Story of Nicky Slick: Something Stinks in Philadelphia

Nick Christophers wrote this as an advocate of "Nicky Slick." After researching the case, he wants to expose the truth.

Nicky Slick, far left, Johnny Gabs, far right.

The Philadelphia mob was in upheaval for many years following the murder of then-boss Angelo Bruno. Before a shotgun ended Bruno, he ran the city's underworld in relative calm for over 20 years. Bruno resorted to violence, or its threat, if absolutely necessary. But he tried to avoid the attention of the authorities at all costs. One of his famous sayings was "make money not headlines!"

 Nicknamed the "Docile Don" due to his emphasis on negotiating versus bloodshed, Angelo Bruno also sat on the powerful Mafia Commission and was tight with New York's most powerful boss, Carlo Gambino.

Everything came crashing down for Angelo in part due to his ban on drug dealing. Many of the young turks saw the immense profits in drugs, even Bruno's own underboss, Phil Testa. Some viewed Bruno as a hypocrite when it came to drugs. He indirectly earned from Greek mob bosses Steve Booras and Harry Peetros, who controlled the PCP trade in Philly. They paid Bruno a cut of the proceeds as a street tax to operate. So Bruno himself earned from drugs but could say that, technically, he wasn't.

 On March 21, 1980 Angelo was murdered as he sat in his car via a shotgun blast to the back of his head. (John Stanfa, who later held the top spot while fighting a street war against Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino, was Bruno's driver that night.) It was later revealed that the hit was orchestrated by Genovese crime family boss Vincent "The Chin" Gigante. The murder was carried out by Bruno's consigliere, Antonio "Tony Bananas" Caponigro, who was quickly double-crossed and eliminated for taking out Bruno without Commission approval.

 More infighting took place when Testa took over and was also murdered by his underboss, Peter Casella. Soon a diminutive member of the crew would end up as the new head with 'The Chin's" blessing. Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo had been banished to Atlantic City years earlier by Bruno himself. But from 1981 until 1991, he ran the Philadelphia Mafia, in the process turning it into one of the most violent Mafia organizations in America.

 Scarfo, described as psychotic, cruel and vicious, supposedly sought to murder anyone who supposedly showed him even the slightest inkling of disrespect. He's said to have murdered people for simply staring at him. Nicky controlled with an iron-fist and a paranoia that became legendary. Nicodemo "Nicky Slick" DiPietro enters the story here. 

Nicky Slick His uncle was mob associate Phillip J. McFillin, aka "Phil Disney" and "Phil Moe," who was considered a "close friend and frequent companion" of Scarfo's," as reported. Scarfo finally was convicted on various charges and handed a life term plus 64 years; he's due out in January 2033. Now 87 years old, Scarfo was betrayed like John Gotti by his underboss, Phillip "Crazy Phil" Leonetti, who was also Scarfo's nephew. Following Scarfo's arrest, John Gotti urged John Stanfa to take over. A rival faction headed by Joey "Skinny Joey" Merlino disapproved of Stanfa, however. Nicky Slick (aka Nicky D) was a Stanfa loyalist who did what he was told. 

 His entire life changed over one night's course. On February 29, 2000 he and three other men bounced around South Philly's hot nightspots. It so happened that on the night in question, they were all on the clock. All but one, who'd been slated for elimination. The hit was never pulled off, though but in an ironic twist the man who was to be clipped wound up murdering a pimp in Club Deco, a known hub for mob members and a local gang known as the 10th and O gang. 

When they arrived at the club, according to court documents, two of the men entered from a side entrance where no metal detectors were installed. Nicky Slick and another man entered from the front, where there was a metal detector accompanied by a bouncer who patted down everyone entering the club. Neither Nicky nor the other man was carrying a weapon. As the evening progressed one of the men Nicky was with got in a standoff on the dance floor with another Club Deco patron. Nicky stood behind the one who was arguing with the other man, later identified as Tad Green. The dispute was over money that Green owed to the blonde gangster who was with Nicky. Tad Green refused to pay and had no idea what danger he was in. The blonde man took two steps back, pulled out a gun and shot Tad.

Pandemonium ensued and the blonde shooter handed the pistol to Nicky and they both took off. Later, police recovered the three guns and arrested Nicky. It was later learned that Tad died from the blast. Authorities began questioning witnesses at the scene. It seemed unanimous that the shooter was 6 ft. tall with blonde hair wearing a blue Yankee bomber jacket. But those statements and the witnesses were never brought forth to testify at the trial of Nicodemo "Nicky Slick" DiPietro. They may have been scared off.

