Bonanno Family History

The Bonanno Family is one of the “Five Families” that controls the east coast with the hub of activity in New York and New Jersey. They are part of the nationwide criminal syndicate known as the Mafia or Cosa Nostra.

Joe Pistone

The Bonanno’s have been around since the 1880’s but are most recently known for their infiltration by FBI agent Joseph Pistone aka Donny Brasco. During his time undercover Pistone collected enough information to nearly bring the family down and cost several people their lives as retribution.

The Bonanno’s originated in the 1880’s in the town of Castellammare del Golfo in Trapani, Sicily. In the early 1900’s several top members of the family and other families relocated to New York to continue their criminal enterprises. Here they formed the Castellammarese gang in a community rich with Italian immigrants and in particular Castellammarese immigrants in Brooklyn.

Early History

In 1927 the Castellammarese gang hijacked truckloads of illegal liquor from a competing gang led by Joe the Boss Masseria. The hijacking touched off a full out war known as the Castellammarese War. The Castellammarese, led by Salvatore Maranzano wanted to take over all the illegal action in New York. He led the gang in a fearless attack against the less organized Masseria family by uniting with other top mobsters in the city. Soon he had Joseph Bonanno, Carmine Galante, and Joseph Profaci in his corner and recruited a Masseria ally, Gaetano Reina to join them. Together, they were unstoppable and after Reina’s murder in February 1930, several members of the Masseria family switched sides to Maranzano. By 1931, other top mobsters Lucky Luciano, Tommy Gagliano, and Tommy Lucchese all joined Maranzano. On April 15, 1931 Luciano men murdered Masseria and ended the Castellammarese War.

After Masseria’s death, Maranzano wasted little time declaring himself Boss of Bosses and outlined a peace plan to all the Sicilian and Italian Mafia leaders throughout the United States. His reorganization created the “Five Families” of New York: the Profaci family under Joseph Profaci, Gagliano family under Tommy Gagliano, Mangano family under Vincent Mangano, Luciano family under Lucky Luciano, and the Maranzano family led by Maranzano.

Maranzano and Luciano’s mutual respect for each other was short lived. Maranzano grew uncomfortable with Luciano’s ambitions and his partnership with Jewish gangsters Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel. Maranzano plotted with the other leaders of the five families to have Luciano murdered but Lucchese alerted Luciano to the threat. On September 10, 1931 Jewish gangsters murdered Maranzano giving Luciano control of the Cosa Nostra. He quickly replaced the “Boss of Bosses” role with “The Commission” that would regulate the families’ affairs and keep the peace. He appointed Joseph Bonanno as boss of the Maranzano family making him the youngest leader in the nation. Luciano was appointed chairman of The Commission and in all actuality controlled the mafia in the United States.

As boss, part of the responsibility is to grow the family. Bonanno directed his family into several lucrative rackets and expanded the family west to California, and Arizona. He also led his family using the old school traditions set in Sicily, Italy such as “honor” “tradition”, and “respect”.

Although the five families sat on the Commission, it didn’t mean they didn’t compete against each other. Through the years, the Bonanno family grew in strength and with the help of powerful ally Joseph Profaci, boss of the Profaci family, the other families didn’t pressure the young boss. But after Profaci’s death in 1962, Bonanno faced formidable opponents in Tommy Lucchese and Carlo Gambino who were looking to expand into Bonanno’s territory. Bonanno also had growing discontent in his own family.

Although the boss didn’t take part in day-to-day activities, several family members became upset when

Joseph Bonanno

they thought Bonanno spent too much time at his second home in Tucson Arizona. This led to a civil unrest commonly referred to by the media as the “Bannana Wars”. During the war, Bonanno conspired with Profaci successor Joe Magliocco to murder several other mob leaders, including Magaddino, Carlo Gambino, Tommy Lucchese and for good measure, west coast boss Frank DeSimone. During their preparation, Magliocco gave the contract to kill Lucchese and Gambino to one of his top hit men, Joe Colombo. However, Colombo alerted Gambino and Lucchese to the plot. It wasn’t long before the Commission voted out Bonanno and Magliocco from their seats and their families. After years of hiding and a one-time attempt to take back the family in 1964, Bonanno contacted the Commission and officially retired in 1968. The Commission accepted his request and gave the control of the Bonanno family to Natale “Joe Diamonds” Evola but he died a few years later in 1973 leaving Phillip “Rusty” Rastelli as the new boss.

