During the evening hours of August 16, 1918, a shooting occurred on the porch of 32 Bedford St. in Newark, New Jersey.
Joseph Volpe fell, mortally wounded. He was 27 years old and had two young children. The suspect, Salvatore Ammadile, casually walked away as others tended to the victim.
Newark police soon arrived and after determining they had a homicide on their hands, called for the legendary Newark Detective Thomas Adubato to help solve the crime.
Detective Adubato, home sick in bed, and set to begin vacation the next day, got up to assist his fellow officers.
Detective Adubato was known throughout the region, often helping with investigations in other states. He got the toughest jobs, and always seemed to break them. His reputation was so well known here that two detectives from Rome, Italy, who were in Washington D.C., on a federal matter at the time, had traveled to New Jersey to meet Detective Adubato before they returned home.
Upon arriving at the scene and developing leads, Adubato led a group of detectives to New York City in search of their man. Eventually their path took them to 336 E. 38th St. in the early morning hours of August 17.
It was there, on the fifth floor of a run-down apartment building, that gunshots rang out. Detective Adubato and NYPD cop Thomas Flaherty were both shot by the Newark homicide suspect. Adubato carried Flaherty down five flights of stairs to the Newark car they had arrived in and they were driven to Bellevue Hospital.
As doctors worked on him, Adubato repeatedly asked that his wife not be told because he didn’t want “her to worry.” About 11 hours after the Volpe homicide, Detective Adubato was pronounced dead. He was 47. Officer Flaherty would survive. The suspect was captured in the building and never saw freedom again.
On August 16, 2018, 100 years after the original shooting, Newark FOP Lodge #12 arranged to have seven members of the Adubato family, including two grandchildren and three great-granddaughters, along with members of the Newark and New York police departments, assemble where the building at 336 E. 38th St. once stood.
Bagpipes played and the story of Thomas Adubato was recited. A legendary Newark detective, Never Forgotten.