For nearly two decades, Luis Gonzalez cloaked himself in the trappings of an ordinary life.
Family man, hard worker, upstanding citizen: All were apt descriptions. Murder suspect was not - until this week.Gonzalez, whose real name is David Galletti, was arrested Wednesday in South Carolina, in a 1976 slaying in Brooklyn. A routine fingerprint check revealed his true identity, unknown even to his wife and two children, police said.
Galletti, 42, was extradited Thursday to New York City. He was arraigned on murder and other charges in state Supreme Court in Brooklyn and ordered held without bail. He is due in court again on Monday.
Authorities said the fugitive evaded the law for 19 years by skillfully reinventing himself and ending up in Hemingway, S.C., a town of 800 people about 30 miles west of Myrtle Beach.
New York homicide investigators knew Galletti as a drug-using street tough whose yellowing mug shot - taken in 1975 after he allegedly assaulted a police officer - was taped to their office wall.
"He turned his whole life around," detective Bobby Alongi said. "We expected the guy in the picture. We found this clean-cut executive. He looked great."
Galletti is accused of being one of two masked men who, in October 1976, sprayed a group of people with gunfire on a Brooklyn street, killing Leutisher Johnson, 52, and injuring three others. Police believe an argument between Johnson and Galletti's sister sparked the shooting.
Galletti fled to Puerto Rico, leaving behind a wife and children, authorities said. He returned to the United States in the early 1980s.
Using the Gonzalez alias, he remarried and started a second family. He also landed a job with Aramark Food Services, a catering company, eventually becoming a manager in a Miami office, police said.
Then, early this year, Galletti made a crucial mistake. Aramark gave him access to a company account at a Citibank in Miami, for which the bank required fingerprints.
Galletti complied, and the prints were sent to FBI headquarters. A routine check matched the prints to Galletti's.