Reaping The Whirlwind: Profile Of Bonanno Powerhouse Carmine Galante, Godfather Of Heroin Trafficking, Part Two

"You don’t know how mean this guy is, Donnie. Lilo is a mean son of a bitch. A tyrant. ... Lot of people hate him. They feel he’s only out for himself. He’s the only one making any money. There’s only a few people that he’s close to. And mainly that’s the Zips... There’s a lot of people out there who would like to see him get whacked."
—Benjamin (Lefty Two-Guns) Ruggiero to undercover FBI agent Joe Pistone, aka Donnie Brasco

Carmine Galante
Carmine Galante

The Montreal pipeline pumped vast quantities of heroin into the US for years, but was only one of New York City’s countless sources of narcotics. Not even Carmine Galante relied solely on the Montreal crew.

About a year after the notorious Apalachin summit in 1957 (Galante attended but successfully evaded law enforcement by concealing himself somewhere on Joe Barbara’s estate), he was nailed. The indictment alleged a narcotics conspiracy that involved the smuggling of 160 kilograms of heroin from Cuba, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. (Montreal is mentioned nowhere.) The indictment, handed down in July 1958, named dozens of defendants, including Cosa Nostra heavyweights such as the violent, surly Vito Genovese and Bonanno powerhouse racketeer Natale (Joe Diamond) Evola, as well as major up-and-comers like boss-to-be Vincent (Chin) Gigante. (Despite the retroactive posturing, the American Cosa Nostra was in junk up to its eyeballs. The 1958 narcotics conspiracy indictment, which resulted in bosses and top wiseguys getting pinched and serving decades in prison, helped fuel the “drug ban,” which included the death penalty—but which was only selectively enforced.)

Galante, then around 48, lammed it — and lived a life of luxury for nearly a year, until June 1959, when someone dimed him. FBN agents “received information” that Lilo was laying low in a large ranch house on Pelican Island in South New Jersey.

As per the FBI, "GALANTE had taken refuge in the Pelican Island, New Jersey home of one Gary MUSCATELLO, former business agent for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. ... When later interrogated by agents of the Bureau of Narcotics, MUSCATELLO denied prior knowledge of GALANTE' s true identity or any involvement with criminals or criminal matters. ... He acknowledged that he had rented his Pelican Island home to one Samuel COSTA, the alias used by GALANTE during his occupation of that house."

Law enforcement planned the pinch: Two FBN agents tailed Lilo—suspected of involvement in the murder of a police officer—and his two passengers, cousins Anthony Macaluso and Angelo Presinzano—who was also Lilo’s longtime adjutant—for 40 miles along the Garden State Parkway. New Jersey State Police stopped the car near the Holmdel barracks. 

According to the FBI , "a number of individuals knew of (Galante's) flight and aided him. Among them are  (Lilo's longtime mistress) Ann ACQUAVELLA, Angelo PRESINZANO, Anthony MACALUSO, and Gary MUSCATELLO. PRESINZANO and MACALUSO were charged at Newark, New Jersey with harboring GALANTE immediately following his arrest on June 2, 1959, but the charges against both were dismissed by the office of the United States Attorney at Newark, N. J. several weeks later. Others believed to have aided GALANTE in his hiding were (Bonanno capo) Joseph ZICARELLI , Alfred CHIECO of Eastchester, N. Y. and Irving SCHWARTZ and Michael CONSOLA."

As Galante was being arrested, Vito Genovese had already been convicted and was appealing his 15-year prison sentence.

Galante was dropped from the first case, and the Southern District of New York hit him with another heroin conspiracy case. That case had Montreal written all over it and bumped right up against the  heroin pipeline. The indictment was based on evidence acquired in a series of undercover investigations that culminated with the February 14, 1959. seizure of about 10 kilograms of pure heroin from Marcantonio Orlandino. At the time it was being stored at the home of his brother, Philip, in Queens.  

