Freaky Flint History with Joe Schipani : Italian Feud March 1st, 1918

Flint is well known for its modern violent crimes but Flint's history is filled with little known stories that read stranger than fiction. Gruesome murders, weird accidents, and violent deaths. Join us every Thursday as Joe Schipani details some of the odd but true deaths he found in Flint's archives.

Italian Feud March 1st, 1918

Joe Sopo, a married man with five children, lived on St Johns Street in Flint, in the area known as the Italian blocks.

One evening Joe got into a feud with some friends at his brother’s house.

The guys started arguing about women and money.  After a few drinks Joe stormed out in a rage.

The next morning as Joe was leaving for work he was met by those friends. The guys decided to open fire on Joe.

Joe was found crouched on his hands and knees on the sidewalk outside his home…dead.

The first bullet went right through his head.  He was killed instantly.  He also had gunshot wounds in the eye, the right shoulder and the right arm.

When the Police arrived they followed footprints in the snow to the Italian boarding house across the street.

They found August Marchesani, Frank Lucatelli, and Joe Fabrise in a room changing their clothes. Ladovice Degaspari was hiding in the closet.

After the arrest, the police searched the boarding house inside and out and found the automatic pistols that were used to kill Joe. 

~ Joe Schipani is the Executive Director of the Flint Public Art Project and the FFAR Project Assistant at the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.  Find him on Facebook at 

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