City of Strangers (Book 1, Chapter 1)

Scene. Small Apartment in Brooklyn; Dive Bar

Monday, January 5, 1920

8:47 PM Connor Boudelaire receives a call. Sgt Telam from HQ – Incident at Italian restaurant Hester & Baxter in Little Italy. Heads down to the bar to pick up his partner, Leslie Devaul, who’s probably a few drinks in already so early in the evening. The two detectives take the train across town to The Cantivolla Serata restaurant.

Scene. The Cantivolla Serata Restaurant

On the Scene: Conley & Gibbs, beat cops; Frank Mitchell, Senior Medical Examiner; Jessica Carbess, Assistant Medical Examiner

The Details: Gunfight, earlier in the evening. Shootout between streetgangs. The restaurant is already secured. Seven injured have been taken to the Bellevue Hospital. Fancy restaurant on the northwest corner of intersection. Car parked out front. Gunshots heard.

Inside the Restaurant: Bloody footprints, scuff marks. 5 bodies. Normal men’s suits. 1 has slightly nicer suit. Weapons on floor.

  • Victim 1: Closest to door. Pistol at floor. Large entry wound consistent with shotgun blast. Shot by victim 2.
  • Victim 2: Second closest to door, in booth. Shotgun on floor. Shot victim 1. Two pistol bullets in the chest, 1 in the face.
  • Victim 3: Four bullet holes, small caliber- upper scapula, lower right abdomen, two in chest. At least 2 people shot at him. Pistol at floor.
  • Victim 4: Face down on table in ravioli. Three bullet wounds – all came from behind.
  • Victim 5 (Antonio “Rock-Eye” Paladino): Seated at table, head slouched. Four bullet wounds – more or less from the front, could come from one or more.  Allegedly associated with Morello Crime Family. Carrying wads of cash. Pocketwatch- gold, high quality
  • Unknown Shooter: Killed Victim 4 & 5?; 9mm luger semi-automatic or submachine gun,

Other details…

  • Back wall has a lot of bullet holes. Riddled with holes.
  • 2 distinct shell casings from revolvers, 1 shotgun shell
    • 38 special
    • 9mm luger – use to riddle back wall with bullets

As the two detectives leave the restaurant they’re hounded by reporters. Felicity Fickle from the Daily Herald asks, “was this street gang warfare?” Baudelaire doesn’t give any good answers.

Felicity Fickle, Reporter of the Daily Herald

Scene. Bellevue Hospital

It’s late. Nurse Pierce greets the Boudelaire & Devaul. Officer Walsh & Doyle guarding two rooms with suspected gangsters.

Seven Injured

  • Linda Paladino, sent home
  • Sonny Paladino, sent home
  • Valerie Lambeaux, older woman, sent home
  • Granddaughter Lambeaux, grand-daughter, sent home
  • Nadia ???, server at restaurant, hit by shotgun pellets, sent home
  • …, still in surgery, involved in the shooting
  • …, room 312, just got out of surgery, unconscious, involved in the
  • shooting, young, took his picture

Scene. Paladino Home

57 Perry St. Greenwich Village. It’s late. Two burly goons turn the detectives away. Mrs. Paladino is sleeping. They’ll have to try again in the morning.

Scene. NYPD Headquarters

The two detectives pull an all-nighter to work through the clues. After a few Boudelaire falls asleep. Devaul continues flipping through case files for a few more hours before crashing in one of the unoccupied cells as Boudelaire already took the good couch.


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