Investigators found that Orlandino was working for Galante, Zicarelli, and Bonanno soldier Salvatore Giglio. As per the FBI, "This group obtained the heroin from the Cotroni brothers, Joseph and Vincent, of Montreal, Canada, who in turn were part of an organization that had its sources of supply in France. Information developed indicated that Zicarelli furnished the courier who would travel by automobile to Canada, obtain the heroin in Montreal, and smuggle this heroin into the United States for distribution at New York. The same criminal network was engaged in the interstate and international distribution of some $12,000,000 in negotiable securities taken in burglary of several Canadian banks during the early months of 1958."

Galante’s first narcotics-conspiracy trial commenced on November 21, 1960, and ended in a mistrial about six months later. Both sides had rested and were poised to deliver summations when the jury foreman was taken out of commission. The foreman, a dress maker named Harry Appel, damaged his spine in a bad fall down some steps and could no longer continue to attend the trial. (It was a highly suspicious accident, despite Appel’s insistence that no one had shoved him down those steps. Adding to the dubiousness of it all, some media reports claimed Appel had fallen in an abandoned building on 15th Street in Manhattan.)

Carmine Galante arrested for parole violation
Galante getting arrested in the 1970s.

As was recalled later by William M. Tendy, the former assistant United States attorney who prosecuted and convicted Galante in 1962, “Galante and the associates who were tried with him did everything they could to disrupt the courtroom and cause mistrials at both trials. They jumped up and made speeches, there was a chair thrown at one of the prosecutors and it was clear who was directing the show—Galante. We were forced to put leg irons, straitjackets and gags on some of them. They almost succeeded in their efforts, but we finally got convictions in the end.”

Lilo could only stall the inevitable for so long. After the second trial he was sentenced to 20 years. Upon sentencing, Galante was removed from New York City’s Federal Detention Center and flown across the country to Alcatraz. His sentence also included stints in Lewisburg Penitentiary, Leavenworth, and finally Atlanta, from where he was released in 1974.

Mafia Row
At Lewisburg, Lilo ran “Mafia Row” with an iron fist. Mafia Row was the name given to the 400 tightly unified Italians then incarcerated at Lewisburg who dominated prison life. 

Mafia Row, according to Mob Star: The Story of John Gotti by Jerry Capeci and Gene Mustain, “extended its umbrella of protection and influence to all prisoners of Italian descent, especially those  with (crime) family ties. It introduced them to the prison’s underground economy, its bookmaking operation, its network of friendly “hacks” who could be counted on for favors. They might even get invited to “Club Lewisburg,” a room where Galante and others played cards, ate purloined steaks, and drank liquor hidden in after-shave bottles.” 

Galante didn’t tolerate fighting -- and wasn't fond of sloppiness, or noise as he ordered everyone to keep their cells clean and the noise level low.

A sharp up-and-comer named John Gotti, then 28, had been sent to Mafia Row to serve a three-year bid for cargo hijacking. Gotti impressed Galante so much, Lilo sought to recruit him into the Bonanno family. He backed off when he was told ‘’John belongs to Neil,’’ meaning Gambino underboss Neil Dellacroce. 

While at Lewisburg, Galante also supposedly entered into a “prison alliance” with union boss Jimmy Hoffa. Some have alleged that Hoffa and Galante each had their own “brief fistfights” with Genovese capo Anthony Provenzano, who then was alleged to retaliate against Galante by ordering the locals under his control to not pay Bonanno people who were on Teamster payrolls.

In prison, Galante idled the time by puttering around in the greenhouse, playing pinochle, and abusing various fellow inmates. He blew off steam by expressing, presumably to whoever was listening, his animosity for Carlo Gambino, whom Lilo considered an arch-enemy. Gambino and Tommy Luchese had deposed Lilo’s boss in the 1960s while Lilo was away. Lilo supposedly said he planned to depose Gambino the first chance he got. 

“(Galante) would quiver when he was talking about Gambino,” one former inmate once said. “He wanted to restore the Bonanno family to pre‐eminence and weaken the Gambinos in the worst way.” 

Galante served 12 years of the 20-year sentence and was released for good behavior from the Federal prison in Atlanta in 1974. His parole was scheduled to end in 1981. If he violated parole, he could be sent back to Atlanta to serve the eight years that had been subtracted from his sentence for good behavior.

