Salvatore "Salvie" Testa (March 31, 1956 - September 14, 1984), nicknamed The Crowned Prince of the Philadelphia Mob, was a Philadelphia gangster who served as a Hitman for the Philadelphia crime family during a period of internal gang conflict. The son of former Philadelphia boss Philip Charles Testa Testa was a rising star in the mob until he was killed on orders from Nicky Scarfo Sr.
Salvatore "Salvie" Testa (March 31, 1956 - September 14, 1984),
In 1978, Maria became the sole corporate officer. Seven months following the murder of Phil, the liquor license was sold. Their father Philip was promoted to underboss after Ignazio Danaro died of old age. In turn Phil promoted drug trafficker Peter Casella to fill his role as underboss. He had an office in the back of the restaurant out of which he operated his legitimate and illegitimate business enterprises. Testa's mother Alfia died of natural causes in 1980. In March of that same year, longtime family boss Angelo Bruno was murdered and Testa's father became boss by unanimous decision from the National Crime Syndicate and by the support of the crime family itself in 1981. The death of his father's predecessor, Angelo Bruno, triggered a violent civil war in the family between factions loyal to Harry Riccobene and Nicodemo Scarfo, who controlled the family's Atlantic City, New Jersey operations.
Born on March 31, 1956 in Southwest Philadelphia, Testa was the son of Alfia Arcidiacono (1926–1980) and Philip "Chicken Man" Testa (1924–1981), a member of the Philadelphia family that served under Angelo Bruno. In 1974 he graduated from Saint John Neumann High School (Pennsylvania) and he attended Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for a year, and then went into the real estate business. Testa had one sister, Maria, born in 1954 who managed a Center City, Philadelphia nightclub and restaurant. Maria married Scarfo mob associate and 'front man' Robert Sheeran who was listed as the officer of ETTENAJ Corporation which held the liquor license for Phil's restaurant, Virgilio's, along with Frank Narducci Sr.'s sister-in-law Jeanette Hearn.
Philip "Chicken Man" Testa (1924–1981), On March 15, 1981, Testa returned to his home in South Philadelphia, as he was opening the door, a nail bomb exploded under his front porch. The house was ravaged and witnesses claimed that pieces of Testa’s body were scattered blocks away, he was rushed to hospital and there died of internal bleeding, his son was very bitter about the way his father was killer, he became a rising star in the Philadelphia family.
Angelo "The Gentle Don" Bruno (born Angelo Annaloro; May 21, 1910 – March 21, 1980)
Several factions within the Philadelphia family began conspiring to betray the aging Bruno. On March 21, 1980, the 69 year-old Bruno was killed by a shotgun blast in the back of the head as he sat in his Cadillac Seville, with him at the time of his murder was future Boss of the Philly mob John Stanfa who at the time was Bruno's driver. It is believed that the killing was ordered by Antonio Caponigro (aka Tony Bananas), Bruno's consigliere. A few weeks later, Caponigro's body was found stuffed in a body bag in the trunk of a car in New York City. About $300 in bills were jammed in his mouth and anus (to be interpreted as signs of greed). The Commission had reportedly ordered Caponigro's murder because he assassinated Bruno without their sanction. Other Philadelphia family members involved in Bruno's murder were tortured and killed.
Mob Scene: "Tony Bananas"
Tony "Bananas" Caponigro
Salvatore Testa was a ruggedly handsome 210-pound man who stood 6 feet tall with hazel eyes, long lashes, and dimpled cheeks. He has a close physical resemblance to the actor Peter DeLuise, Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Susan Caba said that Salvatore had a narrow, solemn face like that of his sister Maria. He wore his wavy hair out over his ears in typical 1970s fashion and was known to wear track suits and double breasted suits. He enjoyed wearing a 10-gallon cowboy hat and leather pants.
Penhall teaches Hanson to be a gangster Tom Hanson - Doug Penhall 21 jump street s03e18 Johnny Depp Peter DeLuise
Peter DeLuise as Doug IN TV show - 21 Jump Street.
Salvatore, his grandfather and namesake, was born around 1891 in Messina and died of natural causes in 1950. His father Bruno crime family underboss Phil Testa and his mother Alfia were Catholic. They chose to have Nicky Scarfo and his second wife 'Domenica' as Salvatore's godparents with the ceremony held at St. Paul's Catholic Church. Salvatore would become a close childhood friend of future Scarfo crime family made man Joseph (Joe Pung) Pungitore Jr., the younger brother of Anthony (Anthony Pung) Pungitore Jr. who would both follow Testa into a life of organized crime and serve under his father, Phil, and later Nicky Scarfo. Growing up in South Philadelphia, Salvatore also became friends with future crime family underboss Salvatore (Chuckie) Merlino, Scarfo's nephew and future underboss Phil Leonetti, brothers Joseph and Salvatore Grande, and Salvatore (Torry) Scafidi, the son of John Scafidi, a capo who served under his father Phil.
Nicky Scarfo in 1982. Mr. Scarfo had a volatile temper and a penchant for wanton violence and vengeance as he rose to become head of what was known as the Bruno-Scarfo crime family.CreditCreditTeresa Zabala/The New York Times. “Scarfo was a mob boss for the 1980s, a greedy, ruthless despot whose family coat of arms could have been a pair of crossed .357 magnums mounted on a blood-red shield embossed with the words ‘Kill or Be Killed,’” George Anastasia wrote in “Blood and Honor: Inside the Scarfo Mob — the Mafia’s Most Violent Family” (1991). A Brooklyn-born former boxer and bookmaker nicknamed Little Nicky — he stood 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighed 135 pounds.