Rastelli took over as boss during a rough time in Bonanno history. The Commission had become tired of the infighting with the Bonanno’s and stripped the family of their Commission seat, and internal struggles came to a boiling point when three renegade capos, Phillip Giaccone, Alphonse ”Sonny Red” Indelicato, and Dominick “Big Trin” Trinchera plotted to overthrow Rastelli. The three men gained the blessing of the other families, but before they could act then Bonanno street boss, Dominick “Sonny Black” Napolitano, as well as the future Boss Joseph “Big Joe” Massino had the three murdered. One of the men involved in the murder of the three was Benjamin “Lefty Guns” Ruggiero. Ruggiero had an associate named Donnie Brasco whom he proposed for full family membership. In reality, Brasco was undercover FBI agent Joseph Pistone who had been working organized crime for many years. Ruggiero vouched for Brasco, which meant he trusted Brasco to be a stand up guy. Therefore, it was Ruggiero’s job to show Brasco the ropes and should Brasco do something to hurt the family, it would be taken out on Ruggiero and his capo Dominick  “Sonny Black” Napoliano. July 26, 1981, after six years of undercover work the FBI pulled the plug on operation Donnie Brasco. Both Ruggiero and Rastelli received lengthy prison sentences and Napolitano was killed for allowing an agent to infiltrate the Bonanno family. Although in prison, Rastelli continued to rule the Bonanno family until his death in 1991. Joseph “Big Joe” Massino who had been promoted during Rastelli’s imprisonment was appointed boss of the family.

Massino was an intelligent man. While he worked his way up the ladder he paid special attention to the mistakes other leaders before him had made. With that in mind, Massino ordered several new rules for the family. The first was a spin off of Vincent “The Chin” Giacante’s rule never to speak his name in public but to point to the chin. Massino ordered his men to point to their ears. He also shut down the social clubs because it was too easy for the FBI to plant bugs and listen in to their business.

As his new rules took hold, Massino turned his attention to the narcotics trade, racketeering, money laundering, and loan sharking. He was a hands on Boss. One of Massino’s closest friends was John Gotti boss of the Gaminbo family, the most powerful family in New York. With Gotti’s help, Massino earned a seat at the Commission for the Bonanno family.

The Bonanno family continued its success through the 1990’s and was rapidly becoming one of the most powerful families in New York. In the beginning of 2003, their luck would change. After several of the Bonanno soldiers were indicted on financial fraud, Massino, and his acting Underboss Frank Coppa were indicted on separate charges. Massino was indicted for the murder of Napolitano, and the 1992 murder of New York Post delivery superintendent Robert Perrino. Over the course of a few months, three Bonanno capo’s turned government informant and Massino who had been charged with an additional six murders and faced the death penalty. Without hope, he became the first Mafia boss to turn informant.

Massino helped the FBI charge over 90 Bonanno associates with several crimes including murder, racketeering, forgery, and fraud. He is also believed to have told the FBI where they can find the bodies of the three capo’s murdered in the 1980’s and also John Favara, a neighbor of John Gotti who accidentally killed the mobster’s son in a car/bicycle accident.

Today there are approximately 150 made members in the Bonanno family. Although they are a shell of their former selves, the family is still strong. After Massino turned informant and the appointed boss Vincent Basciano was sent to prison himself, the family installed a ruling panel to handle day-today activities.

Philip Rusty Rastelli – 1981 Bonanno War

Phillip “Rusty” Rastelli was a former boss of the Bonanno crime family, taking over the rein in the early 1970s, following the retirement of Joseph Bonanno. Rastelli, who listed his occupation as a radio dispatcher for a taxi company, was eventually convicted of antitrust violations and sentenced to a 10-year prison term. He reportedly directed the operations of the family from prison, however; he could not be influential from behind bars and his control waned.

Rastelli was born January 31, 1918 in Maspeth, Queens. He had five siblings; Carmine, Marinello, Agustus, Justina and Grace.

Rastelli was heavily involved in loansharking, extortion and drug trafficking activities before joining the Bonanno crime family. He was said to be close friends with Dominick “Sonny Black” Napolitano, Carmine Galante, Joseph Bonanno and Joseph Massino.

On December 3, 1953, Rastelli and an associate allegedly shot William Russo in Queens. However, Russo survived the shooting, and Rastelli, fearing identification, went into hiding. Over the next year, Rastelli’s wife Connie allegedly approached Russo’s wife many times with an offer of $5,000 if her husband did not identify Rastelli. The bribe was said to be refused each time. On December 13, 1954, Connie Rastelli was indicted on charges of attempting to bribe a witness. Around the same time, Russo was killed in Brooklyn. No one has been charged with his murder.