Rusty Crown
Meanwhile, the same year he was released, his rival, Queens-based roach coach impresario Philip (Rusty) Rastelli, was voted boss of the Bonanno family during a meeting that included a representative from Montreal. Rastelli was the only true contender for the position (other than Lilo) after the death in 1973 of Natale (Joe Diamond) Evola, a convicted narcotics trafficker and a power in the trucking and garment industries. Previously, in 1970, the Commission (stepping into the tumultuous void created by outcast boss Joe Bonanno’s maneuverings) appointed Evola and Rastelli to serve on a triumvirate with capo Joseph DiFilippi, a Brooklyn dress manufacturer who kept a low profile.

Philip (Rusty) Rastelli
 Bonanno boss Philip (Rusty) Rastelli

Possessed of a Machiavellian ability to play Cosa Nostra politics, Rastelli focused on consolidating power and cementing loyalties. But Rusty did not have Galante's natural leadership qualities—and while Lilo was aggressive and about as tough as they come, Rastelli was mediocre, and was viewed as a good boss by exactly no one. Ultimately, Rastelli would preside, mostly from prison, over the complete decline of the Bonanno family. 

While Rastelli had key allies on the street who were more than willing to go all the way to back him up, he still had a rather significant problem: an inability to stay out of jail. Rastelli was indicted in March 1975 for operating an extortion and protection racket involving mobile lunch wagons. After a two-week trial in Brooklyn Federal court, he was convicted in April 1976. At the time, Rastelli was already serving time for a gambling case on Long Island. Between his state and Federal cases, Rastelli would be in the can until the 1980s.

Back in the Volcano
When Galante got out of prison in 1974, he quickly filled the leadership void and took over the Bonanno family. Rastelli initially resisted, refusing to cede the helm, but then gunmen killed someone close to him, James Fernandes, Rastelli's stepson (or son-in-law), on a Brooklyn street, and Rastelli reportedly got the message. 

Galante’s underboss was Nicholas (Nicky Glasses) Marangello, who ran the organization during Galante’s brief return to jail in 1977. Galante also was very close with Mike Sabella. (After Galante was gone, Rastelli considered taking out Nicky Glasses and Sabella, but decided instead to break them down.) In July 1978, when Bonanno soldier Benjamin (Lefty Two-Guns) Ruggiero and new recruit Donnie Brasco were among the half dozen Bonanno soldiers and associates standing outside the Little Italy restaurant Casa Bella to guard Galante, Ruggiero described how tight Sabella and Lilo were (while at the same time trying to talk the undercover FBI agent into handing over a large tribute payment). “On the twenty-ninth (Lilo will) find out if he does twenty more months or they gotta release him. They’re not gonna release him. He’s gotta go back to Atlanta. I gotta send him cigars. He smokes the best Cuban cigars. (Lilo) calls Mike every night. He asks Mike about me. He says, ‘How’s Mike’s bad boy doing?’ Mike tells him I’m in Milwaukee. The Old Man’s got a lot of confidence in Mike. He’s got lemon groves in Miami, and mansions. He’s got men all over the country. So I gotta take care of Mike, you understand?”

Law enforcement estimated that the Bonanno family, around the time of Lilo's reign, had about 200 known members and associates. (The then largest and most powerful Mafia organization was the Gambino family, with 1,000 members and associates.) The Bonanno organization’s illegal activities included narcotics, gambling, labor racketeering, loansharking, truck hijacking, extortion and bankruptcy frauds. The crime family also was involved in many legitimate business activities, including cheese companies, trucking and carting businesses, garment concerns and jewelry companies. According to a confidential police report, the Bonanno family under Galante “controls the large majority of the heroin shipped through Canada into the United States.” The family also dictated policy and set the rates for the American gambling syndicate in Canada, police sources said.

