Francesco Cirofici (1887 – April 13, 1914) aka Frank Murato aka Dago Frank was a New York City criminal, who along with Harry Horowitz, was responsible for the July 16, 1912 murder of gambler Herman Rosenthal outside the Hotel Metropole.
Francesco Cirofici was born in 1887 in Italy. He worked as a steam fitter as well as being a member of the Lenox Avenue Gang. Before his arrest in connection with the Rosenthal killing, he had been arrested only once: in 1905 on a burglary charge. He was imprisoned for this in the Elmira Correctional Facility. In 1907, Cirofici's name appeared on a list released by the NYPD of gamblers known to make a practice of cheating steamship passengers.
Arrest and trial
Cirocifi was arrested in connection with the Rosenthal murder on July 25, 1912. It was rumored that Cirofici had been betrayed to the police by the owner of the Dante Café, James Verrella. Verrella was murdered on July 30, 1912 in retaliation for his supposed betrayal. Cirofici was convicted of the Rosenthal killing after 25 minutes of jury deliberation on November 19, 1912. He was sentenced to death on November 26, 1912 for the Rosenthal killing along with Charles Becker, Harry Horowitz, and "Lefty Louis Rosenberg" by Judge John W. Goff.
The four gunmen appealed their conviction, but Cirofici's guilty verdict, along with the verdicts of Horowitz and Rosenberg, were affirmed on February 25, 1914, with Becker winning a new trial. In March 1914, Cirofici's sister, Mary Cirofici, collected signatures for an appeal for clemency to New York State Governor Martin H. Glynn. Glynn denied the appeal on April 7, 1914. On April 10, 1914, Cirofici's lawyers submitted five affidavits from five alibi witnesses.
Two days later, on April 12, 1914, Cirofici's mother and sister attempted to see Glynn to beg for clemency. Glynn refused to allow them into his office, stating it wouldn't be fair as he hadn't seen the mothers of any of the other men convicted. Cirofici reportedly confessed his guilt in the killing 2 hours before he was executed in the electric chair in Sing Sing Prison on April 13, 1914, despite warden James M. Clancy's attempt to grant him a temporary reprieve to allow Glynn to evaluate Cirofici's confession.
- "Rosenthal Case". The Lewiston Daily Sun. July 24, 1912. Retrieved 2010-11-15.
- "Gunmen". Boston Evening Transcript. November 20, 1912. Retrieved 2010-11-15.
- "'Dago' Frank in the Police Net". New York Times: 1. July 26, 1912.
- "Look Out for Card Sharps on Transatlantic Steamers: There Are a Number of Professional Gamblers On the White Way to Europe and Only the Captains Know Who They Are". New York Times. July 21, 1907. p. 11.
- "Kill Betrayer of Dago Frank". New York Times. July 31, 1912. p. 1.
- "Gunmen Guilty in First Degree: Jury Takes Just One Ballot and in 25 Minutes is Ready to Announce Verdict". New York Times. November 20, 1912. p. 1.
- "Gunmen Near Becker in the Death House: Four Sentenced to Die in Week Beginning Jan. 6". New York Times. November 27, 1912. p. 9.
- "Gunmen Ask Delay: Want Argument on their Appeals put over till October". New York Times. June 6, 1913. p. 1.
- "Becker Wins New Trial on Errors, Gunmen to Die". New York Times. February 25, 1914. p. 1.
- "Gunmen to Make Last Plea Today: Commutation or Reprieve Asked for in their Petition to Gov. Glynn". New York Times. March 30, 1914. p. 5.
- "Glynn Denies Gunmen's Appeal: Refuses Commutation or Reprieve to the Murderers of Rosenthal". New York Times. April 8, 1914. p. 1.
- "New Move Planned to Save Gunmen: Attempt to be Made to get Stay for 'Dago Frank' through Alibi Affidavits". New York Times. April 10, 1914. p. 1.
- "Glynn Denies Last Appeals: Refuses to see Mrs. Cirofici". New York Times. April 13, 1914. p. 1.
- "Denies Confession will Help Becker: Whitman Holds it is Not Evidence and will Ask Tomorrow for New Trial Next Month, Say Others 'Dago Frank' has Proved that the Conspirators Lied on the Stand, they Assert". New York Times. April 14, 1914. p. 1.
- "Riley Stands by Clancy: Warden at Last Moment Sought Reprieve for 'Dago Frank'". New York Times. April 16, 1914. p. 3.