Despite all this, no one has been indicted for Tresca's death, and the investigation appears to be at a standstill. At first the police work on the case went ahead with remarkable speed. But when it came to putting things together, the job of the District Attorney's office, the inquiry apparently ran into a blank wall. Why? Was the slow-down due to apathy? Or to official incompetence? Or was some political influence, from one direction or another, an element in the situation?
Soon after the killing, stories were widely current that Galante had been taken into custody prematurely because of the conflict among the authorities. On January 18, 1943, Commissioner Valentine's office denied that there had been friction between the D.A.'s office and the police. But on that day the Daily Mirror said: "High police officials didn't want Galante picked up. Their plan was to place him under constant surveillance until they had a complete record of his movements and his assoicates. At Police headquarters yesterday, an official who declined to be quoted said the arrest order came after some one outside the Department got panicky. The result is that Galante, wise in the ways of evading police investigation, has kept his mouth shut tightly so that there is no way of knowing whether he is involved in the killing."
Conflict between the District Attorney's office and the press over the Tresca case was cited in June of this year in a signed story by James Parlatore in the newspaper PM. He wrote about an argument between Mr. Hogan and David Charnay, Daily News reporter, over the Alfred E. Langford murder mystery.
"Every time we have murder case," Hogan said, "we get in trouble with the press."
"The trouble with you is, you don't know how to handle yourself and the cases," Charnay answered.
"Apparently," Parlatore stated, "Hogan was referring to the Carlo Tresca case, which remains unsolved after three years, and the Patricia Lonergan case, which the police cracked. In both these murders, Hogan was criticized severely by reporters for his refusal to co-operate."
Declaring that Mr. Hogan was "having friction with police and reporters" on the Langford case, Parlatore quoted some comment on the District Attorney's methods by a police official, who said:
"If that guy downtown would only let us work this case the way we want to, we'd have better luck... We can't make a move unless the DA's office is notified before we take any step."
Louis A. Pagnucco is an assistant district attorney on Mr. Hogan's staff. He is interesting to us here for two reasons: 1. For nearly two years he was in charge of the Italian end of the investigation of the Tresca killing- clearly by far the most important end; 2. He was closely associated with Fascists in the past, was honored by them, and he has fulsomely praised Mussolini's regime. Here are the details about that, made public now for the first time.
In 1929, as a senior in the College of the City of New York, Pagnucco