KCPD Memorial   Lest We Forget
Police Officer
Joseph Raimo
Kansas City, Missouri Police Department
End of Watch: Tuesday, March 28, 1911
Age: 33
DOB: September 23, 1879
Tour: 1 year, 9 months
Cause of death: Gunfire
 

Late in the night of March 28, 1911, Officer Raimo was walking at the corner of 4th and Holmes, when he was ambushed and shot to death by two men. The men's weapons, two sawed-off shotguns, were discovered nearby - the same type weapons were also discovered following a female shopkeeper's murder. No one in the neighborhood would speak to police in regard to Officer Raimo's murder and the murder went unsolved.

In February 1911, Officer Raimo, 33, was off-duty and in a saloon in "Little Italy," when he overheard three men at a nearby table discussing the unsolved murder of a female grocery store owner, Mrs. Paulina Pizano, who was shot as she exited her store at 301 Campbell. Later in the evening, the men realized who Officer Raimo was and from that time forward, he felt that he was in danger from the Italian Mafia. Shortly before his death Officer Raimo announced to several of his colleagues that he was about to announce the suspects in the murder of Vincenzo Lasaldo, who had publicly been shot down in a crowd without any identified witnesses. Officer Raimo began receiving death threats in the form of written Black Hand notes and several officers with similar builds to his were shot at with the identical evidence - sawed off Belgian shotguns - found at each scene.

Four Sicilians were arrested for investigation from local pool halls and a search of their room at 512 East Fourth Street recovered dynamite caps and two rare Belgian shotguns of the same type as the shotguns found at the murder scene but no record of prosecutions in the murder have been discovered.

Officer Raimo, born in Italy - immigrated to the United States in 1892, was appointed to the police department on June 20, 1909 and commissioned for three years on July 23, 1910. For three months prior to his death he was working "without uniform" with Frank Dowdell and assigned to Captain Flahive. Captain Flahive eulogized Officer Raimo as one of the best officers on the department. Officer Raimo had worked on a number of Italian crime cases involving murder and extortion drawing a badge of honor, the ire of the criminals of Little Italy. He was survived by his wife of twelve years, Genevieve (Genoveffa), and four children, two boys, Frank and Bernard; and two girls, Josie and Fannie; all less than 10 years old.
Interred: Mount St. Mary's Cemetery.

Article by Brent Marchant