Derby History Quiz

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Track & Field Star to the Godfather

Norman Bacchiocchi

When he was a student at Derby High School, Norman Bacchiocchi was a virtual one man track team for Derby High School. In the 1960 Housatonic League Track Meet, he was the top competitor in the meet while winning the high jump and javelin events, finishing second in the 220 yard dash and broad jump (now called the long jump), third in the discus and he was also a member of Derby's winning relay team. He was also a member of the chorus and glee clubs at the high school which may have been an indication of things to come.

In the 1972, he had a minor, but memorable part in the Academy Award winning movie, The Godfather. In the movie Bacchiocci sneaks up behind Luca Brasi and strangles him with piano wire.

However, there was also another incident which was an indication of things to come when Bacchiocchi was arrested days before his graduation in 1960 for a violent robbery in Torrington and he was sent to Cheshire Reformatory. At the time, Derby track coach - and future Superintendent of Schools - Angelo Direnzo said that Bacchiocchi "..was brilliant in track... and most of the top track colleges in the country were interested in him." He went on to say, " He was an easy boy to coach and never gave me any trouble."

He later attended the University of Bridgeport before heading to California.

In May, 1978 life imitated art when Bacchiocchi was murdered in Hamden. According to comments made by his father at the time, Bacchiocchi was a hairdresser living in California at the time and was in Connecticut trying to set up charter tours to Las Vegas. Connecticut Magazine recently reported that Bacchiocchi had gotten involved with gambling and associated with known mobsters. Eventually, three men were arrested for the murder. In reporting on the trial of two of the accused, the Norwalk Hour reported that the two claimed that the third defendant had shot Bacchiocchi because Bacchiocchi had mistreated him.


Correct answers were received from: Jenn Moffat, Mildred Fatterusso, Tony Cannici, Mary Seuss, John Rak, Marc J. Garofalo, Mark Williams, Robert Turschmann, Jack Sheehy, frank colonese, Joe Drauszewski, Frank Cwanek, Ann Searles, Carol Della Rocco, Nick from Terryville, Cyndi Poppa, ed gorzelany, Stephanie Anne D'Onofrio, Joseph DiRienzo, Fred Grant, Jim Bartlett, Lynne Anglace, Allan Brozek, bruce sill, Joe Dedo, Ann Mirisola, Howard Bradshaw, Jean (Graboski) Malone, Pat Walania, Anthony Ziomek, Edward D'Ambruoso, Bob Ahearn, Jim Norris, Joe Melewski, Anne Cesario Reilly, Cliff Dobson, Adam Coppola, Ellen Krokosky, Pat Shelton, Jack Skelding, Mark Melewski, Gene Petrowski, John Kowarik, jay berman, and Walt Mayhew.


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