Category: Bonanno

Philip Rusty Rastelli – The man who controlled the Bonnano family from the prison

The early boss of the Bonanno Mafia family was Phillip Rastelli during the 1970s. He was the successor to Joseph Bonanno.  By occupation, he was a radio dispatcher working for a taxi firm, but got convicted and sentenced to 10 year imprisonment for antitrust violations. It is from prison that he directed the family’s operations, but his influence not being strong enough from behind the prisons, waned slowly.

His life as a mafia

On 31st January 1918, Rastelli was born in Maspeth, Queens and was among the five siblings Marinello, Carmine, Grace, Justina and Augustus. He got involved heavily in extortion, drug trafficking and loansharking before he became the member of the Bonanno Mafia family. He was close to Carmine Galante, Joseph Massino, Joseph Bonnano and Dominick Napolitano.

Along with an associate on 3rd December 1953 he had shot William Russo, but the latter survived, which made Raselli to go into hiding. On 13th December 1954, he got indicted on bribing charges. In 1962, Connie got killed after she had become Federal informer, after which her body never was found.

Rise in the family

The Commission for restoring the Bonanno family in 1969 had appointed 3-Man panel comprising of Natale Evola, Joseph DiFilippi and Rastelli to run the family. On 21st July 1971, he again got indicted on loansharking charges in the Riverhead neighborhood of New York. Evola died on 28th August 1973, following which the Bonanno family’s acting boss was Rastelli. He was made official boss by the Commission at a meeting held at Manhattan’s Americana Hotel on 23rd February 1974. However, the family’s real power was transferred to Carmine Galante, the underboss and rival to Rastelli.

On 6th March 1975, he was convicted for anti-trust violations and extortion and imprisoned in the federal prison of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. It is from here that he had ordered the murder of Galante in 1979 on the permission of the Commission, who also felt Galante was not suitable for their business. This way, he went on to become the family’s undisputed boss, although the acting boss until he was released from prison was Salvatore Ferrugia.

Later life of Rastelli

An internal war started within the Bonanno family in 1981, on Rastelli’s continuation as its boss. Several people were murdered which also included Alphonse Indelicato, the opposition Bonanno caporegime leader. Joseph Pistone, the FBI undercover remained witness to this power struggle.

Rastelli died due to liver cancer on 24th July 1991.

Alphonse Indelicato – The man who failed to become the boss of the Bonanno Mafia family

Alphonse Indelicato was popularly called as Sony Red. It was on 25th February 1931 that he was born in the city of New York. He had never visited his paternal city of Siculiana, Agrigento, Sicily and was Salvatore Valenti, the Bonanno associate’s father in law. Indelicato was also Charles Ruvolo, the Bonanno capo’s ex-son in law. Moreover, he had relations with the education advisor of Michael Dukkakis’, the Massachusetts Governor named Gerald Thomas Indelicato and Giuseppe Indelicato, the global heroin trafficker.  He got married to Margaret Elizabeth McFadden. They had a son called Bruno, who also was introduced the Mafia ways at a very young age.

His personality

Indelicator was considered to be opinionated, charismatic, ruthless and dangerous. He had a tattoo of two hearts within a dagger carved on the left arm, and on the right arm having another tattoo stating “Holland 1945”, whose meaning is unknown. He preferred wearing bright clothing, striped track suits, orange T-shirts, garish casual clothing and multicolored socks. Also he used huge tinted sunglasses including a swagger in customized pair of red colored leather cowboy boots, the reason why he got the nickname of ‘Sonny Red’.

He is regarded to be a violent person as he had killed a man with an ice pick and got involved in numerous murders. He got sentenced to 12 years of imprisonment at the Sing Sing Correctional center on 26th December 1951 for shooting at the social club, killing a man.

His life as a mafia

He had become a caporegime of the Bonanno Mafia family and was one of the mafia members to dislike the leadership of Phillip Rastelli. Since he had a good support from the other capo’s of the family, he often disrespected Rastelli, including capos Dominick Napolitano and Joseph Massino, who had been aligned with him.

With the imprisonment of Rastelli in 1974, Carmine Galante tried to push him aside and become the ultimate boss of the Bonanno Mafia Family. But his antics did not go well with the other members of the Commission. On his declaring war with the other mafia families like Gambino and Genovese, a contract was issued to kill Galante that was successfully carried out. The creation of a vacuum tempted Indelicto to attempt becoming boss of the Bonanno family. But Rastelli’s loyalist Sonny Napolitano prevented such moves. Even though Indelicto enjoyed the support of soldiers and caporegime of the family, on 5th May 1981 at the Embassy Terrace of Brooklyn, he got killed by the loyal aides of Rastelli.