Stefano Luconi


On 20 September 1910, law enforcement officers in Tampa arrested two Sicilian immigrants, Angelo Albano and Castenge (alias Castenzio and Costanzo) Ficarotta. They were charged with complicity in what ultimately turned out to be the fatal shooting of J. Frank Esterling, an accountant for the Bustillo Brothers and Diaz Cigar Company, a large cigar manufacture that employed some 600 workers in West Tampa. While Albano and Ficarotta were being taken to the county jail, at a time when Esterling was still alive though hospitalized in critical condition, a crowd of twenty-five to thirty people stopped the horsedrawn hack by which the two suspects were being moved, seized the two prisoners, transported them to a nearby grove, and lynched them. As a desecrating insult to the corpses, a pipe was placed in Ficarotta's mouth and a notice was pinned to Albano's belt. Written in black ink, the notice read "Beware! Others take note or go the same way. We know seven more. We are watching you. If any more citizens are molested, look out-Justice."1