Massino Flipped Scripts for Sonny Black,Tony Mirra Mob Murders

On the witness stand during the Basciano murder trial, Joe Massino casually imparted information that changes Mafia history, putting to rest two storied killings believed for decades to have resulted from the Joe Pistone/Donnie Brasco investigation. This is according to his court testimony.

Massino flipped the script regarding the motives for some
of gangland's most notorious murders.

 It has been believed and written about for decades that Dominick (Sonny Black) Napolitano, who wanted to "make" the undercover Fed, was slain because of his role in bringing "Donnie Brasco" into Bonanno family business.

"Massino's word will be the gospel, true or not," said Sonny Girard, former mobster.

Knowing he would be killed, Napolitano reportedly gave his jewelry to his favorite bartender who worked below his apartment at the Motion Lounge, along with the keys to his apartment, so his pet pigeons could be cared for.

Bonanno capo Frank Lino and Steven Cannone drove Napolitano to the house of Filocomo -- where Frank Coppa was also present. Napolitano was pushed down the staircase in Filocomo's basement and shot to death by Filocomo and Lino with .38 caliber revolvers. When the first shot misfired, Napolitano told them, "Hit me one more time and make it good."

But no, that scenario is not entirely the truth -- or at least the motive behind the killing is not, according to Massino. Napolitano met his end because he had been preparing to take over the Bonanno family, Massino said in court.

“Sonny Black threatened to make a move on the family,” said Massino, who had taken part in the murder while a member of a three-capo panel that was running the crime family for then-imprisoned boss Philip "Rusty" Rastelli, who in fact had authorized the rubout. Rastelli is dead. No further details are offered in the article to support Massino's ascertains about Napolitano.

There had been a rivalry between Sonny Black and Massino -- according to Pistone's book and other sources -- and Sonny Black also reportedly had just taken part in the slayings of three capos who themselves were planning to make a move to take over the Bonanno family. Sonny Black's crew reportedly handled clean up, while the Gambino capo John Gotti, as a favor, sent his crew to dispose of the bodies. {They didn't do a good job: "Sonny Red" Indelicato "popped up" out of the ground within days of the bloody, violent slayings, though Phil Giaccone and Dominick Trinchera remained under ground until Massino turned informant and revealed where their bodies were decades later.)

So right here, we know that Sonny Black was aware of what happened to overly ambitious Bonannos with big mouths. Had he read Machiavelli, he certainly would have known that, when you shoot a prince, you kill him. And you don't shoot your mouth off first. (We're paraphrasing here.) Sonny Black certainly was smart enough to take over the family, which is probably the real season Joe "The Fat Rat" Massino wanted him taken out.

And last, but not least, Sonny Black supposedly was tighter with Rastelli than was Massino; in fact, Sonny may have even been serving as acting boss after the three-capo slaying. Maybe Massino and the "ruling panel" didn't like this.

And why then were Sonny Black's hands chopped off? What was the symbolism in that mutilation if it were not to signify he shook hands with a Fed?

The truth is, like most mob stories, including those that have reached legendary status, we'll never know the truth about why Sonny Black was taken out, though Massino's testimony, on face value, doesn't make a lot of sense when put in context.

Drug dealer Mirra DEA informant?

Massino also dismissed reports that Bonanno drug dealer Anthony Mirra was killed for the same reason -- bringing Brasco in -- but instead was a target because some in the family believed he was a DEA cooperator.

We wonder ... Mirra, for one, was a known psychopath, a loudmouth quick to pull out a switchblade -- and they don't make good CIs. Ask Gaspipe Casso, who tried to turn but is now serving life.

It doesn't really matter, some said, including one source who should know.

"Massino's word will be the gospel, true or not," said former mobster Sonny Girard, contacted by Cosa Nostra News for a response.

"Anyone who is free and can dispute it wouldn't risk their freedom to do it. Why change it? Maybe he's right. If he's not, it's to give the Feds something they think they just uncovered of value. Does it matter? The guys are dead for many years.

"Would like to see the media mention a comparison between a slobbering pig like Massino and Basciano, who, though indisputably has, is, and will suffer a lot, carries himself with old-style mob dignity; more like a what a man used to be.

"Also, I am told the trial is costing in the area of $10 million. It would be good for supposed journalists to question whether it is money well spent in these economic times on someone who is already in prison for life, and based on the betrayal of someone who himself is convicted of eight murders and is being paid with perks, including his home and the millions he's hidden away? Does anyone really believe the millions in his house was all he had?

"Would all that money be better spent to give the needle to terrorists who kill innocent women and children? Society needs just one sane juror to reason how ridiculous this is and hang the jury. Maybe it will stop the useless games."


  1. I can remember a letter sent in to a newspaper from a guy now a high-ranking Navy man who said as a teenager he was a kitchen hand at a place owned by Massino in Maspeth. He said at the time a lot of mob guys would visit Joe and that on a couple of occasions Sonny Black turned up and that Napolitano and Massino would step way to talk which would often end up in a shouting match.

  2. Like it or not...Joey's word is the final word.


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