Galante, a short, stocky man with eyes of ice, dressed unobtrusively and tended to stroll when he walked. He spoke in a low, controlled voice and was usually seen puffing on a cigar and wearing a turned-up fedora atop his balding head. His base of operations was the L&T Cleaners in Little Italy at 245 Elizabeth Street, where he was driven in the mornings by a chauffeur, usually his nephew James Galante. While Lilo was married (he'd be estranged from his wife, Helen, by the time of his death) and his official residence was 160 Waverly Place in Greenwich Village, he spent the bulk of his time in an apartment on East 38th Street where his mistress, Antoinette Acquavella, lived. She had two of his five children, according to law enforcement sources. (He had four daughters: Nina, Mary Lou, Angela, and Camille, and a son, James.) Acquavella was married to Steven Schwartz, a Galante associate alleged to be Lilo’s “business partner” in Canada. The marriage, the police said, was per Lilo’s wishes to legitimize their two children.

Natale (Joe Diamond) Evola
Natale (Joe Diamond) Evola at age 52.

Initially, law enforcement regularly tailed Galante, especially when he traveled beyond the borders of New York State. But as time wore on, they tailed him less frequently. After his murder in 1979, John Clark, a detective assigned to the organized‐crime intelligence division, said that surveillance of Galante had been relaxed because of complaints from his lawyers and because of police budget problems.

Lilo could find privacy easily enough whenever he needed to, especially down around the Fulton Fish Market, where he would disappear into restaurants for hours.

“We’ve seen him go into some greasy spoon, look around him evasively, and wait there over a cup of coffee until someone—sometimes a recognized crime figure—comes over and they talk quietly,” said one detective. 

Cesare Bonventre and  Baldassare Amato
Two important zips: Cesare Bonventre, right, Baldo Amato.

Galante's affinity for "zips," which has been extensively documented, probably began when he flew to Italy with Joe Bonanno and others for the alleged 1957 "summit" with Sicilian Cosa Nostra members. If Galante had a weakness, some would say it was his fondness for zips. (Lilo's enemies would use them to devastating effect). Zips, as Italian-American wiseguys called them (possibly in reference to how quickly they spoke their Sicilian dialect) illegally immigrated to America in huge waves in the 1960s and 1970s. Many were sent to America by bosses in the Sicilian Cosa Nostra, who wanted them to infiltrate the American Mafia. The zips were sent here basically to flood New York with heroin, and send tons of cash back to Sicily. The zips were clannish and secretive. They hung out mainly by themselves around Knickerbocker Avenue in Brooklyn. They appealed to Lilo, who deemed Sicilians the ideal Mafiosi because (he believed) they were tougher as well as inherently loyal--and more than willing to use violence. (They also arrived in America with no criminal records.)  When Lilo was killed, his two zip bodyguards—Cesare (The Tall Guy) Bonventre and  Baldassare (Baldo) Amato—were both on the scene and helped the gunmen take out Galante and his two lunch companions.

Accompanied by bodyguards and sometimes his attractive daughter Nina, Galante frequently left New York to roam the country. FBI agents followed him all over the place, including to Hawaii, Florida, and Los Angeles—where he visited Disneyland and was spotted riding on go‐carts with an unidentified underworld figure in August 1975. The trips around the country were to facilitate contacts with Mafia figures who had been involved in drugs, according to law enforcement. On this front Lilo also reportedly sent representatives to Montreal to meet  the next generation of the Cotroni organization, which had become the Violi organization.

Galante was a busy man in the 1970s, with his fingers in various pies.

In March 1975, he travelled to Miami and stayed at the Diplomat Hotel on South Ocean Boulevard. On April 2 he was arrested by agents of the Broward County Organized Crime Task Force for failing to register with the police that he was a convicted felon.

That August, Galante travelled to Los Angeles to meet up with contacts in Orange County. According to a source close to the Anaheim Police Department, he was organizing a possible take-over of the pornography rackets in Southern California.  At the time Galante’s man in the porn business, Mickey Zaffarano, was making inroads into the industry, stealing business from Gambino representatives. During the visit, Galante was seen at a restaurant in Los Angeles County meetings with porn operators and other Mafia representatives. Underworld sources also alleged that Galante had been seeking to absorb Colombo and Luchese family members who were then operating in Southern California.