Connie Rastelli was believed to have been killed in 1962 after she became a Federal informer, according to a New York Times obituary for Phillip Rastelli.  Mrs. Rastelli, who had been angered over her husband’s suspected infidelities, began telling Federal investigators about the family’s criminal activities. Her body reportedly has never been found.

In 1969, in an attempt to restore order to the Bonanno family, the Commission appointed a three-man panel to run the family comprised of Rastelli, Joseph DiFilippi, and Natale “Joe Diamonds” Evola.

On July 21, 1971, Rastelli was indicted in Riverhead, New York on loansharking charges. The loansharking ring, centered in Babylon, New York and Islip, New York, charged victims from 250 to 300 percent interest annually and reportedly generated over $1 million per year in revenue for the Bonanno family. On December 28, 1972, Rastelli was convicted in state court on seven counts of loansharking.

On August 28, 1973, Evola died and Rastelli became acting boss of the Bonanno family. On February 23, 1974, at a meeting at the Americana Hotel (now the Sheraton New York) located in Manhattan, the Commission named Rastelli as official boss, but the real power in the family soon migrated to rival and underboss Carmine Galante.

On March 6, 1975, Rastelli was indicted on racketeering charges for extortion and anti-trust violations.  He was convicted of the anti-trust and extortion on August 27, 1976 and given one year on the anti-trust violation and three concurrent ten-year sentences on the extortion.

Sent to federal prison in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, Rastelli was sent to federal prison in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.  In 1979,  the imprisoned Rastelli allegedly ordered Galante’s murder. The other Commission members had decided that Galante was bad for their business and gave Rastelli permission to remove him. Rastelli would become the undisputed boss, controlling from behind bars through the use of acting bosses such as longtime Bonanno mobster Salvatore “Sally Fruits” Ferrugia.

There was disagreement within the Bonanno crime family as to whether Rastelli should be the boss, which led to an internal war in 1981. This resulted in the murders of several people including opposition leader Bonanno caporegime Alphonse “Sonny Red” Indelicato, who had opposed Rastelli remaining the boss. This power struggle was reported to be witnessed by FBI agent Joseph “Donnie Brasco” Pistone, who was working undercover.

Rastelli was paroled from prison in late 1983, as it was said that he attempted to restore order, unity and respect to his crime family which had been greatly damaged and diminished from underworld power and influence.

Over the years, there has been a belief that the American mafia was not directly involved in the drug trade as some bosses ordered their men not to get involved with drugs, but many disobeyed. For the Bonanno family, the drug trade became one of its most lucrative rackets.

In 1985, Rastelli was indicted, along with other Cosa Nostra leaders, in the famous Mafia Commission Trial. The Bonanno family was spared from getting caught up in the Commission Trial, which sentenced many Mafia bosses and members to prison. However, when Rastelli was indicted on separate labor racketeering charges, prosecutors decided to remove him from the Commission trial. Having previously lost their seat on the Commission, the Bonanno family suffered less exposure than the others in the case.

On June 4, 1991, Rastelli was released from the Federal Medical Center in Springfield, Missouri, where he had undergone surgery, on humanitarian grounds. His release was ordered by Judge Charles P. Sifton of Federal District Court, the judge who had sentenced him, because he was believed to be dying.

On July 24, 1991, Rastelli died at Booth Memorial Hospital in Queens from liver cancer at age 73. His survivors included three brothers, Carmine, of Queens, who was convicted with his brother in the conspiracy case and who was also ordered to federal prison; Marinello, of Queens  and Augustus, of Florida, and two sisters, Justina Devita and Grace Iacomini, both of Queens.  He is buried in Saint John Cemetery in Middle Village, Queens.

Salvatore Maranzano, and the Castellamarese War

The great Salvatore Maranzano was born on July 31, 1886 in Sicily. Little is known about Maranzano while he lived in Italy; however he was once rumored to have wanted to become a priest as a young kid, and even studied to become one; he became associated with the mob instead. Maranzano built a following in Italy. He was a large man who was feared by many of his underworld peers.

