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|New York|  Bill Bonanno

Birth: November 5, 1932 - Brooklyn

Death: January 1, 2008 - Tucson











Salvatore "Bill" Bonanno was the son of Mafia boss Joseph Bonanno. He was intended to succeed his father as head of the Bonanno family, but due to internal conflicts he did not. He became a Made Man at the age of 22 and rose to Consigliere despite resentment in the crime family. Later he and his wife published books about their experiences in the Mafia.

Early life
Bill Bonanno was the first born of Joseph Bonanno and Fay Labruzzo. His birth occurred only a year after his parents got married and his father was leveled to be the youngest Mafia boss in America. He first attended school in Brooklyn but in 1938 his father purchased property in Hempstead, Long Island and moved his family. At the age of 10 Bill acquired a severe mastoid ear infection. For treatment his parents enrolled him in a Catholic boarding school in the dry climate of Tucson, Arizona, where he completed his high school education.

When he was 15 he led a group of students (who were supposed to be visiting a museum) to see the controversial motion picture Forever Amber. The Catholic Church had banned the movie, so the school expelled him from the dormitory as punishment. He was allowed to attend classes, but was forced to find other accommodation. For the next several years he lived alone in a motel while attending high school. He attended the University of Arizona between 1951 and 1956 but never achieved a degree. In 1956, he married Rosalie Profaci, niece of Joe Profaci, the boss of one of the 5 New York families.

The Bonanno Family
Rare picture of Bill Bonanno and Joe Pistone
Bill's first ambition was to take care of the legitimate end of the senior Bonanno's vast business interests, the farms, the factories and the real estate empire. But the latter part of the 1950s was a period of turmoil for all of the Five Families of New York City. When his father Joseph was trying to avoid grand-jury subpoena and had more or less gone into hiding in California, Bill became more involved with the underworld end of Bonanno crime family to fill in for his father. During the early 1960's Bill and his family lived with Giuseppe Magliocco on his estate to figure out what they were planning to do for their future.

In 1962 Magliocco forged a plot against fellow mob bosses Thomas Lucchese and Carlo Gambino because they claimed his elevation within the Profaci family was illegal. Magliocco was angered and together with his capo's made a plan to murder them. Because Bill was often seen with Magliocco this unintentionally showed that the Bonanno's would be part of the plan. Joseph Colombo, Magliocco's man appointed for the job, however gave up his boss and told Gambino and Lucchese about his plans. Therefore Magliocco received a penalty by the commission. Also Bill's father was demanded to appear in front of the commission but he refused. As Magliocco was replaced by Colombo trouble also raged on inside the Bonanno Family. Gaspare DiGregorio, the family capo, vouched to become the new boss of the organization. This was however refused by Bonanno himself. The Family was then split in 2 halfs with the DiGregorio faction backed by the commission.

Bill later made claims that in January 1966 he was in the middle of a gunfight with the intention to kill him. If this event ever happened is doubtful. After Bill's father had a heart attack both decided to leave their criminal life behind and to move to Arizona. The Commission then appointed Paul Sciacca to become the new boss of the family. Both Bill and Rosalie Bonanno published memoirs about their respective experiences. Bill was often seen on television to talk about his father and the Mafia. He even 'shocked' the underworld when he wrote a book together with Joseph Pistone, the man who infiltrated the Bonanno Family during the 70's. Later Bill reputedly regretted this cooperation. He died on New Years day, 2008, by food poisoning at the age of 75.


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