Salvatore had a close relationship with his father and became involved with him in the rackets of drug trafficking, loansharking and extortion. Mob informant Nicholas Caramandi said, "Salvie was all for 'this thing'. Knew it inside out. Knew it better than guys who were sixty years old and who'd been in it for forty years. Because of his father. He'd been a good teacher. Salvie had nerve and he didn't care who [sic] he killed. Sometimes we used to go [on a contract] and we'd come back and tell him, 'Well, the kids were in the car, the family's in the car.' 'I don't care who's in the car', he'd say. 'Everybody goes.' That's the kind of guy he was. One Thanksgiving day he wanted us to go into Sonny [Mario] Riccobene's house where Robert Riccobene was havin' dinner with his family. 'Shoot everybody in the house'. But he and Charlie [Iannece] and Faffy [Francis Ianarella] made up some story that he didn't show up. Just to appease Salvie. 'Cause we didn't go for killing kids. It was something we drew a line with, but he (Testa) was just so full of venom that he didn't care. He was a guy made for 'this thing.' He loved it. He lived it. And he was very bitter about what happened to his father (Philip), about the way his father got killed, blown up with nails in him."
Scarface - No Wife, No Kids - (1983) - HD
Despite the close relationship with his father, Salvatore sister's Maria would later tell the Philadelphia Inquirer that it was she, and not Salvatore who made the funeral arrangements for their father after he was murdered, as she had with their mother Alfia and later, her brother in 1984.
In 1977 the New Jersey Alcohol Control Board found that Testa and Frank Narducci Jr. did not have the independent resources to finance a $250,000 purchase of the license, business and property of Le Bistro at 2201 Pacific Avenue in Atlantic City and were acting as fronts for their fathers, Frank Narducci Sr. and Phil Testa, who were both precluded from having any interest in a liquor license because of their criminal history.
Salvatore Testa (far right) walks with his father Philip "Chicken Man" Testa.
After Salvatore murdered Frank (Chickie) Narducci Sr., the mobster who orchestrated his father's death and headed the coup of the Scarfo crime family, Nick Caramandi said, "Salvie used to say to me, 'I wish that motherfucker was alive so I could kill him again.' This is how much he hated this man. He had no mercy on anybody. Business was business, and killing to him was business". George Anastasia wrote, "Salvatore Testa loved it all, the stalkings, the murders, even the Enrico Riccobene suicide. He was the South Philadelphia equivalent of a Main Line blue blood. He was born to be a wiseguy."
During the Philadelphia Mob War, Caramandi said, "He'd never ask you to do something he wouldn't do himself. He was right out there with you (on murder contracts)."
Salvatore murdered Frank (Chickie) Narducci Sr. (Murder Scene)
On June 8, 1980 Philip Testa held a Cosa Nostra initiation ceremony at the South Philadelphia home of mob captain John Cappello. At the ceremony, Phil inducted Scarfo's nephew Phil Leonetti, Salvatore (Chuckie) Merlino, Robert (Bobby) Lumio, Anthony (Blonde Babe) Pungitore Sr., the father of future Scarfo soldiers Michael and Anthony, Salvatore (Wayne) Grande, Frank (Little Frankie) Narducci Jr., Anthony (Tony) Casella, the brother of drug trafficker Peter Casella and Phil's only son, Salvatore. In January 1982, at the same induction ceremony of Tommy DelGiorno, Francis Ianarella, Pasquale Spirito, Felix (Little Felix) Bocchino, Joseph (Joey Pung) Pungitore, Eugene (Gino) Milano, Albert (Reds) Pontani, Michael (Micky) Ricciardi, Gerald (Jerry) Fusella, Joseph Sodano and Happy Bellina, his son Salvatore was promoted to captain by Nicky Scarfo.
Mafia initiation ritual caught on tape: Chilling 'poison' oath (Italian with English subtitles)
In March 1981, when Testa was twenty-five years old, his father Phil was killed by a nail bomb consisting of six sticks of TNT that was remotely detonated as he unlocked the front door of his house. The explosion was so powerful that it blew Testa's father through the front door of his home. After the murder of his father, Testa became a protege of Nicky Scarfo and was thought of as a son to Scarfo and a brother to Phil Leonetti. Testa "inherited" most of his father's business, including a loan-sharking operation in South Philadelphia. He also developed a lucrative financial arrangement with several local drug dealers including the Black Mafia that supplied parts of North Philadelphia and West Philadelphia. Testa maintained a residence at the shore near Atlantic City and kept a boat in Ventnor, New Jersey. His legitimate and illegitimate businesses made him a millionaire. Testa's father had left him an estate worth $800,000 that included a run-down bar in Ducktown, Atlantic City on a site where Donald Trump decided to build the Trump Plaza (Atlantic City) in 1984 at 2500 Boardwalk. Trump paid Testa $1.1 million -- "twice the market value"—for the right to tear the bar down.
The crime scene where Philip "Chicken Man" Testa was killed by a bomb during 1981.
Original Press Photo. 1980 Murder scene of Mafia boss Angelo Bruno.
Eugene (Gino) Milano was introduced to the Scarfo organization by Salvatore. Gino is the older brother of Scarfo crime family associate Nicholas (Nicky the Whip) Milano who followed Gino into a life of organized crime with Testa. Reporter George Anastasia wrote, "Milano's loyalty was to Testa rather than to the organization (the Scarfo crime family). He really didn't know Scarfo, Leonetti or most of the other leaders in the family. He was Testa's friend as well as his "associate". Eugene worked as a bouncer at a Center City Philadelphia restaurant where Salvatore had some connections. Milano's real job was to stay close to Salvatore, who at the time was avenging his father's murder". Milano, along with Testa, was later involved in the murders of Frank (Chickie) Narducci Sr. and Frank (Frankie Flowers) D'Alfonso.
