Citizenship: United States
If among the American mafia (in due time) conducted an opinion poll, a top list in the category of "most amazing", no doubt, would be headed by Joseph Bonanno. Judge for yourself. He came up with the organization, which is called the American mafia. He is 30 years old and ran it voluntarily resigned to quietly end his life in his luxurious mansion. He was considered the most secured head "of the family." He was the first mafia wrote an autobiography and became the prototype of Vito Corleone - the protagonist of the novel and movie "The Godfather".
Little Giuseppe, whose American style began to call Joseph, mastering American soil in two parts: the first time Signor Bonanno, Sr. moved his family to the United States in 1907, but eight years later the family returned back.
And in 1924, Joseph Bonanno was again forced to leave Italy. Later, he called himself a political refugee, who fled the country for fear of reprisals by the regime of Mussolini. The truth is this was only in the fact that the police were looking for Mussolini Bonanno for taking part in one of the mafia showdown.
So Joseph Bonanno for the second time - now illegally through Cuba - came to New York. And immediately he was hired by Salvatore Maranzano, who at that time was the head of a powerful mafia clan, who controlled Brooklyn. Almost all members of the gang Maranzano came from Castellammare (town in Sicily), because the clan called Castellammarese.
Joseph Bonanno quickly took off. After some four years Castellammarese have become major suppliers of illegal liquor in New York. This caused displeasure of the then boss of the New York Mafia, Giuseppe Masseria. He honestly tried to negotiate with Maranzano, but was refused. They say the main opponent of the agreement with the Masseria was a "lieutenant" Maranzano - Joseph Bonanno. At the command Bonanno Masseria representatives were shot on the way to the meeting with the ambassadors Castellammarese.
Clan war lasted three years. The cause of the irreconcilable opposition was clear as the day is Adventure Maranzano and Masseria killing each other, Bonanno coordinated action with assistants Masseria - Charlie Luciano, nicknamed Lucky (we talked about it in the December issue of 2002 - Ed.), And Vito Gambino .
The war with Maranzano Masseria was they ventured to take the place of their bosses. By the way, while Joseph Bonanno appeared nickname he hated all his life - Joe Banana, Banana Joe. It`s simple: illegal alcohol transported in vans, which in ordinary life were used to transport bananas.
In 1931 it was all over: Giuseppe Masseria and Salvatore Maranzano were killed. Instantly all thirty major clans of America were sent an invitation to the extraordinary general meeting. At this meeting, under the pressure of new leaders Bonanno, Gambino and Luciano small mafia groups agreed to unite under the beginning of the five major families Gambino, Genovese, Lucchese, Colombo and Bonanno. The leaders of the five united in the so-called Commission, which now has been designed to solve all contentious issues. After becoming the youngest head of the clan in the history of the American Mafia, 26-year-old Joseph Bonanno behaved quite typical of the bandit leader. His clan, he ran quietly, but in life set an example of modesty and piety.
"Coronation" new "godfather" in September 1931 coincided with his marriage. Joseph married a Sicilian Labruzo Fay, with whom they have lived together for more than 50 years. The couple raised three children - Salvatore, Katherine and Joseph, Jr.. All three were later actively participated in the criminal activity.
Funds from gambling, usury and bootlegging were the creation of a legal Bonanno empire, which by the beginning of the Second World War, owned a weaving workshops, dairy farms across the US, a private company Meat and perhaps the largest in the United States a network of funeral homes. Legal and illegal business are clearly separated from each other, except maybe the funeral. The latter, incidentally, inspired by Bonanno on his most famous invention - the coffin with a double bottom, which happens to be absolutely indispensable, if there was a need to get rid of the dangerous corpse.
Never (!) Authorities were not able to catch Bonanno in illegal activities, despite the fact that the situation in his mafia hierarchy was well known. The most dangerous confrontation with the authorities had happened during the Second World War, when it was found out that in one of the shops owned by him weaving women workers were not paid for overtime work. Bonanno was fined $ 500 .... But at the same time of the famous Al Capone was sent to prison for tax evasion, the Genovese clan leaders fled the country to escape the charge of murder, Lucky Luciano was in jail for pimping.
By 1944 Bonanno was the most influential mafia boss, is on the loose. It was then that he decided to get rid of his partner and a senior fellow Lucky Luciano. Bloodless. He advised serving a 25-year prison sentence Luciano to agree with the authorities: in exchange for the release and the ability to leave the US American authorities promised Luciano affect their Sicilian counterparts to facilitate the Allied forces invasion of Sicily. The transaction took place safely.
Joseph Bonanno became the chairman of the Commission and de facto head of the entire North American mafia. During the reign of Bonanno it is considered to be the most successful in the history of the American Mafia. People Bonanno dominated not only in New York - they are hosted throughout the east coast of the United States. Racketeering and kidnapping, drug trafficking and weapons, prostitution and pornography, casinos and slot machines - these and other sectors of the underground business for three decades were under the absolute power Bonanno. It was mnogomillionnyybiznes whose tentacles stretched over time from the United States - Canada. Montreal has become the main point of transit of heroin being imported into the United States from Europe. Power Bonanno lost pretty stupid.
In October 1964, New York was shocked by the news that Joseph Bonanno was kidnapped by unknown. According to the witness, the personal lawyer Bonanno, the crime was committed at a time when Bonanno and the lawyer left the apartment mafia boss in New York`s Park Avenue. Soon, however, it became clear that the kidnapping of the Bonanno organized by him: so he escaped and from the authorities, who are seriously interested in his work, and from assassins hired by clans Lucchese and Gambino.
In New York Bonanno returned a half (!) Years. He pointedly refused to real estate in New York, and he moved to Arizona in Tucson. For the Mafia, he ceased to exist. I forgot about it and the authorities.
Twenty years ago, Joseph Bonanno himself forced to recollect himself, having made an unprecedented act for the mafia. He wrote an autobiography, "Joseph Bonanno, a man of honor." The book had an invaluable service to the authorities. After all, in it, even from the perspective of the Bonanno, was told about the mafia clans, and the existence of the Commission, and the reasons for leaving Bonanno resigned, and even about how he organized his abduction and how to subsequently avoided the attention of law enforcement. It is possible to attract Bonanno to justice and send him to prison for a year. After his release, Joseph Bonanno lived another 16 years.
They say that when strangers asked if he was the famous Bonanno, Joe said, "Namesake". Joseph Bonanno quietly died a year ago, on May 11 at the age of 97, surrounded by loving their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. . On the morning of May 20, 2002 in the Catholic Church of St. Peter and St. Paul campus Tucson, in southern Arizona late last duty came to pay his three children, 14 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren, each of which bore the same name - Bonanno.