Anthony "Babe"

ANTHONY "BABE" PARADISE was born Anthony Paradiso in Pennsylvania on June 15 of 1893 or 1894 to John and Mary Paradiso. The family, which included brothers James V. Paradise and Paul Paradise, had moved to Camden by the summer of 1900. The family then lived at 916 South 3rd Street. By 1906 the Paradiso family had moved to 326 Spruce Street in Camden. By 1914 they had moved next door, to 324 Spruce Street. "Babe" Paradise had by the wed.

When "Babe" Paradise registered for the draft on June 5, 1917 he was married with two children. He was living with his parents at 324 Spruce Street in South Camden, not far from where he worked, as a bartender, for Vito LaMaina, at 824 South 3rd Street, at South 3rd and Division Streets. Also at home was his younger brother, Paul. John Paradise was working as a laborer for the City of Camden. His sons listed their occupations as construction laborers when the census was enumerated.

"Babe" Paradise had another occupation, and that was dealing narcotics. He was arrested in 1922 for selling narcotics, and was sentenced to a year in prison. He was again arrested in January of 1928. Both times he was identified as heading major drug 

rings in Camden and South Jersey. In 1928 he was sentenced to four years imprisonment at Trenton State Prison in Trenton NJ, but was released in 1931. "Babe" Paradise was arrested on number charges in Camden in 1932. In October of 1934 he was arrested on burglary charges and was convicted on multiple counts of receiving stolen goods the following year. He received a 10 to 14 years sentence. 

Anthony Paradise applied for parole in August of 1940. By April of 1942 he had been released. He appears to still have been living in Camden, at 607 South 4th Street, when the 1947 Camden City Directory was published, and was still at that address as late as 1949. He passed sometime after the death of his brother James in 1957.

Taking a route entirely different from his brother, James V. Paradise spent most of his working years as a member of the Camden Police Department, serving from1918 to 1943.

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Charge Detective Murry Protected Vice


Howard Fisher - James E. Tatem - Elisha A. Gravenor - E.G.C. Bleakly 
Anthony "Babe" Paradise - "Pye" Calletino
William Draper - Tony Latorre -
Ira Hall - George V. Murry - Nino Mercandino
Harry "Dutch" Selby - Gus Davis - Albert "Salty" Cook - Ned Galvin - James Wilson
Rosetta Blue - Deena Howard - Minnie Draper - Harry Knox - Blanche Martin
Jesse Smith - Antonio Pelle - Ethel Murray - Paulo Genovese - Nazzara DeVecches
South 2nd Street - South 3rd Street - South 4th Street - Line Street - Pine Street
Ann Street - Baxter Street - Sycamore Street



Criminal Prosecution of Murry, Latorre, Draper and Hall Looms as Result of Sensational Hearing by Police
Committee- Dope' Sellers Linked With Detective and Policemen in Lurid Testimony at Crowded Session- Predict Speedy Action

Criminal prosecution of Detective George Murry and Policemen Tony Latorre, William Draper and Ira Hall for their alleged "protection" of vice in the downtown underworld loomed today. At a sensational hearing before the police committee of City Council last night it was unanimously decided to turn the mass of evidence against the four men, gathered by City Solicitor Bleakly, over to Prosecutor Wolverton's office.

At the hearing, Policeman Hall was summarily dismissed from the department, classed as a "moral degenerate" and roundly flayed when, after he acted as his own attorney, he was cross-questioned by every member of the police committee.

Halll was the only one of the quartette of accused officers who made any attempt to defend himself. Murry, Latorre and Draper resigned several days ago. At the police committee session last night it was the sense of the members that their resignations was a tacit admission of guilt and that their mere removal from the police department is not sufficient punishment for their underworld activities.

The grand jury convened on Tuesday of this week. The next step will be the presentation of evidence gathered by Mr. Bleakly against the four men to the prosecutor's office who, in turn, will turn it over to the grand jury. Quick action may be expected, it was predicted today in official circles.

Policeman Hall's friendship for Anthony Paradise, charged with peddling "dope", was brought out at last night's hearing.


E.G.C. Bleakly - Charles A. Wolverton - Edward West - Howard Fisher
George Murry - Ira Hall - William Draper - Anthony Latorre
Anthony "Babe" Paradise - Minnie Draper - Jessie Smith
2nd Street -
26th Street - Pine Street


John B. Kates - Walter Keown - George Ward - Howard Fisher
Anthony "Babe" Paradise - "Pye" Calletino
George Murry - William Draper - Tony Latorre - Ira Hall
Harry "Dutch" Selby - Gus Davis - Albert "Salty" Cook - Ned Galvin - James Wilson
Sycamore Street - Pine Street - Rosetta Blue - Deena Howard

Camden Courier-Post - January 2, 1928

3 Others Held by Camden Police as Leaders in Dope Peddling Gang
Tell of Making Buys With Auto Used as ‘Silent Salesman’

Captured after a lengthy investigation, Anthony ‘Babe’ Paradise, of Camden has confessed to being the head of a narcotic ring operating throughout South Jersey, it was declared yesterday by Captain John Golden, head of the city detective bureau.

Paradise also admitted that he is a drug addict, Golden said, making the fact known when he became ill in his cell at the city jail and calling for Dr. W.G. Bailey, who has been treating him for the drug habit.

