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|New York|  John Bonventre

Birth: April 18, 1901 - Castellammare Del Golfo, Sicily

Death: Late 1970's - Sicily












Giovanni 'John' Bonventre was an early capo in the Bonanno Family. He was related to boss Joseph Bonanno and was the cousin of Vito Bonventre. Other relatives also included the Magaddino brothers Stefano, Antonio and Gaspare from Buffalo. All were natives of the Sicilian town Castellammare Del Goflo, where their families played a leading role in mafia activities.

During the 1920's John lived amongst the Castellammarese in Williamsbrug, Brooklyn. His older cousin Vito was a leading figure in the Castellammarese community. Vito controlled a murderous gang called the Good Killers, also refered to by the press as the Bonventre Gang. During the late 1910's and early 1920's the Good Killers were credited with up to 125 murders. Wether or not John was a member of this crew is not known. When his cousin Joseph Bonanno fled Sicily to America in 1924, Bonventre helped him to enter New York when he was detained in Florida. Both men worked closely together and became very respected within the community. Both would participate in the Castellammarese war from 1930-1931 under the leadership of Salvatore Maranzano. The war caused many bloodshed and one of the high profile victims was Bonventres elder cousin Vito. After the Castellammarese won the war Maranzano appointed the young Joseph Bonanno to lead the Castellammarese organization. Bonanno appointed his cousin John Bonventre as a capo. During that time Bonanno and Bonventre bought the Sunshine Dairy Farm near Middletown, which would become one of their many legitimate businesses. The farm mainly made Mozarella cheese. Soon they controlled the production and prices of their product in New York, Vermont and Wisconsin. In his personal life Bonventre married a woman named Caterina Vitale, who was possibly related to a Detroit mobster named Vito Vitale. Bonventre remained the underboss untill 1950 when he went on an early 'retirement' and moved back to his native Castellammare Del Golfo.

However, it seems that Bonventre didn't stop his involvment in Mafia business as he was present at the Hotel Delle Palme meeting in Palermo, Sicily, in October 1957. Amongst the attendants were his relatives Joseph Bonanno, Antonio Magaddino and Gaspare Magaddino and amongst the Sicilian delegates were Giuseppe Genco Russo, boss of Mussomeli and Cesare Manzella, boss of Cinisi. A month later Bonventre also attended the Apalachin Meeting where they would further discuss the drug trade from Sicily to Canada/America. Bonventre was also one of the many mobsters who were arrested during the Apalachin meeting when the police suddenly bursted in. After about 8 hours questioning he was released. In December 1965 he was arrested again at his villa in Castellammare Del Golfo and charged for his criminal activities. An Italian judge even went to America to speak with famous turncoat Joseph Valachi about Bonventre and his involvment in the drugtrade. Bonventre was exciled from America due to his Mafia involvments. When he died is not exactly known.
(Source:Geocities.com, NY times, December 1965, May 1971 and June 1971)


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