Why Was Mikey Nose Mancuso Elevated To Bonanno Boss?

Michael (Mikey Nose) Mancuso should've been made years earlier than he was. It was a prison sentence for murder that delayed his induction into the Bonanno crime family.

Vinny Gorgeous and Dom Cicale
Vinny Gorgeous tells Anthony Donato what's what as
Dom Cicale seems to spot surveillance activity.

In 1984, Mikey Nose left his mortally wounded wife Evelina on a bench outside Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx. (Early reports noted that there had been two bullets in her head.) Mancuso had pleaded guilty to manslaughter and served 10 years in state prison. His induction into the Mafia was delayed because he had to serve that sentence, informants told the FBI.

Mancuso was named acting boss in November 2004, making him the third acting Bonanno boss since Joseph Massino was arrested in 2002. Mancuso was also the fifth consecutive boss or acting boss of the Bonanno crime family to be convicted of a violent crime (the previous four were Anthony Spero, Massino, Anthony Urso, and Vincent Basciano).

Mikey Nose, who gets out of prison next March, received coverage for an uncharged murder in a 2008 plea agreement. That murder also allegedly was why he was later named acting boss, then later official boss.

Massino, who began cooperating with the feds during the summer of 2004 after he was convicted of racketeering and ordering seven murders, referred to Mancuso in court, implicating him in the 1999 slaying of Bonanno capo Gerlando (George From Canada) Sciascia. Patty From The Bronx DeFillipo had been charged with managing the murder.

Massino only knew Mancuso by his nickname: Michael Nose.

"I don't know their proper names," Massino told the judge.

"George From Canada" was the top representative of the Montreal Mafia in New York City. His murder remained unsolved for five years, until a series of Mafia turncoats started talking.

Massino conceived of an elaborate ruse to hide responsibility for the murder. The ruse to not have the murder pinned on Massino or the Bonanno family was important so that the  organization in Montreal would not retaliate.

Massino and Vitale had recognized the growing power of Canada's largest crime family, headed by Vito Rizzuto, according to authorities.

"We didn't want to get involved in a war," Vitale said.

The Rizzuto and Sciascia families had been close for generations. Both Rizzuto and Sciascia were born in Cattolica Eraclea, a small village in Sicily. Sciascia's family later moved to Montreal and remained close to the Rizzutos.

Based on certain later actions,Vito Rizzuto likely suspected Massino was behind the murder from the beginning, which likely would've made the act especially heinous to him. Rizzuto also had personally known DeFilippo, as well. In 1966, DeFilippo and his father, Vito, had traveled to Canada for Rizzuto's wedding.

"He was very hurt by what happened to George," Vitale said.

Massino had already pleaded guilty to ordering Sciascia's death; in court, he was pressed by the judge for names of those responsible, which is when Mancuso's name was said aloud by the first boss of one of the Five Families to flip and testify against former cohorts.

"As the boss of the Bonanno family, I gave the order," Massino said in a Brooklyn courtroom in June 2005.

"And the order was to do what?" U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis asked.

"Kill George From Canada," Massino replied.

He'd given the order in March 1999.

"It was done by Sal Vitale, Johnny Joe, Michael Nose and Patty DeFilippo," Massino said.

"Michael Nose is?" asked the judge.

"He's a captain in the Bonanno Family," Massino answered.

When news of his promotion to acting boss broke, a reporter approached Mancuso, then 50, outside his "modest, shingled" home in a country club section of the Bronx.

Mancuso, wearing a black warm-up suit, could've been an extra on The Sopranos, which debuted on HBO in 1999.

When the reporter approached, Mancuso scowled.

"I have a lawyer. I have no comment," Mancuso replied and climbed inside his Chrysler SUV.

The reporter tossed the key question at him before he could make his escape.

"Is it true you're running the Bonanno crime family?"

Mancuso chuckled.

