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|New York|  Santo Bretagna

Birth: 1921 - New York

Death: March 3, 1949 - New York











Santo Bretagna was an associate of the Bonanno family and more specifically of the Rastelli brothers.

The murder of Chippy Weiner
Bretagna was born in New York and like many was attracted to the criminal life. He started to hang out with the Rastelli brothers, Phillip, Carmine, Martin and August and was involved in several armed robberies. On March 9, 1940, then 19 year old Bretagna and Phillip Rastelli were arrested in Lower Broadway after a hold-up. They had robbed a man for $266.

On January 13, 1948, Bretagna murdered Benjamin "Chippy" Weiner on prompting of accomplice Willie "Farbie" Rosenberg. Weiner, a former member of Murder Inc., refused to pay back a $500 loan which cost him his life. After the murder both Bretagna and Rosenberg went on the run for the police. In the meantime Carmine Rastelli was arrested for his involvement, but was released after paying a $50.000 bail.

After managing several escapes he was eventually apprehended 2 months later in Boston. Bretagna later stated that he was beaten and kicked during a twelve-hour session of questionning and charged the police, without success. A couple of days after his arrest the police shot 2 gangsters during a hold-up and arrested another 3 men who were reputidly raising funds to support Bretagna with his trial. During the trials, which started mid June, a 17-year old friend of Bretagna, named Edward Fennessey, explained in court how Bretagna took a .38 calibre gun that day and vowed he was "going to kill someone". 2 other jailed associates of Bretagna also took the witness stand in change for early probation, these men were Bernard Affronti, 27, and Arthur Troiano, 18.

On July 2 both Bretagna and Rosenberg were found guilty to murder and recieved the death penalty. After being jailed at Sing Sing prison for several months they were brought before "Old sparky", the electric chair. They were executed on March 4, 1949.

(Source: "Murder fugitive caught in Boston" NYtimes March 15, 1948; "Slayers of Weiner are found guilty" NYtimes July 2, 1948; "Policeman shoots 2 thugs in hold-up" NYtimes March 28, 1948; scottchristianson.org)


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