According to Social Security records, Nicholas Scarduzio was born on June 16, 1899, although census records and newspaper accounts indicate him as a year younger. Born to Italian immigrant parents in Pennsylvania, the Scarduzio family migrated to Camden’s Eighth Ward by 1930. Members of the family became involved in politics, real estate, and law, occasionally finding themselves entangled with law enforcement.
During the 1930 Census, Nicholas Scarduzio resided with his brother Anthony at 427 Emerald Street in Camden, both serving on the city’s police force at the time.
Politics in the Eighth Ward was known for its intensity. Joseph “Mose” Flannery, a prominent political figure engaged in various underworld activities, was fatally shot on September 14, 1928. Present during the incident was Joseph “Cuzzy” Scarduzio, a relative of the Scarduzio family, who was held as a material witness.
In 1934, Nicholas Scarduzio led a “victory parade” following the primary election on May 17th, which aimed to determine control of the Republican Party in Camden County. However, the parade turned into a riot when the participants halted in front of a bar owned by opposing candidate William Tansky. Gunshots were fired, resulting in multiple arrests, and Nicholas Scarduzio reportedly endured severe beatings.
By the late 1930s, Nicholas resided at 419 Webster Street. On December 24, 1939, Nicholas was in the company of his older brother Andrew, another political worker in the Eighth Ward, when they attempted to enter a taproom in Bellmawr, NJ, long after closing time. Tragically, Andrew Scarduzio was shot and killed. A month later, Nicholas Scarduzio was arrested without bail following a shooting incident at a restaurant on 1806 Broadway. County Detective Wilfred Dube executed the arrest on the orders of Prosecutor Samuel P. Orlando. An investigation was initiated by County Chief of Detectives Lawrence Doran, and Camden Director of Public Safety Mary W. Kobus instructed Chief of Police Ralph Bakley to conduct a separate probe based on the incident reports filed by Camden Police Officers Carl Fredericks and Oliver Morgan.
In April of 1944, Albert “Swifty” Scarduzio, another relative of the Scarduzio family, was questioned in connection with the gangland murder of Vincent “China” Scola, who had been implicated in the sale of counterfeit gasoline ration stamps.
When the 1947 City Directory was compiled, Nicholas Scarduzio resided in an apartment at 1709 Broadway. He remained a resident of Camden until his passing in August of 1968.
John Lenkowski attracted the attention of law enforcement, in February 1928, when he was only 12 years old. In the 1930s, he gained a reputation as one of Camden’s prominent “bad boys.”
Andrew Scarduzio was a political player in Camden who was killed at a bar in Bellmawr NJ.