Former Bonanno underboss Salvatore Vitale--Massino's brother-in-law, who also became a turncoat--had admitted to his role in planning and carrying out the Sciascia hit. But Vitale had never mentioned Mancuso as part of the Sciascia hit team.

"There are some things only Massino knew," a law enforcement source told The News at the time.

Mancuso was a known killer; law enforcement didn't doubt Massino's recollections.

Shoot Him High, Low
Vitale offered significant information about Mancuso – specifically, his role and associations in the Bonanno family and his involvement in the murder of Sciascia.

Bonanno capo Patrick (Patty from the Bronx) DeFilippo got the order to whack Sciascia. Massino and his wife were in Mexico when it went down. DeFilippo and Bonanno soldier John Spirito killed George from Canada in March 1999 in the Bronx. DeFilippo had meticulously plotted the hit, including asking Mancuso to serve as a backup shooter. So Mikey Nose was nearby in his gold Nissan Altima when Sciascia, 65, was shot and killed and dumped on the street in the Bronx.

After Massino was told that Sciascia was indeed gone, the Bonanno boss told another gangster "it served him right for telling me how to run the family."

Johnny Joe Spirito's son looking somewhat at peace.
He'll popup in a pending story.

When it came time to pay the piper later, DeFilippo, old school like his father, took em to trial. He actually beat the murder charge. But as has happened many times (see Tommy Shots Gioeli), DeFilippo ended up with a longer prison term than he would have gotten in a plea deal. So while Johnny Joe Spirito took a 20-year plea deal, Patty from the Bronx was sentenced to 40 years.  He didn't have to serve the whole shebang, however. He got out 25 years early in November 2013 by dying. 

Patty from the Bronx also passed away without paying the Feds the  $4.4 million forfeiture they'd levied on him.

Bonannos Busted
Early in the a.m of February 16, 2006, FBI agents scrambled across New York City to arrest several members of the Bonanno crime family. At the time, Mancuso was the highest ranking member of that family on the street, and he'd been indicted for a range of racketeering crimes centered on the December 2004 murder of Bonanno family associate Randolph Pizzolo.

FBI agents hit Mancuso's Bronx home, only to learn that he wasn't there. Mancuso was on his way to Las Vegas for a vacation. They notified agents in the Nevada office who met the acting boss as he got off an airplane in Sin City.

Earlier, the feds had made several additional collars. One of the more significant ones: Anthony (Bruno) Indelicato was nabbed while at his home in Howard Beach, Queens, and was hauled into Brooklyn Federal Court, where he was arraigned on racketeering and murder charges.

Indelicato had been convicted for his role (he was one of three masked gunmen) in the grizzly slaying of Carmine Galante at Joe and Mary's Restaurant in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn one hot July day in 1979. The widely published photograph of Galante on the concrete floor of the restaurant's rear garden, with his eye blasted out and a cigar still clenched in his teeth, became an iconic symbol of the chilling brutality of Mafia discipline.

Indelicato's father, Sonny Red, was whacked in 1981 with two other Bonanno capos, during the Donnie Brasco days, and an open contract was put on Bruno Indelicato's head. Massino believed he'd seek revenge for his father's murder. However, bizarrely enough, the contract was allowed to expire after 30 days.

Bruno was promoted to captain as a result of his role in the Galante killing, for which he was convicted in 1986 at a federal trial in which prosecutors proved that the city's five Mafia clans were overseen by the Commission, which had sanctioned Galante's murder.

Indelicato was sentenced to 20 years in prison and was released on parole in 1998 after serving 12 years. Bruno married Cathy, the daughter of James (Jimmy the Gent) Burke, the Lufthansa heist mastermind. Indelicato and Jimmy Burke had been incarcerated at the same prison, and Indelicato met his wife while she was visiting her father. They were married before he was paroled.

Vinny, Bruno Two 'Mad Hatters '
Bruno was considered crazy even by Cosa Nostra standards, and Joe Massino had deliberately put him with Vinny Gorgeous. But  Massino didn't exactly think Vinny Gorgeous was the most sane person around, either. Massino wanted to keep close tabs on both of them.