Angelo "The Gentle Don" Bruno (born Angelo Annaloro; May 21, 1910 – March 21, 1980) was a Sicilian-American mobster, notable for being boss of the Philadelphia crime family for two decades until his assassination. Bruno gained his nickname and reputation as "the Gentle Don" or "the Docile Don" due to his preference for conciliation over violence, especially in comparison to his violent successors.
Salvatore Testa with Little Nicky.
Eugene (Gino) Milano
In January 7, 1982, 50-year-old South Philadelphia resident Francis "Chickie" Narducci Sr., a long-time capo under Angelo Bruno, was murdered by Salvie Testa and Testa's crew. Narducci had an adopted son and namesake Frank Narducci Jr. who was adopted by Narducci Sr. when he was just a year old with his wife Arlin, and younger biological son Philip. Fellow mobsters Joseph Pungitore, and Joseph Grande were assigned as 'blockers', with Charles 'Charlie White' Iannucci, Salvatore Testa and Eugene 'Gino' Milano as the shooters, and Nicholas (The Crow) Caramandi as the getaway driver. Narducci Sr. was shot ten times point blank in the face, neck and chest outside their Broad Street home in South Philadelphia West.
Salvatore and Maria Testa, son and daughter of slain reputed mob leader Philip "Chicken Man" Testa, leave St. Monica Roman Catholic Church following church services in Philadelphia on March 20, 1981. (AP Photo/Clem Murray)
Mobster turned informant Nicholas Caramandi later said that Scarfo had no problem recruiting Narducci's sons on behalf of Testa because he did not hold them responsible for what he called "their father's sins", helping set up Philip Testa to be murdered and Nick Caramandi said, "He (Scarfo) felt these kids were just victims of circumstances. They wasn't part of no plots. So Nicky made a speech that he would not hold any sons responsible for their father's actions. They probably knew what had happened but they'll never bring it up. They want to be gangsters too much." Frank (Frankie Jr) Narducci Jr. and Philip later served as enforcers in the crew of Salvatore Testa, the very person who ordered the death of their father.
There may be a new motive in the murder of Raymond Martorano. George talks to former mob hit man Nick Caramandi on the phone and he tells us why he became a mob informant, why it may have lead to Martorano's murder and the downfall of Nicky Scarfo.
In 1979 Testa, Salvatore (Chuckie) Merlino and Robert (Bobby) Lumio murdered 31-year-old drug dealer Michael (Coco) Cifelli. He was murdered for selling drugs to the son of Frank Monte, a capo from Cinnaminson Township, New Jersey. Frank served under Phil Testa and later Nicky Scarfo. He oversaw illegal gambling operations in Atlantic City and New Jersey for the crime family. Michael Cifelli was gunned down by Testa and Salvatore (Chuckie) Merlino as he was talking on the phone in a telephone booth just inside a bar, Priori's, at 10th and Wolf Streets in the Point Breeze neighborhood of Philadelphia. Monte was later promoted to be consigliere in 1981 by Nicky Scarfo.
From Left to Right - Frank Monte, Charlie Iannece and Phil Leonetti
Philip Crazy Phil Leonetti (born March 27, 1953) is a Philadelphia gangster and current author who became the underboss of the Philadelphia crime family under his mentor, uncle and former. Former Mob Hitman Talks: Phil Leonetti discusses turning mob informant against his Uncle Nicodemo Little Nicky Scarfo. Correspondent Forrest Sawyer. Airdate 10/2/96.
An extremely violent individual, Testa committed 15 of the 28 murders attributed to the Riccobene-Scarfo war. Two murders were that of Frank (Chickie) Narducci Sr. on January 7, 1982 and that of low level mob associate and Peter (Fat Pete) Casella's chauffeur and bodyguard Rocco Marinucci on March 15, 1982. Rocco was the man who detonated the nail bomb that murdered Testa's father in 1981 at their family home. Exactly one year after the bombing, Marinucci's body was found in a parking lot on Federal Street in Southwark Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with bullet wounds to the neck, chest, and head. His mouth was stuffed with three large, unexploded cherry bombs, It was the work of Testa.
In June 1982, following an attempt on the life of Harry Riccobene by Salvatore Grande, Testa was attacked. He was sitting outside Lorenzo's Pizza in the Italian Market, Philadelphia Pennsylvania, with Dean Heiser finishing a dish of steamed clams when a big Ford sedan slowed down opposite him. From the passenger side window a sawn-off shotgun poked out, and there was a thudding explosion. Testa was caught full in the side with a load of buck shot that ripped into his legs and stomach and nearly severed his left arm.
Rocco Marinucci killed by Salvatore Testa.
Below Image - Lorenzo's Pizza on 9th Street as it looks today.
The Ford raced away down Ninth Street, swerving around cars and scattering shoppers the length of the market. A police car that had been behind it gave chase and the two cars careered through the narrow streets at seventy miles an hour, until finally the Ford hit a lamppost, skidded onto the sidewalk and flipped over. Vincent DeLuca and Joseph Pedulla, the two Riccobene soldiers who had killed Frank Monte, were pulled from the wreck and arrested.
They were released later that same day but went into hiding. After a few days of hiding from Testa, who they learned had survived, they turned themselves into the police for protective custody. After they were tried and convicted of the attempted murder of Testa, they offered to become government witnesses.
