On March 30, 1932, Vito and Giovaninna “Anna” Petillo (nee Vernotico) were married in New York. Anna ran nightclubs and gay bars in Manhattan during these years, some of which were not on the mafia books.
It was the second marriage for both, with Anna’s first husband having been murdered just days before. Joe Valachi, a soldier in the Luciano crime family working for Vito, said that in 1932, Gerard Vernotico had been strangled on a rooftop in Greenwich Village by two men who were part of the Luciano family. A second body was also found on the roof, believed to have been an innocent bystander who accidentally witnessed Vernotico’s murder.
Twelve days later, Vito Genovese married Anna Petilla Vernotico, the grieving widow of Gerard.
The couple raised three children: Marie Vernotico Genovese, Anna’s daughter by her first husband; Nancy Genovese, Vito’s daughter with his first (and late) wife; and Philip Genovese, son of Anna and Vito.
Frasca, Dom. (1959). King of Crime: The Story of Vito Genovese. Crown Publishing. Available: Dana Library, Rutgers University, Newark campus.
Maas, Peter. (1968). The Valachi Papers. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, N.Y.
Composite image of cropped pre-1926 photos of Anna & Vito, consistent with Fair Use Doctrine.