stillborn in 1893. It's possible Gaetano was born in 1892 in Calatafimi. Cascio-10 22:31, 11 April 2016 (EDT). The marriage record of Gaetano and his wife Angelina also list Giacomo and Carmela Rumore as Gaetano's parents.[1]

According to Critchley's book, Bernarda Riina, who marries Vincent Terranova, an associate of Tommy's, is Gaetano's sister. Three vital records for Bernarda confirm that her parents are Giacomo Riina and Giuseppa di Miceli. Gaetano and Bernarda are second cousins.

There is a Findagrave entry for Gaetano Riina which gives the dates 27 September 1889 and 26 February 1930 for his birth and death. His gravestone gives the years only.[2]

In 1909, Antonino Riina, age 18 (b. 1891), immigrates to New York, arriving on 15 October. His closest relative at home is his father Giacomo Riina, who lives in the Piazza Inferiore, Corleone. Antonino, born in Calatafimi, is a farmer/laborer joining his brother Gaetano Riina, who lives at 2256 107th St, New York.[3]

Gaetano marries Angelina Olivieri, daughter of Andrea Olivieri and Rosaria Streva, in April 1906 in Manhattan[1] and they have nine children, six boys and three girls. [4]Two of those children are known to die in infancy: Grazia, in 1910[5] and Giovanni, in 1917.[6]

Reina, a long time captain in the Morello crime family, forms an alliance with a competing crime family run by Giuseppe Masseria. He switches sides during the Castellammarese War, and the betrayal is punished by Lucky Luciano.

Gaetano is listed as "Thomas", an ice dealer, in the 1930 New York Census. He lives at 3183 Rochambeau Avenue, worth $40,000, in the Bronx with his wife, Angelina, and their sons and daughters. Their son Jack is also listed as an ice dealer.[7]

On the evening of February 26, 1930, Reina is shot in the head with a double barrel shotgun, on Sheridan Avenue in the Claremont section of the Bronx. He is killed instantly. Police found on his body a handgun and $804 in cash.[8][4]

Gaetano is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery.[2]

According to FamilySearch archives, Giacomo Riina ("Reena") dies at age 40 (b. 1890) on 26 Feb 1930, at 3183 Rochambeau Av in the Bronx, and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery. He is married, an ice dealer by profession. His wife's name is given as Angelina Reena.[9]

One daughter, Mildred, marries Mafia turncoat Joe Valachi, who brings down the Lucchese crime family. Their marriage has been described as a union of underworld convenience to cement gangland hierarchy families. There had been talk that Valachi was one of Gaetano Reina's assassins.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940," database, FamilySearch ( : 20 March 2015), Gaetana Reina and Angelina Olivieri, 23 Apr 1906; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,558,587.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Gaetano Riina. Accessed online 29 November 2015.
  3. Manifest accessed on website 11 April 2016.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Valachi's Wife Says He "Took Off" In '58." Niagara Falls Gazette, October 10, 1963. Accessed October 27, 2016.
  5. "New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949," database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 12 April 2016), Angelina Olivieri in entry for Grosia Reina, 19 Dec 1910; citing Death, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,323,264.
  6. "New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949," database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 12 April 2016), Gaetano Reina in entry for Giovane Reina, 07 Nov 1917; citing Death, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,322,416.
  7. "United States Census, 1930," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 10 December 2015), New York > Bronx > Bronx (Districts 501-750) > ED 679 > image 34 of 46; citing NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002).
  8. DeStefano, Anthony M. "Gangland New York: The Places and Faces of Mob History." Accessed online 29 November 2015.
  9. Death of Giacomo Reena, 26 Feb 1930, "New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949," database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 11 January 2016), Carmela Rumore in entry for Gaetano Reena, 26 Feb 1930; citing Death, Bronx, New York, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 2,171,144.

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Gaetano by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Gaetano:

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Gaetano is 25 degrees from Chet Atkins, 26 degrees from Edie Kohutek and 27 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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