The Salvie Testa Hit
Maria Merlino, the daughter of Salvatore Merlino, sister of Joey Merlino had nursed the nearly dead Testa back to health after the Italian Market shooting, and they had been inseparable afterward. Nicky Scarfo drew on his contractor friends to rebuild the Testa home, vacant since the explosion that had killed Testa's father, Philip, as a wedding gift for the newlyweds. Testa saw the match as a way to gain more power in the family. After being an underboss's son for twenty-five years he was used to being close to the top.
"Arriving at the 11th and Wharton St. police stattion for booking in a May 25 stabbing death in a diner at 3rd St. and Oregon Av. are (from left) Salvatore Merlino, Nicholas Scarfo and Louis Matteo, all of South Philadelphia." The three men were arrested for the murder of William F. Dugan, 24, who lived at 350 Tree St. 1963-06-03
Testa and Merlino were soon engaged, but they had decided to wait for Nicky Scarfo to come out of jail before they married. By that time Testa fell in love with someone else who lived in an apartment at Ninth and Christian at the Italian Market, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and he did not want to marry Merlino. He thought when Nicky was released from prison that Nicky would take the brunt of his not marrying Salvatore's daughter because of what a good job Testa had done during the Riccobene war.
Nicodemo Dominic "Little Nicky" Scarfo (8 March 1929-13 January 2017)
The wedding was all planned and scheduled to be held in April 1984. They had bought gowns and had the church. They even bought special tablecloths. There were going to be over seven hundred guests. The wedding ceremony was to be held at The Bellevue Stratford Hotel in Center City, Philadelphia. Merlino's father bought her a lot of jewelry, and she was redoing the house with French toilets and jacuzzis. Testa was old-fashioned and wanted to live in his father's footsteps. He did not like these types of fancy possessions. This led to an argument between the two. Testa canceled the wedding two months before its scheduled date.
Salvatore Merlino, Maria's father, allegedly told Nicholas Carramandi over a dinner following their separation, "You know, I'm not mad because he didn't marry my daughter. If he would just take himself down and start all over again, he would be forgiven. You know, this thing comes first. If he didn't want to marry my daughter ... he coulda did it in a different way." Merlino had wanted Testa to relinquish his title as capo and become a mob soldier again but he did not.
Mafia Wedding - Song: LIL WEST - Fukk!!CodeRED (ft.Night Lovell) [Prod By.ElijahWiley]
Testa had an athletic build from regularly playing racquetball and tennis at the pier 30 Tennis Club in Penn's Landing where he was a member. He joined about eighteen months before his murder. Ray Mirra, manager of Pier 30 described Testa as personable and well liked by the tennis professionals and other members. He frequently attended staff birthday parties and contributed money for gifts. Although he sometimes joked about his organized crime connections, Testa seemed the opposite of his flashy mobster image; he wore understated tennis whites and bought a $135 racket, not an expensive model.
Testa wore no jewelry and drove to the club in a nondescript car. Testa took tennis seriously; he joined the club as a beginner and rapidly progressed to an advanced intermediate level of play. In April of that year, the club's pros awarded Testa a trophy for being the "most improved" player. He said that it was his first trophy he had ever won for anything. It was the best he had done in any sport.
On December 10, 1982, four days after the murder of Harry Riccobene's brother, Robert, Testa was driving through South Philadelphia with three bodyguards. At 11th and Catherine Streets, another car swerved into his path, blocking him. Four Riccobene soldiers leaped from the car and opened fire. Testa and his men returned fire, and for several minutes the intersection was a combat zone. By the time the police arrived, the Riccobene men had driven off. No one had been hit. Testa and his bodyguards were questioned and released.
Harry Riccobene (July 27, 1909 – June 19, 2000) was a high-ranking member of the Philadelphia Crime Family who became a major figure in the short, but violent gang war that followed the 1980 death of boss Angelo Bruno. Born in Enna, Sicily, to Mario Riccobene Sr. and Anna Cimmari. His father, Mario, left Philadelphia to search for a job working in the coal mines in West Virginia and joined him in 1913. His father eventually found work as a stonemason in South Philadelphia. In 1925, Harry's biological mother died of unknown causes and Mario adopted his two nephews, Robert and Mario Jr. after their own mother died during the 1918 flu pandemic. He was born with a slight curvature of the spine that has been suspected of having been caused by lordosis, kyphosis or Pott Disease.
He was 5'1" tall and weighed 136 pounds with brown hair and eyes and had a hunchback from a birth defect that earned him the moniker "Harry the Hunchback." By the 1960s he was separated from his wife Evelyn. He was the stepbrother of Robert, Enrico and Mario Riccobene. He spoke in a high pitched voice and as he grew older he donned a long white beard. One prospective juror for one of his criminal trials described him as looking like "a little Santa Claus." His legitimate businesses included television tube companies in Philadelphia, Yonkers, New York and Richmond, Virginia. His arrest record included carrying a concealed weapon, larceny, and possession of narcotics. At one point, Riccobene spent time in prison on a narcotics conviction.
A longtime underworld figure in Philadelphia, Harry became a made man under Prohibition mob boss Salvatore Sabella in 1927 at the age of 18, being one of the youngest men ever know to be made into the American mafia. Riccobene witnessed the rash of violence that started with the unsanctioned murder of boss Angelo Bruno and his replacement Philip Testa.After running the family for one year, Testa was killed by a nail bomb at his home. Nicodemo Scarfo now became family boss. Riccobene led a faction against Scarfo for control of family operations in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Scarfo consigliere Frank Monte informed his crew that he was going to kill Riccobene and take over his loansharking and illegal gambling operations. Monte approached Mario Riccobene, Riccobene's half-brother, and demanded that Mario set up Riccobene to be killed. However, Mario denied Monte by telling Riccobene about the plot. Infuriated, Riccobene ordered Mario and hitmen Joseph Pedulla and Victor DeLuca to instead kill Monte, to "... get them before they get us."
