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Vito Genovese and His Son Run Into Trouble in Freehold

On March 26, 1950, Philip Genovese, 18, son of Vito and Anna, driving his father’s car, crashed into a parked vehicle on Route 9 in Freehold, injuring five people. The initial newspaper report at the time erroneously stated that Vito was driving.  The next day, March 27, 1950, Anna moved out of the Atlantic Highlands mansion with the kids, returned to Manhattan, and moved in with her mother.  She would never call New Jersey home again.

On October 17, 1950, Anna filed a lawsuit in Freehold for divorce from Vito, alleging that he “deserted her” in 1948.  She dropped the suit a few months later when Vito began paying her $200 per week, which he did from March 27 through December 15, 1950, but then stopped.

May 31, 1951: Philip Genovese’s auto accident case was ready for trial.  Despite pleas from Asbury Park-based attorney Joseph F. Mattice that he had been retained only one day earlier to represent Philip Genovese, the judge sent the case to trial.  Mattice read a statement that the company that insured the Genovese automobile recently had gone into liquidation, leaving its policy holders with no protection.  Mattice said Vito had engaged the insurance company’s lawyers, but they decided not to appear in court, and so Mattice was asked to step in, but had not had time to prepare a defense.  Mattice and Philip walked out of the courtroom, and the case was sent to the jury with no defense in court.  A judgment for damages of $14,250 was handed down, which was later overturned on appeal for judicial mishandling of the trial.


Four Hurt Near Freehold. (1950). Asbury Park Evening Press, March 7, 1950, P. 2.

Judge to Decide Genovese Case. (1953).  Asbury Park Evening Press, March 4, 1953, P. 1, 2.

Genovese’s Wife Sues for Divorce. (1950).  Daily News (New York, N.Y.).  October 18, 1950, P. 24.

Return $14,250 Verdict in Case With No Defense. (1951).  The Daily Register (Red Bank), May 31, 1951, P. 1.

$14,250 Award In Crash Suit Upset by Court. (1952).  Asbury Park Press, January 3, 1952, P. 1, 2.

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