- 1904-1963, predominant 1922-1923 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
2 cm of textual records. -- 16 photographs
Name of creator
Emilio Picariello, 1879-1923, was born in Capriglia, Avellino, Italy. In 1904 he married Marianino Maria Marucci, 1883-1976, who was born in San Marco, D'Cavoti, Italy. They had seven children, Stefano "Steve", 1905-1971, Angelina Rose "Julie", Carmine Mario, 1914-1966, Luigi "Louie", Charles "Chuck", Albert, 1918-1985, and Florence Eleanor "Helen" (Matson), ca. 1922-. The family moved to Fernie, British Columbia in 1911, and subsequently to Blairmore, Alberta, where Emilio's family moved into and ran the Alberta Hotel. He also owned and operated many other businesses in Blairmore. After prohibition became law in Alberta in 1916, he became a bootlegger, running illegal alcohol across the Alberta-British Columbia border through the Crowsnest Pass, and over the foothills from Sweetgrass, Montana. On the afternoon of September 21, 1922 his son, Steve, age 16, suspected of transporting liquor, refused to stop when ordered to do so, and was shot in the hand by Alberta Provincial Police (APP) Constable Steve Lawson. That evening, Emilio and Florence Lassandro (or Filumena Losandro), Mrs. Picariello's housekeeper and nanny to her children, went to see Lawson to get information as to Steve's condition and whereabouts. They were involved in a confrontation with Lawson during which the policeman was killed. Emilio and Florence were convicted of murder and hanged at Fort Saskatchewan jail on May 2, 1923. They are buried in an Edmonton cemetery. There are still doubts about their guilt. For further information see Neil Watson's entry, "Filumena (Florence) Sanfidele Lassandro Costanzo", in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. XV, at www.biographi.ca.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Purchased from Helen Matson and gift of Gerald Vaughn, 1982-1989.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
- The fonds consists of letters to his wife while in prison (1922-1923); marriage certificate (1904); wife's passport (ca. 1930); family photographs (1910s-1963); and a notebook with some business accounts (1924-1926).
- The letters were written to his wife and family while in prison waiting to be hanged for the murder of police officer Steve Lawson. Some of the letters were written on the reverse side of letters from Picariello's lawyers and bank.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
No restrictions on access.
Conditions governing reproduction
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
The material is primarily in English, with a small portion in Italian.
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
No finding aid, but the letters, marriage certificate, passport and some of the photos have been digitized. https://glenbow.ucalgary.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/m-6242.pdf
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Title based on contents of records.
NA-5067 is a copy of PA-2945
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
Genre access points
Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
Level of detail
Dates of creation revision deletion
Tuesday, May 08, 2018