Victor DeLuca......hitman for the riccobene faction during the war with the scarfo faction
Mario Riccobene, Joe Pedulla and Vic De Luca camped out in a van near Monte's parked Cadillac Deville, waiting for him to come outside. Several hours later, Monte emerged and started getting into his car. Pedulla fired on Monte three times with a sniper rifle, killing him. After this there were at least two attempts made on Riccobene's life. One was perpetrated by Salvatore "Wayne" Grande as the hunchback was talking in a payphone, Grande approached Riccobene and drew his weapon to open fire, at that moment Riccobene lunged at him and was able to fight of the young scarfo soldier and survived the attempted hit with only minor injuries. The other attempt was made when gunmen followed Riccobene in his car and as he parked to the side of a city street the hitmen pulled up alongside him and opened fire, Riccobene had spotted them and ducked beneath the dashboard and once again avoided being murdered.
Example Image - Traumatized students, a busy roadway washed with over a hundred spent shells, and crime sleuths at their wits’ end, paint the picture of the horror that unfolded last Friday morning along the busy and densely populated Howard Cooke Boulevard and Queens Drive in Montego Bay. Even as people scampered along the highway in reckless abandon, running from the barrage of bullets as they could, one man was unable to escape the slaughter, and became victim #126 in the blood-washed, friendly city.
Nicky Scarfo, Jr., son of reputed organized crime boss Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo, walks through a hallway to court in Philadelphia City Hall, in this Jan. 24, 1989 file photo.
Later on, Riccobene hitmen unsuccessfully attempted to murder Salvatore Testa, Philip Testa's son, but this time they were arrested by police. Detectives soon connected the three men to the Monte murder and persuaded them to testify against Harry. Soon after Riccobene's brother Robert "Bobby" Riccobene was murdered by "Faffy" Francis Iannarella in front of Riccobene's mother, after this the hunchback surrendered his territory to scarfo. Riccobene was later indicted on charges of first degree murder. During the trial, Riccobene denied any involvement in organized crime and said that he tried to prevent the three men from committing violence amid "unfounded rumors" of death threats made against them by Scarfo. In spite of this, Harry was convicted of murder and sent to prison. In 2000, Harry Riccobene died in Dallas State Correctional Institution from natural causes.
Diminutive Philly wiseguy, Harry the hunchback Riccobene.
After Riccobene's conviction, Mario told the press that he testified against Harry in hopes of escaping from organized crime and "... to get back at the people who did what they did to my family." Mario entered the witness protection program, but left it in a vain hope to rejoin the Philadelphia crime family. Mario Riccobene was murdered soon after his return to Philadelphia in 1993.
Mario "Sonny" Riccobene (1933 - 1993, South Jersey) was a member of the Philadelphia crime family and federal witness. He was found by his former associates who he ratted on and was murdered by them.
Enrico Riccobene, the 28-year-old son of Mario Riccobene, the brother of Harold, owned a jewelry store in Jewelers' Row, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Sansom Street. Since the start of the battle between the Riccobene and Scarfo faction he never went to work without being armed and an escort of three or four bodyguards. On December 14, 1983, ten days before Christmas, Enrico opened the store accompanied by his bodyguards. A few minutes later he glanced out and saw Testa, Phil Leonetti and Lawrence (Yogi) Merlino walk slowly by. Testa paused, tapped on the glass and smiled at him. After the months of murders and weeks of fear, the sight of the three men was too much for Enrico. He had lost several of his uncles (Robert Riccobene) and his own father (Mario Riccobene) in the power struggle. He went into the back of the shop and shot himself in the head. Testa, after hearing of the suicide, said, "I don't have to kill people anymore ... I just show up, and they do the job themselves."
Image Below - Jewelers Row, considered the oldest diamond district in the United States, took form in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as a cultural and economic locale for craft merchants and gold sellers. It still employs as many as 300 people at more than 30 businesses clustered on and around Sansom Street, between 7th and 8th streets, according to the Jewelers Row Business Association.
In April 1984, he was featured on the front page of The Wall Street Journal in an article by journalist James Bovard that described him as the "fastest rising star" in the Scarfo organization. Scarfo was jealous and worried that Testa was becoming too powerful within the family. Additionally, Testa's breaking off of his engagement to Maria insulted Salvatore Merlino. After the end of internal conflict with Riccobene, Scarfo decided that he could afford to eliminate Testa. Thomas DelGiorno, Charles Iannece and Francis Ianarella went to Testa's ex-father-in-law, underboss Salvatore Merlino and Nicky Scarfo started to spread rumours that Testa was going to start his own gang and also that he was starting to take drugs.
Andrew Thomas DelGiorno, also known as "Tommy Del" (born 1940, South Philadelphia) is a former American mobster, captain in the Philadelphia crime family and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) informant. He was responsible for five murders during his association with Nicky Scarfo in the 1980's. DelGiorno is of Polish and Italian heritage, he managed to hide his Polish heritage from his friends in the Philadelphia Mob so that he could be formally inducted into the Philadelphia Mob.
