Detectives attend Brennan funeral

Roxie Allen 1944

Philadelphia Daily News – March 10, 1944


As they prepared to take John Brennan on his last ride, Rocco Auletto, known to the fight world as Roxie Allen, was held in $5000 bail for further arraignment next Friday and detectives spread the dragnet for five men believed implicated in the gangland execution at 17th and Rittenhouse Streets.

Having “muscled in” on the gambling activities in Roebling, N.J., Brennan was mowed down by triggermen in an auto which police believe they recovered in this city today but they wouldn’t tell where or when.


Services were held in a funeral parlor near 30th and Reed Streets late today and detectives arranged to attend in the hope of finding rival gangsters making the underworld’s traditional gesture of respect to one they helped rub out.

Chief Magistrate O’Malley presided at the arraignment of Auletto, who said he was 34 and gave his address as Spruce Street near 3rd, Camden.

Detective Edward J. Foley explained Auletto was arrested as a suspicious character because he is known to have associated with gangsters on both sides of the Delaware river. He asked Auletto be held for further investigation. After the hearing, Foley and Detective Inspector George Richardson announced Auletto admitted having been Brennan’s bodyguard and that he rode with him on that fateful night from New Jersey to 12th and Locust Streets, where he alighted from Brennan’s luxurious car to have a bite in a restaurant.

According to Richardson and Foley, Auletto’s principal job was to keep a sharp eye on Brennan’s bankroll, which was mighty big at all times as he conducted a flourishing crap game near the Roebling war plant – a condition that irked a North Jersey gang of gamblers, who had a monopoly there until Brennan came on the scene.


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