Nicky was convicted of first-degree murder. After a failed death penalty phase he received a life sentence. 

 There turned out to be three witness that never made it to the trial to testify. One man put the shooter as a blonde man in a bomber jacket. His Feb. 2, 28 2000 statement was not only denied to the defendant but the ADA made it clear to Nicky's attorney that he'd not to share the 302 with him.

Why would that be the case?

Another witness, a man, saw the shooter right in front of him after the shooting and watched him take off. He also described him the same way as did the first witness. But a year later in another interview he gave a different story.

The third witness, a female patron who saw the whole thing unfold, viewed the shooter walk right past her and her description was very similar. But when it was time to testify she was MIA.

The question arises why would all three witnesses either change their stories or vanish during trial? Did the FBI get to them first so the real shooter would not be caught?

Maybe because he is a CI? Even Nicky's attorney requested a Petition for a Motion of Discovery that was never produced during the trial. This was the affidavit of the first witness, from 2005. At the time Nicky's original attorney did not obtain a copy or was not given one. Nicky was denied the 302 so his attorney can use it to further investigate what exculpatory information the Commonwealth had prior to the trial.

The Commowealth's reason not to produce the 302 was for the welfare of the witness. How shady does that sound?


An anonymous New York underworld source contacted Nick Christophers after seeing an earlier version of this story, which had a different photograph atop it. In that photo, no longer available, there was a tall blonde man who, the source alleges, is the story's aforementioned blond shooter; furthermore this source alleges the man is a CI, and that he failed to avenge the murder of his brother who was killed in Philly. The source, who dealt narcotics with him, said that the FBI is protecting him.

Red flags everywhere support Nicky Slick's innocence.

To this day Nicky has maintained his innocence. Even though he has knowledge of who did the shooting he will not divulge the truth. The FBI even tried to label him a rat to force him to testify. This reporter investigated the entire file and there are no 302s or statements from Nicky. 

Not to mention the possibility that the FBI is protecting the real shooter who is a known drug dealer for the past 20 years who never saw the inside of a cell. Nicky simply refuses to talk to not to protect the real killer but to uphold his word to never be a rat. So the case raises troubling questions. 

Why did the government never produce the four witnesses' testimony? 

Why was the FBI is involved in a State murder case? The shooter whose identity we are concealing at the moment is a known drug dealer, shylock and bookmaker who has 2,000 pages of FBI 302 files dating back 20 years. This smells rotten in so many ways. Nicodemo DiPietro may be the South Philly version of John "Sonny" Franzese. It seems to say that when the government wants you, they will cover up whatever it takes to ensnare you. Nicky has been incarcerated for over 15 years and has endured other dramatic events while housed in a cell most of the day. 

 He has also been accused of somehow orchestrating the murder of his cousin Gino DiPietro. Again there is no tangible evidence to link him to the murder -- only hearsay. An inmate at the same prison claimed he heard Nicky say "let Gino breath air for a year, then I'm gonna get his lights turned out". But that could be interpenetrated to someone stuck in a prison cell blowing off steam. It surely does not mean that Nicky had sanctioned a hit. Nicky has been cut off by the Philly mob and has been tagged a renegade. His street credentials are not so promising any more. 

To add to insult to injury he was also accused of extorting a woman who started writing to him in prison. Her name is Dixie Wibble and she repeatedly sent letters to Nicky filled with an infatuation with him and the mob. Ms. Wibble introduced herself to Nicky via a letter after another inmate bragged about him to her. She also visited him and sent him money. Nicky, doing a life term, did not object. But Nicky had no desire to be in anyway romantically involved with her. He made it clear to her that he was happily married to Desiree DiPietro. 

Wibble, with the aide of an overzealous OSII Officer Daniel Mienert, made claims that DiPietro was extorting her, according to a lawsuit. The officer was trying to make a name for himself. Yet Nicky never forced her to do anything. 

To this reporter, there is a lot here that smells rotten. Here is a man serving life in prison, yet it seems life is not enough. Or could it be because everyone knows he is innocent but they want to arrest him or have his name muddied in the media every time one of his appeals is pending to ensure he is viewed as person who will never wise up? 

 Currently, he has no appeals left, unless proof of the FBI cover-up can be delivered. Nicodemo "Nicky Slick" DiPietro may well die in prison for a murder everyone knows he did not commit.