Andrew Thomas DelGiorno
Iannarella was the suspected killer in the death of John Calabrese in 1981, and took part in the unsuccessful attempts to kill mob figure Harry Riccobene in 1982, he also planned and supervised the attempted murder of Riccobene associate Frank Martines in 1983, drove the getaway car after the murder of Riccobene associate Salvatore Tamburrino in 1983 and killed Robert "Bobby" Riccobene in December 1983 in front of his mother with a shotgun. Iannarella helped supervise the 1984 murder of mob captain Salvatore Testa, supervised the unsuccessful attempt to murder drug dealer Steven Vento Jr. and was involved in illegal gambling and extortion. Iannarella was born in 1946 in Philadelphia and served in the military as a young man and joined the Philly mob as an associate upon his return home.
Charles Iannece (Born 1935) also known as "Charlie White", was a hitman and member of the Philadelphia crime family. He was a close friend and associate of Nicholas Caramandi, both of whom carried various "hits" for the Scarfo regime.Iannece was charged in the murder of Salvatore Testa, he allegedly helped dump Sal Testa's body along a road in rural Camden County, according to former mob captain Andrew DelGiorno who became a federal informant. He was also implicated in the murders of two other individuals and the attempted killing of reputed drug dealer Steven Vento Jr.
Charles "Charlie White" Iannece
During a benefit dinner for a local charity at Palumbo's Restaurant in South Philadelphia in April, around the same time The Wall Street Journal did the article on Testa's rising success. Nicky Scarfo took a table for himself and his top associates but when Testa arrived, he was told to sit elsewhere. Following the charity event, Testa was also not invited to a trip to Puerto Rico.
Nicholas Carramandi said, "Salvie was very cautious. He just felt bad vibes. Every time you shook his hand, he'd bring you in close with his right hand and just pat you down with his left hand from behind to see if you were carrying a gun… He was the type of guy who, if he knew for sure, would have sought retribution from Salvatore Merlino or Nicodermo Scarfo and try to kill them. This kid would have gone down in a blaze of glory. But he wasn't sure. He was aware. He was alert. But he wasn't sure." Nicholas Caramandi said that the only way Salvatore could have saved himself at that point was to take off and disappear. But that, apparently wasn't in the kid's makeup. "Me and Charlie used to talk about it. We don't know why this fuckin' guy don't take off. We woulda loved to have told him, but we couldn't tell him..."
Above is the center section of a March 4, 1938 photo of the "First Annual Dinner RCA Model Shop" at Frank Palumbo's Restaurant in Philadelphia PA.
Palumbo's was a popular 20th Century restaurant with nightclub entertainment located near the Italian Market section of South Philadelphia. Palumbo's included a banquet hall and Nostalgia's Restaurant. The format basically was an adaption of the music hall of the United Kingdom or vaudeville in the United States, showcasing live entertainment in a restaurant and saloon setting. It was owned by local celebrity/businessman/humanitarian Frank Palumbo. Amid unsubstantial rumors of Mafia connections. Palumbo expanded a boardinghouse started by his grandfather, Antonio Palumbo into the entertainment complex. Palumbo’s was destroyed by fire in 1994 and was determined to be arson. The site, marked by an unofficial historical plaque, is now occupied by a chain drug store.
In the 1940s and 1950s, Philadelphia was an important pop music center, with many bands and singers being made or broken in the city. The 20th Century Club, Ciro's and the opulent, art deco Click Club on Market St. which Frank also owned were significant elements in the music scene. Benny Goodman And His Orchestra with Patti Page and pianist Teddy Wilson performed a Live 1946 radio broadcast for the 'One Night Stand' show at Frank Palumbo's Click Club in Philadelphia. Frequent performers at Palumbo's included Frank Sinatra, Sergio Franchi, Louis Prima, Louis Armstrong, the Clooney sisters, Jimmy Durante and " "The Godfathers" [Al Martino], comedians and numerous entertainers. A nightly radio series broadcast concerts from the club, many of which were later released as albums.
A photo of Frank Palumbo eating spaghetti with Frank Sinatra at the Rat Pack hangout Palumbo’s.
Well beyond the club’s heyday, the restaurant remained popular. Sinatra visited the “black tie saloon” frequently and Mayor Frank Rizzo spent most evenings there during his rise to power, years in office and beyond. The banquet hall became a popular cultural tradition for many social groups, business organizations, family celebrations, and special events that were mostly attracted by the reasonable prices, menu items and entertainment.
A wedding at Palumbo's
Salvatore's lifelong friend and fellow made man in the Scarfo crime family Joseph Pungitore's aunt had died. Nicholas Caramandi said,
"Joe Pungitore was Salvie Testa's best friend out of all the fellas. He's also a made guy and was one of Salvie's top guys. So there's no way Salvie's not going to come to the (Carto Funeral Home at Broad Street (Philadelphia) But Salvie knows about funeral parlors (being used as a hit location), because it was used in one of the many botched attempts on Mario Riccobene's life. As Nicholas Caramandi explains what happened at the funeral parlor, "Nicky (Nicky Scarfo) Chucky (Salvatore Merlino) and Philip (Phil Leonetti) are ten feet away from me. I'm looking directly at them. Chuckie's standing there and I motion to Chuckie with my head, up and down, like, let's do it right now. But he waves me off. So when he does that, I go to the lounge and sit down. We were all tense and I couldn't understand what happened. I was right behind him (Salvatore Testa), ready to shoot him, he's talking to a guy at the bar. All I hadda do is go bing, right in the back of his head. Then about ten minutes later, Tommy (Andrew Thomas DelGiorno) and Faffy (Francis Ianarella) come over, and they tell me there's too much law outside. Too many cops... When we leave the funeral parlor, we all go downstairs outside and we're saying goodbye to everybody, members and nonmembers. I'm standing with Nicky, Chuckie, Philip, Tommy, Faffy and Charlie. Now when Salvie says goodbye, he shakes hands with all of us. Chuckie Merlino shakes his hand, grabs his head and kisses him on the lips... for like ten seconds. Tommy, Charlie, Faffy and me, we look at one another. We said, 'What the fuck. This guy's nuts. Salvie's gotta know now.' It was the kiss of death. 'We looked at the expression on Salvie. He was sorta stunned. He just couldn't figure out what the fuck was going on. But this is how crazy they (Salvatore Merlino and Nicky Scarfo) were. I mean, they wanted him to know."
