Thomas Patrick Farrell

Thomas Patrick Farrell, an officer with the Pittsburgh Police Department, was shot and killed on March 2, 1918, while attempting to make an arrest on the North Side. Farrell was struck by bullets from two different guns. There were no witnesses to the killing.

Numerous Italian immigrants were arrested in connection with the case. Three men allegedly tied to the Black Hand – Dominick Acqua, Alphonse Polifrone, and Francisco Zavaglio – were charged with murder in May 1918. The suspects were known to frequent the area of the shooting.

Polifrone was acquitted at trial in February 1919 due to an absence of evidence. No other trials were held.

Author: Bill Lofquist

I am a sociologist and death penalty scholar at the State University of New York at Geneseo. I am also a Pittsburgh native. My present research focuses on the history of the death penalty in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), Pa. This website is dedicated to collecting, analyzing, and sharing information about all Allegheny County cases in which a death sentence was imposed. Please share any questions or comments, errors or omissions, or other matters of interest related to these cases or to the broader history of the death penalty in Allegheny County.

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