The Bonanno Crime Family

The Bonanno Crime Family is one of the Five Families that dominate organized crime in New York City. It originated from the picturesque Sicilian seaside fishing village of Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily.

Bonanno Crime Family History

Bonanno Crime Family Header

According to mob historians, the Bonnano Family began under the leadership of Sebastiano DiGaetano. Later, a Cola Schiro would lead for a time as a weak sister until the threat of death to all the Castellammarese by (Joe the Boss) Masseria would ultimately catapult Salvatore Maranzano to leadership during the tumultuous “Castellammarese War” years and the violence that would follow in the late 1920s to early 1930s.

After the Castellammarese and their allies had defeated Masseria and subsequently with Maranzano’s own killing, the leadership of the borgata fell to Giuseppe (Joe) Bonanno who would go on to lead one of the most tight-knit, secretive, and cohesive Family memberships for the next 35 years. With little fanfare or public exposure, it allowed Joseph Bonanno to accumulate one of the greatest wealth of any mob boss of his era.

The Rise of Joe Bonanno

The Bonanno Family boasted a membership of approximately 200 strong with over 750 associates. Some of these members included such iconic mafiosi as feared underboss Carmine (Lilo) Galante, consiglieri Giovanni (John) Bonventre, Francesco (Frankie Carroll) Garofalo, Stefano Cannone, and Philip (Rusty) Rastelli.

With power bases in gambling, shylocking, legitimate business holdings, and international heroin smuggling through its satellite regimes in Montreal, Canada, and Sicily. the Bonannos were a very influential Family across the entire United States, with members as far away as Arizona, California, Canada, and the Trapani Province of Sicily.

But by the mid-1960s, Joe Bonanno’s heavy-handed leadership style, greed, and ambitions would be not only his personal undoing but also the undoing of the Family at large.  It led to the so-called “Banana War” which tore at the very fabric of its membership – a strife-torn Family that, to this day, has never fully recovered to the prestige and power it once enjoyed!

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