Carto Funeral Home at Broad Street (Philadelphia)
Welcome to Monti Rago Funeral Home. Located at 2531 South Broad Street in South Philadelphia. We have been in business for over 50 years and we are here to serve you. In this video, the owner and manager of the funeral home, Mark Rago, gives you a tour of the arrangement room, a place where the family comes in to speak to the funeral director about their wishes for their loved one.The arrangement room was made with the families comfort in mind, making them feel as though they were at their dinning room table. You will also see our selection of urns, caskets and burial garments for your loved one. Monti-Rago offers numerous kinds of urns and caskets that fit any budget.
On September 14, 1984, Scarfo commanded Testa's best friend, made-man Joey Pungitore, to lure Testa into an ambush in the back room of the 'Too Sweet' candy store in Southwark, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on East Passyunk Avenue. Originally Tommy DelGiorno and Faffy Iannarella were put in charge of the Testa murder; Nick Caramandi and Charlie Iannece were going to be the shooters. But it was difficult; Testa was a professional hit man and knew all the tricks of the trade. He was extremely cautious and checked everyone who hugged him for a gun. The job seemed almost impossible, and Little Nicky was getting restless. So Tommy and Faffy brought Salvatore "Wayne" Grande and Joseph "Joey Pung" Pungitore into the conspiracy. Pungitore was Testa's closest friend and would only go along with the job if he did not have to pull the trigger. Salvatore Grande on the other hand jumped at the opportunity to put a bullet in Testa. Joseph Pungitore arranged a meeting with Testa. At that meeting in the back of the candy store Salvie greeted Wayne who was sitting on a couch in the back room. Salvie then turned to talk with Joe Pung; Wayne took out a gun from under the cushions on the couch and shot Testa in the back of his head, Wayne stood up to shoot Testa once more. Nicky the Crow, Charlie Iannece and Joe Grande helped clean up the scene and get Testa's corpse out of the store. Salvie's hogtied remains were found at the side of a dirt road in Gloucester Township, New Jersey.
Bruce Springsteen's official music video for 'Streets Of Philadelphia'
Salvatore Testa meets a grizzly end.
Scarfo had requested that Testa be strangled to death, but with his size and considerable strength his killers considered this task too difficult. Scarfo and his nephew Leonetti split up his empire. The trigger man, Salvatore (Wayne) Grande, received 25% of Testa's business. Thomas DelGiorno and Francis Iannarella were named acting capos for his crew and were eventually promoted to capos themselves. Joseph Scafidi was given a $500-a-week job working as a numbers runner, and Charles White and Nicholas Caramandi were formally inducted into the Philadelphia mob.
Violent and insecure, Scarfo continued murdering Philadelphia crime family members whom he feared or envied. Since the 1980s, many of the made men who later became government informants, including Nicholas "The Crow" Caramandi, Scarfo crime family underboss Phil Leonetti, and Polish-Italian capo Tommy Delgiorno have confided that the murder of Testa marked the downfall of the Scarfo crime family regime over Philadelphia in many ways. Much of the Family's trust with the Five Families was defeated, as Salvatore Testa, a respected member of the family and apparent successor, to lead the family, was killed for very little reason. Despite this, Nicholas Caramandi told in his autobiography how many associates, such as Phil Leonetti and Thomas DelGiorno, were enthusiastic about Testa's death, leading up to the time of his murder, because of their own increase of power in the family. In 1987, Scarfo was sent to prison for several murders, and died while still incarcerated at age 87 on January 13, 2017 at the Federal medical center in Butner, North Carolina.
Testa's funeral procession on September 20, 1984, nearly 300 mourners crowded St. Paul's Catholic Church in the city's Italian Market section, only a block from where Testa had survived an earlier assassination attempt that left him seriously wounded in 1982. He was interred with his father, Philip, and mother, Alfia, at the family plot at Holy Cross Cemetery in Yeadon, Pennsylvania.
Clicking of a lighter is heard as Tony the restaurant owner and boss lights up a cigarette.
Tony takes another drag of his cigarette before stubbing it out in an ashtray. Okay Okay Tony say's softly as he extinguishes the hot tobacco. The ashtray rings out a high pitched sound as Tony applies pressure.
Tony say's, Let's talk business.
Tony pushes a black and white photo across the table for Leon to see, Tony say's This fat bastard is trying to move in on Maurizio's business.
Tony continues, Now you know Maurizio is a reasonable guy.
He just wants... a little conversation.
But this guy, he don't wanna hear about it,
Maybe he'll listen to you.
Leon listens as Tony continues, He comes to town every Tuesday. Are you free Tuesday?. Leon delays his response then replies positively, I'm free Tuesday.
The glass makes a high toned sound as Leon's fingers grab the milk glass from it's edges.
Tony watches silently as Leon lifts the glass to his mouth and starts to drink the ice cold milk.
Leon slams the glass down onto the table producing a thud sound.
Leon pulls the photo closer to identify his target.
Mr Jones aka (Fatman) enters into a hotel reception with his cronies behind.