With three other men, who are accused as accomplices, Paradise is being held for a preliminary hearing in Police Court tomorrow morning. The four men, Golden said, will probably be held without bail pending grand jury action and be committed to the Camden County Jail. At the jail, detainers will be lodged against the quartette by Federal narcotics agents, who co-operated with city and county authorities in the investigation, which resulted in the arrests.

Golden declared that city detectives had purchased more than $500 worth of drugs from Paradise and his agents, in obtaining evidence against the ring, which authorities said reaches into Atlantic City and other South Jersey communities as well as Camden.

The three men arrested with Paradise are James Mucci, 18 years old, of 324 Stevens Street, Rocco DeCord, 21 years old, of 221 Spruce Street, and Andrew Hill, of Locust Street, near Kaighn Avenue. According to the detectives, the base of operations of the “ring” was in the Third Ward. Mucci and DeCord were arrested in a barbershop at Third and Locust streets, three blocks from the Wiley M. E. Church where the pastor, Rev. John S. Hackett, recently exposed vice con­ditions existing in the Third ward and assailed the Department Public Safety for laxity. The arrest of Paradise and the others is believed to be a result of the result of the clergyman’s scathing sermons.

Paradise and Hill were arrested several hours before the other two men. Fearing that they get word to other members of the “ring” police took the two men to Merchantville police headquarters, where Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Varbalow and Chief County Detective Lawrence T. Doran were waiting. Statements were obtained from the two, and meanwhile Mucci and DeCord were taken into custody. Paradise, who is 34 years old, served a year In State Prison five years ago for selling narcotics.

Detectives George Ward, Louis Shaw, and Thomas Cheeseman, of the city, and M.H.  Shapiro and J.H. McFadden, of the federal office in Philadelphia, arranged the purchase of a ‘deck” of heroin from Paradise, and ‘caught him with the goods’  when he met them at Nineteenth Street and River Road, near his, home at 927 North Nineteenth Street.

Paradise was in his expensive automobile when arrested. It was the machine he had used to distribute narcotics to his agents and addicts during the past few years, the detectives said.

Decks  of dope which sold for $1.50 each, police said, were placed in the automobile which was driven to a certain point as prearranged, and then Paradise would leave it parked, the detcrt1ves said.

Peddling Scheme Bared

At a  stated hour an agent or addict would approach the machine, take the “dope” inside, and leave money as payment. Paradise would return and collect the money received, it was said.

That the ring extended to Philadelphia, New York, and other large Eastern cities was indicated by the many times the automobile was parked at Camden bridge plaza for hours, when exchanges would be made, the detectives said.  

Camden Courier-Post - January 3, 1928


Declared to have confessed that he headed a narcotic "ring", which conducted an organized business in the sale of drugs throughout South Jersey, Anthony "Babe" Paradise was to have been given a hearing in Police Court today. His attorney, Samuel Orlando, appeared in the court and waited for a time this morning. Later because he had business elsewhere, he asked and received a postponement of the case until tomorrow. Detectives say Paradise had confessed the sale of drugs, but the widely known Third Ward character now declares he is the victim of a "frame-up" and does not know the three men arrested with him.


February 9, 1928

Anthony "Babe" Paradise was arraigned in Criminal Court, Judge Samuel M. Shay  presiding.

Camden Courier-Post - February 29, 1928
Jury Out Less Than Hour; 'Babe Paradise' Up Next Week

Convicted by a Criminal Court jury of conspiracy and the possession and sale of narcotics, Joseph Colanduno, 29 years old, 431 Walnut Street, said by police to be a member of a powerful dope ring in Camden, will be sentenced by Judge Shay tomorrow morning.

The jury deliberated less than an hour before returning a verdict of guilty on seven indictments, marking the end of the first of a series of "dope" trials scheduled to be heard by Judge Shay. The most important hearing will be that of Anthony "Babe" Paradise, who has been indicted in eleven counts on narcotics charges, six of them true bills accusing Paradise and James Mucci with conspiracy to sell narcotic drugs. Another alleged member of the gang, Rocco DeCord, 221 Spruce Street, who recently pleaded guilty to six indictments and who turned state's evidence at yesterday's trial, will be sentenced later. Still another alleged "dope runner", Alex Frumento, is being sought by police.

DeCord and three confessed addicts testified against Colanduno at the trial yesterday. DeCord said that he had been hired by the defendant and Frumento to sell small packages marked "H" and "C" to certain men who had been introduced to him. DeCord declared that he did not know what the packages contained, nor did he ever use dope.

The drug users, Nolan Clark, 28 years old who gave no address; George "Gyp" Haines, 29 years old, 527 Spruce Street, and Andrew Hill, 20 years, Locust Street and Kaighn Avenue, declared they had brought dope from Colanduno on various occasions.

Colanduno, who until last December operated the Primrose Inn at Barrington with Frumento as his partner, denied that he ever possessed drugs or hired DeCord. His arrest, he said, was a "frame-up" engineered by his "enemies". His wife Hazel and his wife's grandmother, Mrs. Laura Brakeman, who lives with Mrs. Colanduno, both testified that they never had seen DeCord or the three addicts buying drugs at the inn, as they declared on the witness stand.

James Gatti, 18 years old, of Philadelphia, who is serving a six-month term in the county jail for robbery, took the stand on Colanduno's behalf. He testified that DeCord had told him in the jail that the confessed dope peddler's statement implicating Colanduno had been forced from him by police.

Assistant Prosecutor Joseph A. Varbalow stated that the Paradise case probably would be disposed of next week with the return from Florida of Samuel P. Orlando, attorney for the alleged "Dope King of Camden.", 

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