In 1925 he immigrated to the United States and settled in Brooklyn where he started a real estate business. Using his Italian ties Maranzano built a successful bootleg business on the side distributing alcohol through New York and Jersey. He used his money and influence to bring together smaller gangs who united under with him to take over New York, and to dethrone the powerful “boss of bosses” Joseph “Joe the boss” Masseria. One of the smaller gangs was led by an up and coming Italian American named Lucky Luciano. Luciano ran with a childhood Jewish friend Meyer Lansky. Although the two men had a trusting relationship with Masseria, both could see Maranzano would eventually win the Castellamarese War. Not wanting to be on the end of a losing fight, Luciano plotted with Maranzano to set up Masseria in what became as one of the most well known hits in American Mafia history. On April 15, 1931 while dining with Masseria Luciano excused himself to the rest room. While he was gone, armed men entered the restaurant and fired on Masseria while he ate.

With Masseria out of the way, Maranzano became the “boss of bosses” and re organized the gangs below him into “families”. He called together several hundred of the top mafioso in the country for a meeting in an undisclosed location. There, Maranzano created the “five families” of New York. He assigned the position of “boss” to five of the most powerful gang leaders in New York.  For his loyalty Lucky Luciano was given his own family named the Luciano family and a place at the head table beside Maranzano.

As boss of bosses, Maranzano mistreated his subordinates, including Luciano. His fondness for comparing his organization to the Roman Empire did not sit well with Luciano and his friends. For example, Maranzano forbid Luciano from working alongside his Jewish friend Meyer Lansky. Maranzano believed they didn’t have a place in this “thing of ours.” In a short period of time, Luciano began to believe that Maranzano was more power hungry than Masseria had been, and although they worked with Maranzano to take down Masseria, it was Luciano who planned on taking the top spot. Within a few months of Maranzano taking over, Luciano and his crew began plotting Maranzano’s death.

Vincent “Mad Dog” Coll 1931

In early September 1931 Maranzano learned of Luciano’s plot to take over as boss of bosses. Trying to get the upper hand Maranzano hired a hitman named Vincent “Mad Dog” Coll to murder Luciano and Vito Genovese who had aligned himself with Luciano. However, aided by Lansky, Luciano found out about the plot against him and made his own move.

On September 10, 1931 three mafioso hired by Lansky entered Maranzano’s office building on the 9th floor of The Helmsley Building. Inside they disarmed Maranzano’s guards and stabbed and shot Maranzano to death. Upon leaving the building the men ran into Coll who was running up the stairs and warned him there had been a raid. Coll, who was only 23 years old, fled. He was assassinated February 8, 1932 by unknown assailants after a $50,000 contract was offered for his murder.

After Maranzano’s death, Luciano called a meeting of all the bosses

Salvatore Maranzano lay dead in his office. The police photos during the investigation of his murder are the only photos of Maranzano known to exist.

from each family across the United States. The bosses expected to hear Luciano declare himself as the boss of bosses.Instead, he did away with the title and created a mafia commission to rule in its place. The commission consists of the bosses of the five families and the Chicago Outfit, along with several smaller family bosses across the U.S. Joseph Bonanno was awarded Maranzano’s family where it was renamed the Bonanno family.

Joseph Charles Bonanno, Sr. – American Mafia Boss at 26

Joseph Charles Bonanno, Sr. was a self-described “venture capitalist” and denied any involvement with drug trafficking or prostitution.  As the head of one of New York City’s five original mafia families, Bonanno led the Brooklyn-based crime family for more than three decades before losing power in the 1960s.

Bonanno was born Giuseppe Carlo Bonanno on January 18, 1905 in Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily. At age three, his family moved to the United States and settled in the Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn for approximately 10 years before returning to Italy. Bonanno slipped back into the United States in 1924 by stowing away on a Cuban fishing boat bound for Tampa.

Bonanno is said to have become involved in bootlegging activities, and soon joined a Mafia family led by Castellammarese, Salvatore Maranzano.

Bonanno became known to Joe “the Boss” Masseria, the leader of Mafia activities in New York. In 1927 violence broke out between the two rival factions, Masseria and Maranzano, in what would become known as the Castellammarese War. It continued for more than four years. By 1930, Bonanno became one of Maranzano’s chief aides and served as an underboss and chief of staff.

By 1931, momentum had shifted to Maranzano and the Castellammarese faction. They were said to be better organized and more unified than Masseria’s group.  Lucky Luciano and Vito Genovese urged Masseria to make peace with Maranzano, but Masseria refused. Luciano and Genovese concluded a secret deal with Maranzano that involved the return for safety and equal status for Luciano in Maranzano’s new organization.  Luciano and Genovese murdered Masseria, which brought an end to the Castellammarese War.

