11 October 2010

The Suicide of Salvatore Colella (1898)

Curiosity gets me into more trouble than I care to admit.  This time it got me into a subscription over at NewspaperArchive.com ... which I soooo didn't need, but was still worth it ;-)

Remember the recent post on Salvatore Colella - suicide by gunshot wound in Boston?  Here's the rest of the story from the Tuesday, May 31, 1898 edition of the Boston Globe.

"Insane jealousy led to an attempted murder and to the self-destruction of the would-be murderer on Hanover st last evening.

Salvatore Colella, 31, of 36 Prince st is the name of the suicide, and Caterina Di Rossa, 36, of 28 Prince st, a splendid physical specimen of Italian womanhood
(Oye! Where was the editor, napping?), is the name of his would-be victim.

The woman had known Colella five or six months, and he had recently proposed marriage to her on several occasions, but she refused to have anything to do with him.

About 10 p.m. Sunday she entered the house in which she lived and found Colella in the entry.  He seized her and renewed his proposals, but she broke away from him and managed to reach her own room, to which he forced his way.  She ran out of another door, and seeking a policeman on the street, had Colella put out of the house.  She says Colella was under the influence of liquor at that time.  She also stated that she had lived in the Prince st house since she returned from Italy, where she had visited.

Last night she went to the house of a friend at 17 Clark st.  While there Colella entered and renewed his overatures for marriage, at the same time reproaching her for bringing the policeman into the house Sunday night.

To get rid of the attentions of Colella, Miss Di Rossa left the Clark st. house, she says about 7:35 and started for her home.  When she had reached the corner of Clark and Hanover st, she saw that she was being followed, and a woman, who gave her a push, exclaimed "Run away; run away!"

She had gone but a few steps further when a pistol shot rang out and a bullet struck her a glancing blow on the left side of the neck.  Thoroughly frightened she started to run, when a second shot was heard.  This bullet was not for her, however, as Colella had pointed the gun at his own head the second time.

The bullet inflicted a wound in his right temple which caused his death less than 10 minutes later, while at the Hanover station.

As Colella was staggering from the effects of his wound he succeeded in firing a third shot, which went into the air and almost brought down reserve officer Towle of division 1, who had heard the first shot, and had nearly reached Colella just as he shot himself.

So close did Colella hold the weapon to his head that his hair, which hung over his forehead, was burned and the flesh scorched.

Officer Towle at once summoned the patrol wagon, and Sergt. Fessenden and the dying man and the wounded woman were hurried to the station.

Dr. Dunn was there upon their arrival and it was instantly seen that Colella could live but a few minutes.  He died just five minutes after being placed upon the operating table.

The woman's injury proved to be but a flesh wound, barely cutting into the muscles of the neck.  It was dressed and she returned to her home.

Undertaker Tinkham took charge of Colella's body, and medical examiner Harris was notified.

Colella, who had been in this country several years, was a barber, and at one time owned a shop of his own at the North end.  He disposed of this some time ago, and lately had been working in a barber shop in East Boston."


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