FOOLS DIE, As Mario Puzo Wrote

Before the bloody 1985 coup, John Gotti was capo at the Queens-based Bergin Hunt and Fish Club, where he'd run sitdowns.

Bonanno soldier Anthony (Little Anthony) Seccafico

One sitdown was triggered when Bronx-based members of a crime family visited the wife of a wiseguy at home when the wiseguy was in prison for drug charges. Somehow it involved the Gambinos.

“I wish it was me,” Gotti told them, apparently identifying with whoever was being detained. “You would never be safe if you stopped and spoke to my wife while I was locked up.”

“You tell your skipper I said, ‘You ever go to a guy’s house while he is in jail, I’ll kill you.’"

In the summer of 2009, Anthony Seccafico's wife had just given birth to twins. Seccafico, a construction worker and member of Local 79 of the Construction and General Building Laborers’ Union, commuted to Manhattan from his Staten Island home during the week.

So as he did every week day, at around 4:30 a.m. on July 02, 2009, he stood at a deserted Staten Island bus stop near his Arden Heights home waiting for an express bus into Manhattan.

A man stepped out of the early morning darkness and approached him.

Apparently, Seccafico either recognized the man walking toward him and his corresponding bad intentions, or he saw the gun. And when he did, he tried to beat a fast retreat -- only he was shot seven times first.

A witness watching from a bedroom window later said he'd seen Seccafico sprawled on his back on the street.

"He was moving [and] said, 'My chest, my chest, I got shot in the chest,'" the witness later said.

Seccafico died at Staten Island University Hospital.

Initial reports noted that law enforcement officials considered the shooting a gangland hit, and that as per sources, Seccafico was a made man (known as Little Anthony, see picture up top) in the Bonanno crime family, and that the killing would've required the approval of Bonanno bosses.

Seccafico -- who was described as a stocky 5-foot-5 kickboxer -- had a long rap sheet that listed arrests for crimes such as assault, menacing, attempted murder, and drug dealing. In 2002, he was among 20 Bonanno associates busted for running a $2.5 million gambling and loansharking ring. Seccafico, whose father was in the Colombo crime family, pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges and received a three-month sentence. Seccafico was “just a runner” for the 2002 gambling operation, as per law enforcement sources.

At the time, investigators believed that the last made Mafia member killed in the city was Bonanno capo Gerlando (George From Canada) Sciascia, who had been murdered in the Bronx in 1999.

(Of course there was Genovese capo Lawrence Ricci, who was killed while on trial for racketeering in Brooklyn in 2005, but he was found in the trunk of a silver Acura that sat undisturbed for weeks in the parking lot of the Huck Finn diner on Morris Avenue in Union, New Jersey. He'd been found decomposing, facedown, with a bullet in his brain. Former powerhouse capo Tino Fiumara, who died of cancer in 2010, had ordered Ricci's demise after Ricci made the decision to go to trial with two officials of the International Longshoremen's Association. "They wanted him to plead guilty," a source said. "They didn't want him sitting at the table with the union guys. It didn't look good." The feds also considered Genovese capo Michael (Mikey Cigars) Coppola a suspect in the Ricci murder. He apparently wasn't charged after beating a 1977 murder (for John (Johnny Cokes) Lardiere) that would send him on the lam for 11 years.)

Months prior to the murder of Little Anthony, acting Bonanno boss Salvatore(The Ironworker) Montagna had been deported to Canada, and some saw the murder of Little Anthony as related to a power struggle for control of the Bonanno crime family.

"The timing is curious," a law enforcement source said shortly after Little Anthony's shooting.

Curious in relation to Montagna's deportation, but not pertinent: the Seccafico hit was actually related to the Sciascia hit.

Seccafico was in Bronx capo Patrick (Patty From The Bronx) DeFilippo’s crew. DeFilippo had proposed him for membership sometime after 2003, law enforcement sources said.

One or two years after he was made, Little Anthony had serious problems.

In 2009, law enforcement investigated the murder as a potential revenge killing because Seccafico had recently assaulted the son of jailed Bonanno wiseguy John (Johnny Joe) Spirito, a respected and well-liked Bronx-based Bonanno member, also in DeFilippo's crew. (Seccafico also had been under federal investigation when he was killed).

Johnny Joe was among those rounded up in 2002. But Johnny Joe had worse problems in the summer of 2003, when he and Patty DeFilippo were nailed by the feds for killing George From Canada.

Little Anthony was tasked with delivering cash to the wives of Bonannos being held without bail. This money was to compensate the families for what the wiseguys would've been bringing in were they still on the street.

In 2005, John (Johnny Boy) Spirito, Johnny Joe's son, was among some interested parties who started questioning whether Little Anthony was handing over the right amounts.

As per reports, it went like this:

“You’re not doing the right thing with my mother,” Johnny Boy told Little Anthony.

Little Anthony replied by slapping him out of his seat.

 “I’m around now, not your father. If you have a problem, tell your father to come around and see me when he gets home.”

So Little Anthony was suspected of skimming some of the funds he was supposed to be distributing. He also was suspected of spending too much time with some of the wives he was giving that cash to.

“He was an errand boy who thought who the hell he was. He disrespected a lot of good fellows and he paid the price,” a source familiar with the federal probe of Seccafico has said.

Johnny Joe ultimately pleaded guilty to the murder of Sciascia for a 20-year sentence and is due out in 2021.

Then there's Patty From The Bronx's suits.

 DeFilippo, then 75, couldn't accept the same sentence as Johnny Joe for obvious reasons. So he rolled the dice with a jury trial.

But while DeFilippo was awaiting trial, he lost quite a bit of weight, more than 100 pounds, by some estimates. So he needed new suits to wear before his judge and jury. Powerhouse capos know how to make a great first impression: wear a top-line custom fitted suit.

(Who wouldn't know that? Little Anthony, it'd seem. Either that or he didn't give a flying fck.)

Bronx capo Patrick (Patty From The Bronx) DeFilippo
Bronx capo Patrick (Patty From The Bronx) DeFilippo

So Little Anthony was told to get his boss some new duds and was specifically told where to go: Vito’s, where many wiseguys have been known to buy their suits.

Little Anthony completed the task, but on the cheap. He didn't follow his orders to the letter; instead, he showed an ability to improvise, apparently in order to skim a few bucks off Patty's suit money, too. First the wives, with whom he actually dawdled, then Patty's suits...

“He went to the Men’s Warehouse or some other wholesale joint. Patty was livid. He wanted to strangle him,” one knowledgeable source told Huffington Post.

"It is one thing to shortchange the families of imprisoned fellow mobsters. But sending your capo into the courtroom wearing a baggy, off-the-rack set of threads? That can be fatal," as Jerry Capeci noted.

Patty From The Bronx ultimately was sentenced to 40 years for racketeering conspiracy, gambling and loan sharking. (He'd been acquitted of the Sciascia murder.) He died in prison serving that sentence.

And Little Anthony, he got seven bullets....