Graveside Recap August 19th 2011 – Resurrection Cemetery
As I’m sitting here smoking some Peterson “Old Dublin” pipe tobacco, in the bent style briar pipe I bought a while back. I’m reminiscing and thinking, about yesterdays trek to Resurrection cemetery. While there aren’t very many “notable” personalities who reside in the cemetery. Some of the notables who call Resurrection home, include actor & comedian Frank Nastasi, who is best known for his work on the children’s television show Lunch With Soupy starring local and nationally recognized actor Soupy Sales. Others include a survivor of the RMS Titanic disaster, along with several police officers who’ve lost their lives in the line of duty.
One of the hidden gems I find fascinating about Resurrection. Is that there are several Detroit organized crime figures buried within the gated confines of this suburban eastside cemetery. Being that tracking down the gravesites of mafioso’s around the country is a specialty I hold dear to my heart, I’ve come to respect this aspect of the grave hunting hobby.
As per the usual when I have a list of gravesites in a particular cemetery to find. The first thing I do when I arrive at the cemetery, is stop by the office to pinpoint the exact locations in the cemetery of who I’m finding. Fortunately I obtained the locations of the six mafia members on my “to find” list from the Mt. Elliott Cemetery Association website. So all I had to do when I arrived at the cemetery, was to stop by the office to get maps.
So let’s get started with the tour. First on the list was Carlo Licata who was an “alleged” Detroit mafioso. His father was Nick Licata who at one time was the Los Angeles crime family boss. Carlo, was also the brother-in-law to Detroit crime family boss Jack Tocco. Unfortunately for Carlo, for some odd reason he took his own life in 1981.
The next graveside I paid my respects to was that of Dominic Licavoli. Buried a mere fifteen or so steps away from Carlo Licata, he was the youngest of the Licavoli brothers, managing to keep a low profile throughout his life, Dominic was “alleged” none the less to have been involved with his older siblings various activities. He married the daughter of Joe Zerilli. The only thing I could come up with while during some Google searching is that he was accused of bribing a government official, he dodged the charges, until being sentenced to prison in 1983, released from prison in 1987, he passed away in 1996 from complications of cancer.
Continuing on the next graveside or rather crypt I paid my respects to was that of Salvatore “Sam” Lucido. Born in Detroit, Lucido’s criminal rap sheet would include over 32 arrests with 8 convictions for various offenses. Early in life Lucido, started out as a bootlegger, but eventually moved on to gambling after the repeal of prohibition. For a better understanding on Lucido’s wheeling & dealings I invite you to check out this page,
After visiting Salvatore Lucido’s graveside crypt I checked out the crypt of Peter “Bozzi” Vitale. Vitale, was the man behind the Detroit Partnership’s endeavors into the waste management industry back in the 1960s. Vitale, also had various illegal gambling interests as well. Not to mention his waste hauling business, was the “possible” disposal point for many unsolved Detroit underworld murders. If your interested in learning more about Vitale, and his criminal enterprises you should check out this page.
Closing out the day the last gravesite I visited was the crypt which holds the remains of Salvatore Finazzo. Born in 1908 his criminal record dates back to 1926. For the most part his criminal record is squeaky clean, aside from a few legal issues. Meanwhile in 1994, Finazzo passed away at the ripe old age of 86.
There was one more gravesite I wanted to find, while I was at Resurrection, this past Friday August 19th. But there was a funeral in the section I was about to go strolling around. So out of respect I stayed out of that particular area, because the last thing I wanted to do was go near the funeral, then whip out my camera, that would not look good on my part, and it would not look good for other grave hunters. So after Friday unfortunately being cut short, I went back today, and had no such luck finding the gravesite of Nick Ditta, I think I might have overlooked it. So in the coming weeks I’m gonna go back and search again. But I’ve got reason to believe Mr. Ditta might be unfortunately unmarked.