In December 1975, the New Jersey-based Bank of Bloomfield went into receivership mainly for offering unsecured loans to numerous wiseguys via various Teamster’s locals. Arnold Daner a business associate of the bank’s chief executive, Robert Prodan, testified that $25000 had been paid from the bank’s funds via intermediaries, to Galante in 1975. 

In August 1976, Galante organized the purchase of a summer home for his newly married daughter, paying $60,000 for a house in Hampton Bays, Long Island. He would spend weekends there gardening. On Labor Day weekend he threw a barbecue for some friends. Among those who attended: Russell A. Bufalino. 

Lilo reportedly scooped up a betting and loan-shark operation based in Pennsylvania Station, which was reportedly worth at least $500,000 a year. 

Galante also reportedly put pressure on a number of associates of Aniello Dellacroce, the Gambino underboss, to sell him their interests in sweatshops in Manhattan at heavily discounted rates. Inside the sweatshops black and Hispanic women worked for less than $3 an hour to stitch garments that were sold in legitimate clothing stores across the country. This was thought to possibly be retribution for Dellacroce ordering the murder of some of Galante’s drug dealing associates. As per published reports, Dellacroce and Galante "hated each other with an unbridled passion."

In 1977, law enforcement alleged, the Gambinos sent Galante a message. Dellacroce reportedly killed two "Galante spies" who had been discovered among his followers. The bodies reportedly were made to vanish and have never been found. 

If there was a war between the Bonannos and Gambinos in the 1970s (and we're far from certain that there was), Galante certainly seemed to notch a much larger body count.

During a three-week period in January 1978 in Bath Beach and Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, several men linked to both the Gambino family and narcotics trafficking met their unexpected demise… 

On January 8, Charles Monaco, 31, was drinking at Doc’s Lounge, a tavern at 6202 17th Avenue, when a gunman walked in and shot him twice in the chest with a .38‐caliber pistol. Then, as Monaco lay dying, the killer shot him again at close range in the head... 

On January 22, Frank Morici, 32, was walking from the building where his girlfriend lived toward where his car was parked on 15th Avenue near Independence Avenue when three men stopped him and tried to shove him into their car. He fought back—and was shot four times with .38‐caliber pistols… 

On January 26, at 1:00 am, Wayne Beuf, 26, answered the doorbell in his home at 141 Bay 50th Street—and was killed by three .38‐caliber bullets fired into his chest…. 

On January 31, some two weeks after Gambino soldier Ralph Broccoli, 35, was indicted in Florida on Federal charges of narcotics conspiracy and was released on $50,000 bond, he was in New York waiting in the rear of Jay’s Lounge at 2568 68th Street for a companion to join him. Then a man wearing a ski mask and armed with a shotgun entered the cafe and used the weapon to keep the barmaid and four customers at bay while two other gunmen walked in via the rear entrance, one also hefting a shotgun, and the other with a pistol. The armed duo approached Broccoli and killed him with shotgun blasts and large‐caliber pistol bullets in the head and body… Six hours later, Ralph Fortini, a close associate of Broccoli’s, barely escaped with his life after two gunmen fired on him from each side as he sat alone in his Cadillac, which was parked on Emmons Avenue in Sheepshead Bay. He was seriously wounded in the head and body but survived.

“Broccoli was the key person in these murders,” an official in the Police Department’s intelligence division said of the shootings. 

“He was a fairly important guy for the Gambino family in narcotics in New York, Florida and Las Vegas, and we suspect there has been a growing feud over drugs between people in the Gambino and (Bonanno) families. What happened to Broccoli and the others obviously is a message that someone is unhappy with the Gambinos.”

And that unhappy someone was Carmine Galante, they suspected. They regarded Broccoli and the others as part of an ongoing campaign begun by Galante two years prior to eliminate rival narcotics leaders in the Gambino group.  City detectives and DEA agents said that the murders stemmed from an ongoing dispute over narcotics spoils between the crime families headed by Carmine Galante and Neil Dellacroce, who they suspected was Gambino boss after Carlo Gambino’s death in 1976. (They would learn that, in fact, Dellacroce had stayed on as underboss and that Paul Castellano was boss.)

