Organized Crime Figure. He immigrated to St. Louis from Italy in his late teens. He became head of a mob which specialized in extortion and bootlegging. He constantly fought with other local gangsters for control of the city’s rackets. In January 1928, he and two of his men were ambushed after one of their extortion rounds. The two accomplices were killed and Fresina was shot through the lower hips. Thereafter, because of his wounds, Fresina carried a pillow with him for when he sat down, leading sarcastic police to dub his mob “The Pillow Gang.” Carmelo Fresina remained a force in the St. Louis underworld until May 1931, when he was found shot to death across the river in Illinois.
- October, 04, 1892
- May, 07, 1931