Mafia History: The assassination of Bonanno Family leader Carmine Galante

When it comes to Mafia hits the assassination of former Bonanno crime family leader Carmine Galante stands out not only for its sheer brutality but for its lasting impact in New York.

Galante and two of his men were shot to death at lunchtime on the back patio of Joe and Mary’s Italian cafe in Brooklyn in 1979. One of the most infamous photos in New York Mafia history is one of the murdered Galante showed a cigar still in his mouth. In 1974 the Mafia Commission named Philip Rastelli as the new boss of the Bonanno family although it was Galante that held the real power within the family. When Rastelli was sent to prison in 1976 in paved the way for Galante to take control of the organized crime family. Although he did so without the approval of the Commission.


Carmine Galante


Galante was now operating as the NY Mafia families unofficial acting boss decided to make a brazen play to take over key narcotics markets and to potentially become the most powerful Cosa Nostra boss in New York. He took control of a key heroin trafficking operating after sponsoring the murders of several rival mobsters from the Gambino crime family. It was clear Carmine wanted it all and it prompted other leaders within the NY Mafia to act.

Members of the Mafia Commission wanted Galante gone and they got their chance when Rastelli and close ally Joseph Massino asked for approval to have Carmine whacked. Many believed the hit on Galante was a joint operation between the Rastelli faction of the Bonanno family and the Gambino’s. Three masked men walked on to the patio of the restaurant and killed Carmine along with Bonanno capo Leonard Coppola and associate Giuseppe Turano.

Anthony Indelicato is the only mobster to ever be convicted for the killing of Carmine Galante. The infamous mob hit was a pivotal moment in New York Mafia’s history. Check out the video below from Fox5’s “The Tape Room” for a look back at the infamous New York Mafia hit!



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