The hotel receptionist say's, Nice to see you again, Mr Jones.
The sound score consists of a light tambourine mixed with heavy timpani drum beats. One of Fatman's cronies observes the camera surveillance system as Fatman reaches the highly secured door from the corridor outside.
The door opens and Fatman enters room 201.
The sound score has changed to a synthesizer tone of echoed highs, Fatman taps one of his cronies on the right arm and say's, Remember, neatness counts. You got one half hour.
Fatman takes a few steps and stops as he looks ahead at something just a few feet away.
Suddenly an attractive woman turns her head and looks at Fatman without saying a word.
Fatman looks at the woman and say's "Ah" in a satisfied way.
Another cronie is heard saying, One Hour!
A click and a loud creaking is heard as the briefcase is opened to reveal four large bags of uncut cocaine.
The male receptionist is looking over his guest list as a dark shadow suddenly creeps over him. He looks up to look over a few feet but nothing has been revealed to the viewer.
Fatman's radio handset starts to make a whirring sound as Fatman leans over to answer it. Fatman say's Yeah, What?
Tonto replies with a calm but worried tone of voice, He say's This is Tonto downstairs. There's a guy who wants to talk to you.
Fatman shugs his head with confusion as he replies, What's he look like?
Tonto looks down then back up with his eyes as he replies in a worried tone, Serious!. Leno replies, Tell him I'm coming up. Tonto replies, He's coming up.
Suddenly a gun shot is heard emanating out from Fatman's radio as Fatman jumps with unexpected fright from the sound. A whizzing pinging is also heard.
Suddenly two pieces of a radio receiver are seen hurtling to the floor as well as large amounts of blood that have splattered all over the marbled walls. Leno has shot and killed Tonto to show Fatman that he is deadly serious and that it is real.
Fatman immediately gets out of bed and quickly dresses himself as he walks into the next room with a serious tone of voice, He say's Somebody's coming up. Somebody Serious.
Fatman's armed gang members immediately stand from there sat positions to investigate the situation.
The bodyguard chief wearing a purple suit pulls out his gun as he nods on over at Fatman that he and his team are going to neutralize the situation.
Another gang member is talking on his radio, He say's, Mickey open your eyes, We got company.
Mickey is in the weapons storage room reading a magazine, He quickly throws the magazine to one side as he reaches inside his jacket for his machine gun.
The bodyguard chief enters into the hallway as he taps one of his cronies standing just outside the door well. He say's We got company in a serious voice as he heads further along the corridor at speed.
Four gang members make there way a short distance to the top of the stairs as they look down with there weapons in hand.
A loud clicking is heard as members cock there weapons ready to fire, Gang members ascend a few stairs as they cautiously try to locate the intruder.
The elevator lift slowly starts to move from the ground floor up to floor 15.
The chief bodyguard watches as the elevator panel slowly lights up floor 17.
The lift moves on up to floor 18.
The chief bodyguard starts to signal with his left hand as he say's Come on. All gang members are waiting for the lift to open on there floor.
The four gang members are poised to open fire and kill any intruder that might be in the lift.
The gang members move a few feet back to brace themselves as a creaking is heard. The lift display now reads floor 20 which is the floor the gang members reside.
Suddenly a loud ding is heard as the lift reaches floor 20 and opens. A hand suddenly appears from the lift door bloodied and holding a circular object which could be an explosive.
As soon as the hand and arm appears it causes the gang members to open fire with a flurry of gun shots.
Fatman watches the carnage from a security monitor system with a face of dismay and fear.
The men continue to fire at the body in the lift.
Suddenly the chief bodyguard signals with both hands for his men to stop firing there weapons. He shouts loudly, Stop! Stop!, Men.
One gang member begins to report from his radio receiver while another raises his gun high as he portrays a face of confusion and fear.
An echoing sound of wind is heard as the camera pans up exposing a dead body that has not fallen down but rests and clings to the lift.
The bodyguards stand motionless as they survey the image in front of them.
Fatman is fixed to the screen as he instantly recognizes the dead man in the lift, He whispers out "Tonto" in a shocked way.
The gang members quickly retreat back into the room after realizing they have added insult to injury by mistaking Tonto for an intruder.
The chief bodyguard decides to stay out on the hall as he is responsible for ordering his men into action. He say's to another member "Tell the driver to wait for us out back and hurry up!. He taps the member with his hand to move quickly as the member runs down the stairs.
A gang member makes haste as he is instructed by the chief.
The chief bodyguard examines inside the lift, He looks up and notices that there is a large open space in the ceiling and the gang member now knows that the intruder is still alive.
Suddenly a shot rings out from a distance which causes the chief bodyguard to turn his head in a startled way.
The chief bodyguard at this moment in time is on his own as he cautiously walks on over to the balcony.
Clicking of feet are hard as the bodyguard hesitantly makes his way over to the metal railings of the balcony. He slowly looks over the railings to see what he can see.
Floor 20 is the highest floor as the stairs do not go any higher, It is very high and a long drop to the ground below.
As the chief bodyguard leans over his tie sticks out and is hanging over the balcony railings.
Suddenly a whipping sound is heard as Leon appears from a lower level, Leon grabs the dangling tie and pulls hard.
A metal tapping is heard as the chief bodyguard screams out loudly as he is pulled over the balcony to his death.
Mickey is watching the corridor from the surveillance monitor in the weapons room.
Suddenly a high pitched whizzing sound is heard as the display suddenly switches off to a black screen.
Mickey stares at the dead monitor as he taps it several times not quite understanding why it has suddenly gone on the blink.