The best inside secrets come from the guys who turn. Nobody was a bigger coup for the government than Joey Massino. Joey was Boss of the Bonanno family and not just any boss but the man who built it back up. The Bonanno family had been decimated by internal strife and embarrassed by Donnie Brasco aka Joseph Pistone infiltrating the family.
Joey shut the social clubs and made a secret gesture where they tugged on their ear lobe to signify the Bonanno family. He was able to get the family back on the Commission and he brought new blood into the family.
Joey Massino wanted to flip even before his conviction. He had attended a couple of proffer sessions in prison and the Government was still on the fence about a deal or no deal.
Vincent Basciano, aka Vinny, had been in charge on the street as acting boss of the Bonanno family while Joey was behind bars. He was able to make Captains or break them if necessary, and was the last word on the street for the Bonanno family. Then Vinny was also arrested and housed at Brooklyn MDC. In November of 2004 Joey called a family meeting by using lawyers to set up co-defendant meeting so they could go over family business.
It was at one of these prison meetings that Joey Massino wore a wire for the FBI. He got Vinny to talk about Randy Pizzolo, a guy who was an associate of his crew who was found murdered in Brooklyn. Vinny spoke freely to Joey because, after all, he had been boss for over 13 years.
Vinny had sent Joey’s wife 50k in a bottle of Dom while he was locked up.
Vinny told Joey that he had given the order to kill Randy Pizzolo because the kid was a rat and scumbag that he had brought a pistol to a meeting at Villa Sonoma with a made Bonanno family guy. He had then gotten drunk and started running his mouth. Vinny had chased him and he was told to go to Florida. Randy would not leave New York and this bothered Vinny a lot.
Randy was lured to Greenpoint Brooklyn early one day and he was shot seven times by Anthony “Ace” Aiello, a made Bonanno man. Vinny had told Joey on tape in MDC that Ace was his Luca Brasi, a fictional character from the The Godfather.
Joey Massino also gave up how the Bonanno family inducted new members. A Capo would place a guy who had been around them for a number of years on a piece of paper and give it to Joey. Joey would then at his leisure look into the guy to see if he was “stand up.” If he passed, Joey would put his name next to the name of a soldier who had died or gone away and that would be passed among the other five families. If they had no objections he would induct them into the family. He told the FBI that he personally attended 60-70 induction ceremonies over the years.
The Bonannos would bring a guy or two or even three into the room and say something along the lines of, “This is the life you chose. If not, there is the door, you can leave now. If you choose this life, you are here until you die.” Once they say yes they start the ceremony. They then go over the rules: you dont mess with a Wiseguy’s wife or daughter, you don’t sell drugs (which is a joke because they all make money this way), never bring a gun to a meeting, and you put everything on record with your Capo.
Then he said they would tell them if your wife is dying, your kids, your mother and you are called you must come. The Family, the Mafia comes first. They tell you to murder, your brother is dying, your kid, you have to murder, the Bonanno family always comes first. They then told them that if they were told to kill their brother or best friend they had to right away. After that they swear allegiance to the family and Omerta. Then they are put with a Capo. If it was a Capo who proposed them, then they are put with him. If it was a soldier that proposed them, they are instead put with a Capo who needs another guy.