Benjamin (Lefty Two-Guns) Ruggiero
Benjamin (Lefty Two-Guns) Ruggiero, longtime Bonanno soldier.

Law enforcement noted their belief that Galante’s first targets in the Gambino family were the brothers Carmine and Francis Consalvo, who also had ties to Broccoli. Each had been tossed out a window in a high‐rise building in 1975. The Consalvo brothers were listed in police intelligence files as major drug dealers with close narcotics dealings with Broccoli, law enforcement officials said.

Other murders that Galante was suspected of ordering:

On September 24, 1976, Andimo (Tony Noto) Pappadio, the reputed acting boss of the Luchese crime family, was shot to death outside his home in Lido Beach on Long Island. Pappadio, 62, allegedly was a narcotics trafficker who had also  moved in on some of Galante’s gambling interests while Lilo was away.

Two months later, in what law enforcement sources described as a vengeance killing, Bonanno capo Pietro Licata, an old timer who was supposedly against narcotics trafficking and who years prior had defected to a faction opposing Don Peppino, was shot to death in front of his home in Queens.

Galante also was suspected of masterminding an aborted effort to eliminate multiple Black and Hispanic competitors in the heroin trafficking business after the Blacks began to establish direct links with Southeast Asian supply sources and Hispanic traffickers turned to Mexican suppliers. Galante was about to order two associates to hit 12 of the traffickers in Harlem. Law enforcement officials believed that Leroy (Nicky) Barnes, the narcotics trafficking kingpin, blinked, and that he and Galante reached some sort of agreement—after Barnes suddenly pivoted from a war footing to obtaining apparent peace of mind, with Barnes “moving about openly, holding lavish parties as though he has nothing to fear.“

On March 4, 1974, informant Anthony Finn was beaten and shot to death a day or two after his 33rd birthday while at the Lower East Side bar the Alley Cat located at 188 First Avenue, between 10th and 11th Streets. 

On August 27, 1974, the body of Michael Viggiano, 38, a reputed narcotics dealer, was found in the trunk of a burning car in Canarsie. Viggiano had been shot in the head and stomach. His body was discovered at about 2:00 a.m. after firemen were called to put out a blaze in the trunk of a Lincoln Continental parked on East 102d Street between Seaview Avenue and the Belt Parkway. Firemen called the police after spotting Viggiano’s body, his head stuffed in a plastic bag, in the trunk. 

Shortly before his murder, he had been approached by law enforcement for questioning regarding the investigation into the theft of the French Connection heroin from the Police Department property clerk’s office. An alleged Genovese associate, Viggiano had been indicted by a Brooklyn grand jury in 1965 on charges of conspiring to violate the narcotics laws and for possession of narcotics. At the time of his arrest, he was called one of “the top‐echelon men” in the city’s narcotics trade.

Charles (Chalutz) Gagliodotto
Charles (Chalutz) Gagliodotto

“These are the big boys, the importers and the bankers of the racket,” said then Brooklyn District Attorney Aaron E. Koota of Viggiano and the 13 others indicted with him. The group was accused of running a heroin ring that did $90‐million in street sales annually, and he was alleged to be one of the leaders. 

Three of the men indicted with Viggiano were found murdered within a short period of time in 1968. Frank Gangi and Frank Leo Tuminaro, who had both been described by the District Attorney as leaders of the narcotics ring along with Viggiano, were found shot to death, bound and wrapped in heavy plastic bags in the woods outside Bloomingburg, N.Y., on Aug. 16, 1968. (Tuminaro’s brother, Angelo Tuminaro, also known as “Little Angie,” was a major drug importer in the Luchese Cosa Nostra crime family in New York.) A few days later, Genovese soldier Charles (Chalutz) Gagliodotto, another member of the narcotics ring, was found dead, apparently having been strangled, on a Queens sidewalk.