Indelicato, as Sal Vitale testified, was put into Basciano’s crew “so Massino could keep a close eye on both of them. They were both mad hatters.”

When asked by prosecutor Greg Andres what he meant, Vitale said: “It means they’re capable of doing anything at any given moment.”

Vitale had testified that Massino told him Basciano was involved in the 2001 Santoro murder.

“You’re not going to believe what Vinny did,” Massino told Vitale. “He killed a guy in The Bronx.”

There's not an abundance of Mancuso photos.

Both Indelicato and Basciano were charged with the 2001 rub-out of mob associate Ralph Santoro in the Bronx. The indictment also charged that Mancuso ordered the 2004 murder of Randolph Pizzolo, and that Indelicato plotted to kill a Bonanno capo to prevent him from making a power grab. Indelicato and a hit team allegedly planned to pose as cops and pull over the victim in a Chevy Impala modified with tinted windows to look like an unmarked police car. Also charged in the case were Anthony (Ace) Aiello, and Anthony Donato.

A few months after the arrests, Mancuso made a bid to get a "day pass" from jail to see his 7-year-old daughter's first Holy Communion ceremony in the Bronx. Mancuso, via his lawyer, proposed hiring private guards to escort him to Our Lady of Assumption Church in the Bronx, an Italian restaurant on Boston Post Road after the service, then back to the Metropolitan Detention Center.

"I have seen the tears in her eyes when she thinks about her father and the possibility that he might not be with her for this first major rite of passage in her life," defense lawyer David Schoen wrote in a letter to Brooklyn Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis.

"He would ask that he be permitted to change clothes at some point so that he does not have to appear at the Holy Communion in the church in his [prison] clothing," Schoen said. "And if the judge is feeling generous, Mancuso would be thrilled to attend a party on Sunday hosted by his current wife at Villa Barone catering hall in the Bronx."

Calling Mancuso a "grave danger" to the community who might lam it at anytime, the feds urged the judge to keep Mancuso locked up.

"Mancuso's loyalty is to the Bonanno family, not his own," prosecutor Thomas Seigel responded in his own letter.

The prosecutor noted the 1984 murder of Mancuso's wife. It was also noted that Mancuso was eligible for the death penalty for the December 2004 murder of Pizzolo. Mancuso was also linked to other murders.

Schoen called the prosecutor's reference to Mancuso's wife's homicide "outrageous."

"His wife's death was an absolute tragedy," Schoen told the Daily News. "They had an argument and she got shot. It was a freak accident."

As of August 2008, four of the Bonanno defendants had pleaded guilty to murder-conspiracy charges related to the murders of Santoro and Pizzolo.

Mancuso and Aiello, a soldier in the family, pleaded guilty for their role in the murder of Pizzolo in 2004. The two others, Anthony Indelicato and Anthony Donato pleaded guilty to the murder of Santoro, who was described in court papers as a “gangland wannabe,” in 2001. Santoro was shot and killed while walking his dog near his home in the Bronx.

Basciano by then had been convicted of racketeering, attempted murder, and gambling charges unrelated to the Pizzolo killing.

Mancuso was sentenced to 15 years in prison, Aiello 30 years, Indelicato 20 years, and Donato 25 years.

In a statement, the Feds noted: "Since March 2004, more than 100 Bonanno family members and associates have been prosecuted in the Eastern District of New York, including boss Joseph Massino, and each of his successors ... Mancuso is the third acting boss of an organized crime family convicted in the Eastern District during the past 12 months."

Mancuso was never charged for the murder of Gerlando Sciascia, but received "coverage" for it in the 2008 plea agreement. Allegedly because of his role in that murder, and because he would eventually have liberty again, Mancuso was elevated to acting boss, then, later, boss.

He could thank Joe Massino and Sal Vitale for that.

Apparently, Mikey Nose hadn't made much of an impression on either of them...