Bonanno would go on to be awarded most of Maranzano’s crime family. At age 26, Bonanno had become one of the youngest-ever bosses of a crime family. Years later, Bonanno wrote in his autobiography that he had not known about the plan to kill Maranzano.

Bonanno was nicknamed “Joe Bananas,” a name he reportedly despised and his family was sometimes called “the Bananas family.” The Bonanno crime family’s underbosses were Frank Garofalo and John Bonventre. While it was known as one of the smaller crime families, it was said to be more tight-knit than others.  The Bonanno family prospered in the business of loan sharking, bookmaking, numbers running, prostitution, and other illegal activities. Bonanno was married to Fay Labruzzo and they had three children- Salvatore “Bill” Bonanno, born 1932; Catherine, born 1934; and Joseph Charles Jr., born 1945. In 1938, Bonanno left the country, then re-entered legally at Detroit so that he could apply for citizenship.

Bonanno’s invested in real estate during the Great Depression. His legitimate business interests included three coat factories, a laundry, cheese factories, funeral homes, and a trucking company. When Bonanno became a U.S. citizen in 1945, he was said to be a multi-millionaire.

Unlike many mafia counterparts, Bonanno was never convicted of anything more serious than obstructing justice. Bonanno was convicted in 1980 for trying to block a federal grand jury investigation into his sons. Bonanno served nearly eight months in prison before being paroled in July 1984. He had also served 14 months in prison in 1985-86 for contempt of court for refusal to answer questions about other crime family leaders.

Bonanno became increasingly unpopular with other Mafia bosses. It was reported that Magaddino was incensed that Bonanno was moving in on Toronto, long considered part of the Buffalo family’s territory. Some thought he spent too much time away from New York, and more in Canada and Tucson, Arizona, where he had business interests. Bonanno eventually was removed him from power and replaced with one of his capos, Gaspar DiGregorio. This resulted in Bonanno’s family breaking into two groups, the one led by DiGregorio, and the other headed by Bonanno and his son, Salvatore.  This would come to be known as “The Banana Split.”

Buffalo Crime Family Members

Buffalo Crime Family Members

In October 1964, Bonanno disappeared and was not heard from again for two years. Bonanno later would claim that he was kidnapped in front of his lawyer’s apartment at 36 East 37th Street in New York City by Buffalo Family members, Peter Magaddino and Antonino Magaddino and was held captive in upstate New York by his cousin, Stefano Magaddino. After six weeks, Bonanno was released and allowed to go to Texas. Bonanno’s claims were regarded as lore, as it was unlikely he would have been walking the streets of New York City unguarded. FBI recordings of New Jersey boss Sam “the Plumber” Decavalcante revealed that the other bosses were taken by surprise when Bonanno disappeared.

Bonanno suffered a heart attack in 1968 and announced his retirement. He resolved never to get involved with New York Mafia affairs again. Bonanno resigned to a quiet life in Tuscon. His notoriety was briefly revived in January 1995 when his family held a much-publicized 90th birthday party for Bonanno at a resort in Tucson. Among the 300 guests were priests, politicians, actors, attorneys, authors and family members.

Bonanno would spend his remaining years under the close watch of the F.B.I. Bonanno died of heart failure at the age of 97 at a hospital in the city where he had retired in 1968.

In his autobiography titled, “A Man of Honor, the Autobiography of Joseph Bonanno,” he wrote that the term Mafia, “refers to a process, a special set of relationships among men. I stay away from the term because it creates more confusion than it is worth.”

Dominick “Sonny Black” Napolitano – Made Famous in “Donnie Brasco”

Santo Trafficante Sr. and Sonny Black

Dominick “Sonny Black” Napolitano came into this world on June 16, 1930 and was raised in Williamsburg, Brooklyn where he got his start as a petty thief. Although his descendants were from Naples, Italy, he was born with blond hair and as he grew into adulthood died it jet black which earned him the nickname “Sonny Black”.

As a gangster, Napolitano controlled parts of Pasco County and Holiday, Florida under the approval of the Trafficante crime family and Santo Trafficante Jr. However, Napolitano was also considering a bookmaking operation in Orlando, at the time a growing gambling district for the mob.

Napolitano owned an apartment building and social club called the motion lounge in New York. An avid pigeon enthusiast, he kept his pigeons on the rooftop of the apartment building. The pigeons had pedigree bloodlines that descended from prize pigeons in France, Germany, and Russia. He one thousands racing his pigeons. Undercover FBI agent Joseph Pistone a.k.a. Donnie Brasco said Napolitano loved visiting his pigeon coop to think.