On February 5, 1975,  an intriguing one-two punch that allegedly involved a “professional hit man” killing an alleged killer began. Early in the a.m., Mario Paniccioli, 25, entered the Club 24, at 2377 86th Street in Bensonhurst with two other men and shot John Consola, who had reputed Gambino ties. Paniccioli then shot and killed bartender Eugene Glabick, 27, after he tried to administer first aid to Consola. Paniccioli and his companions had been hunting three suspected stolen-cigarette hijackers. On the very same day, Joseph Doria, the brother of the owner of the Club 24, was found shot to death on a Staten Island beach.

That November, the alleged gunmen was himself slain. Mario Paniccioli was gunned down while driving to court to face the charge for murdering Glabick. Police said that the suspect in the Paniccioli killing was a “professional hit man.” Paniccioli had pulled away from the curb at 2780 Bedford Avenue, near Farragut Road, when the gunman, who was probably hiding behind a tree, fired two shots through the windshield of Paniccioli’s car. Apparently wounded, Paniccioli leaped from the car and sprinted up Bedford Avenue. The shooter dropped to one knee to steady his aim and fired six shots into his back, killing him. The gunman—a man of medium build, wearing a fur hat and three‐quarter‐length brown coat —fled in a waiting brown or green sedan.

In 1976, reported missing by his family, who had not seen him since June 1, was Pasquale (Patsy Ryan) Eboli, a Genovese capo and narcotics importer. Eboli, 53, was the brother of Thomas (Tommy Ryan) Eboli, the Genovese acting boss gunned down on a quiet residential street in the Crown Heights district of Brooklyn in July 1972. (He was found with five bullet holes in his face and neck. The murder was believed to have resulted from the 1972 arrest of narcotics trafficker Louis Cirillo for heroin importation. Law enforcement also seized over $1 million found buried in Cirillo's backyard. Cirillo, under the aegis of Eboli, had been putting together a $4 million drug deal when he was arrested. Eboli’s inability or unwillingness to make good on this debt is reportedly why Gambino had him shot down in Brooklyn while departing the home of his mistress.) As for Patsy Ryan, a car rental company employee found his 1976 Cadillac abandoned at New York’s Kennedy International Airport. The keys were in the glove compartment. No blood was found in the car.

On the night of July 6 1977, two men pumped 210 gallons of gasoline into Giuseppe’s Pizza Restaurant in Ambler, Pennsylvania--and accidentally blew themselves up instead of the pizzeria. There was almost nothing left of one of them, but the other was identified as Vincenzo Fiordilino, 22, of Brooklyn and a nephew of Giovanni Fiordilino, a made Bonanno member. Police intelligence sources described the explosion as one of dozens of pizzeria arsons to occur in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New York. Galante was attempting to push the Gambino family out of the cheese business, which supplied hundreds of restaurants in the Northeast. (That conclusion was reached prior to the revelations around the Pizza Connection Case, which involved Sicilians operating pizza parlors all over New York and other states that served as fronts to sell heroin as well as launder the illicit profits. A Pennsylvania Crime Commission Report about the pizzeria fire bombings is available.)

In January 1978, Calabrian mobster Paolo Violi, who was overseeing the Bonanno family crew in Montreal, was gunned down in a bar. Niccolo Rizzuto, father of Vito Rizzuto and Violi's Sicilian rival, reportedly got permission from Galante to carry out the hit, which made room for the rise of the Rizzutos in Montreal.

In March 1978, reputed Genovese member Pasquale (Paddy Mac) Macchirole, 56, was found in the trunk of his car. About a week later, one of his associates, Leopold Ladenhauf, 42, of Lake Grove in Suffolk County, was also discovered in the trunk of his car, which had been left in the parking lot of Kennedy International Airport. In both- instances, police were led to the bodies by anonymous telephone calls received by the families of the murdered men.

One of the more unsettling hits was Joseph LoPiccolo, a Gambino soldier and major narcotics importer, who was found on May 21, 1978, in a cemetery on Staten Island, propped up between two headstones. A rag was stuffed in his mouth, and he had been stabbed over 50 times. A feud with Galante was one of the suspected reasons for the hit.

The third and final installment will focus on the death of Carmine Galante....