Pasquale "Pat Titters" Natarelli was born to Italian immigrant parents in Buffalo on July 9, 1910. His father Valentino (born Feb. 18, 1881) was from Chieti in Italy's Abruzzo region, along the Adriatic Sea. His mother, Rose Panaro (born June 15, 1885) was from Bella Basilicata in the southern Italian province of Potenza.
Natarelli was first arrested at the age of 14, when he was charged with petit larceny. His juvenile arrest record grew to include six additional arrests for petit larceny, burglary and vagrancy.
|Pasquale Natarelli in 1931|
A 1931 burglary conviction resulted in a 90-day sentence at Erie County Penitentiary. The prison stay did little to deter him from a life of crime. By the end of 1933, his record included seven additional arrests for robbery, burglary, grand larceny and vagrancy.
As a member of the DiCarlo Gang, Natarelli became acquainted with Frederico Randaccio, John Cammilleri and the Pieri brothers. With them, he engaged in shaking down the operators of craps games and bookmaking parlors for protection payments.
On Jan. 17, 1934, four witnesses identified Natarelli as a member of a group of three bandits who held up a dice game in the rear of a Tonawanda, NY, tobacco store. Thirty patrons of the game were robbed at gunpoint of $2,400 in cash. Sam and Joseph Pieri also were arrested for participating in the holdup but were released after witnesses failed to identify them. Later investigation showed that the holdup was arranged by Joseph DiCarlo, described as "an individual who exercised considerable influence in gambling rackets in the Buffalo area" to discipline a gambling operator who failed to contribute a share of his profits.
Natarelli was sentenced to 15 years following conviction on a reduced charge of second-degree robbery. He was released early on Nov. 22, 1943, but sent back into Attica State Prison on Aug. 12, 1948, for violating parole by associating with Frederico Randaccio. His prison sentence expired Feb. 16, 1949.
During the 1950s and early 1960s, Natarelli was a key figure in the Buffalo gambling rackets supervised by Randaccio. He served 90 days in prison following a 1951 conviction for possession of policy slips. Eight years later, he was arrested in state police raids of western New York gambling establishments. He and Sam Frangiamore were convicted of conspiring to contrive a lottery and were sentenced to six months in county prison.
|Pasquale Natarelli in 1962|
By 1965, Natarelli was one of boss Stefano Magaddino's top lieutenants.
He was arrested in Toronto in 1965 with Albert, Eugene and Paul Volpe. The four men were charged with conspiracy and with extorting 100,000 shares of silver-mining stock from the president of a brokerage company. The case against them resulted in three mistrials and finally an acquittal.
Natarelli was taken into custody in 1966 following the Buffalo Police raid of the Blue Banner Social Club gambling parlor and again seven months later in the raid of Panaro's Lounge. In June 1967, he was arrested on federal conspiracy charges resulting from planned robberies in West Virginia and California.
Natarelli and codefendants Randaccio, Stephen Cino, Charles Caci and Louis Sorgi were convicted on Nov. 22, 1967, of violating the federal Hobbs Act, which made it a crime to conspire to obstruct interstate commerce. Natarelli and Randaccio were sentenced to maximum 20-year prison terms. The Magaddino Mafia organization was staggered by the loss of its top two Buffalo administrators.
Following his parole, the FBI learned that Natarelli had been moved into an underworld position in Niagara Falls. He had been granted permission to take a percentage of all gambling revenue in the city and was said to be shaking down larger bookmakers for his share of their profits.
Natarelli died April 22, 1993, at the age of 82. His final resting place lies a short distance from the grave of his lifetime underworld associate Frederico Randaccio.
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