“Sometimes when we were up on the roof with the pigeons, sunny would lean on the railing and look out over the rooftops of the neighborhood where he had lived all his life. I wondered what he was thinking about.”

            Napolitano often schooled Brasco in the workings of the Mafia and would repeat the same thing over and over.

            “The whole thing is how strong you are and how much power you got and how fucking mean you are-that’s what makes you rise in the mob. Every day is a fucking struggle, because you don’t know who’s looking to knock you off, especially when you become a captain or boss. Every day, someone is looking to dispose of you and take your position. You always got to be on your toes. Every fucking day is a scam day to keep your power and position.”

In 1979 after Carmine “The Cigar” Galante was murdered, Napolitano was promoted to capo replacing his mentor Michael Sabella who was demoted. Napolitano took over Sabella’s crew and became a close and trusted confidante of the imprisoned gangster Philip “Rusty” Rastelli, boss of the Bonanno crime family. However, not all was well with the Bonanno family. After Gallant’s death the family split into two factions, one group aligned with Rastelli, and another group aligned with the Sicilian faction, led by Alphonse “Sonny Red” Indelicato.

It was the job of Joseph Massino and Napolitano to aid Rastelli in ending the struggle and killing the three capo’s opposed to him. Napolitano and Massino new a time would present itself when they could act against the three men, Alphonse Indelicato, Dominick Trinchera, and Philip Giaccone, but until then Napolitano stayed busy with his businesses.

Napolitano owned an Italian-American war veterans club in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, The Motion Lounge, an illegal casino in Pasco County, Florida and a tennis and nightclub called The King’s Court Bottle Club in Holiday, Florida. The Motion Lounge was the headquarters for Napolitano where he and his crew were involved in several illegal activities including burglary, robbery, bank robbery, loansharking, hijacking, bookmaking, casino operations, drug trafficking, and extortion. They were one of the most successful crews in the Bonanno crime family.

When asked about Napolitano agent Pistone said, “Dominick was more observant and disciplined than his old capo Michael Sabella and had a watchful eye. In mob circles, he had an excellent reputation for personal loyalty to his sidewalk soldiers. He would kill you in a minute if you crossed him.” Pistone also remarked how Napolitano was very accurate with small-caliber pistols. In public he was never flamboyant or brazen, always polite. He carried his own suitcases when traveling and was not a 24-hour gangster, meaning you could talk to him about other things besides the Mafia. On occasion Pistone and Napolitano would go out for dinner or have coffee and just “shoot the breeze” like two friends.

Pistone was one of few people that Napolitano could rely upon. As Pistone’s infiltration continued over the years Napolitano remarked how he would nominate him to be “made”, a term used in the Mafia that meant he would become inducted as a full member. In other words they would “open the books”.

On May 5, 1981 the opportunity to kill Indelicato, Trinchera, Giaccone presented itself. The three men were led to Brooklyn’s Embassy Terrace for a sitdown and to discuss a compromise with the Rastelli faction. Waiting for them was the Napolitano crew armed with shotguns and pistols. When Indelicato and the other two men entered one of the gunmen stepped out of the closet and said, “don’t anybody move, this is a stickup” a key phrase to begin open firing. Moments later Indelicato, Trinchera, and Giaccone were dead and the split in the Bonanno family over.

Indelicato was close to his son Bruno. Napolitano new if Anthony wasn’t with them during the murders he would have to be killed to prevent retribution for his father’s murder. Pistone and Benjamin “Lefty” Ruggiero were tasked with murdering Bruno Indelicato.

After six years as an undercover agent in the Bonanno crime family, Joseph Pistone was pulled from the operation. Two day’s after ending the operation known as “Donnie Brasco” FBI agents visited The Motion Lounge to inform Napolitano that his trusted friend and associate of six years was an agent.

Napolitano new that allowing an FBI agent to infiltrate his crew was a death sentence for him. On August 17, 1981 he was

The Cast and Crew of the 1997 Hit Movie Donnie Brasco

“sent for” a term used when Mafia leaders summon you to a meeting. Before leaving for the meeting Napolitano handed his jewelry to his favorite bartender, who had worked for him at The Motion Lounge. He also handed him the keys to his apartment so his pet pigeons would be cared for. When he arrived to the meeting at Bonanno associate Ron Filocomo’s home in Flatlands, Brooklyn, Napolitano was pushed down the staircase to the basement and shot to death by Filocom and Frank Lino with 38 caliber revolvers. When the first shot misfired, Napolitano told them, “hit me one more time and make it good”.


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