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Alphonse "Sonny Red" Indelicato (February 25, 1931 - May 5, 1981)

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Alphonse "Sonny Red" Indelicato (February 25, 1931 - May 5, 1981)

Posted: 1197960103000
Classification: Obituary
Surnames: Indelicato,
Alphonse "Sonny Red" Indelicato (February 25, 1931 - May 5, 1981) was a capo in New York City's Bonanno crime family.
Mob Family Roots

Alphonse is the father of mobster Anthony Indelicato and brother of Bonanno crime family capo Joseph Indelicato. He is a relative of Gerald Indelicato, who was an education adviser to Governor of Massachusetts Michael Dukakis. Gerald was later appointed President of Bridgewater College. His relative Indelicato was the uncle of small-time Boston hoodlum Edward Deegan.
Planning a Coup

In 1979 when the powerful rebellious capo Carmine Galante was shot dead by Sonny Red's son, Anthony Indelicato, Dominick Trinchera and Phillip Giaccone. Sonny Red Indelicato wanted to take over as boss but others in the Family disagreed and wanted former boss Phillip Rastelli (who was then in prison) to take charge. One of those in favor of Rastelli taking over was Dominick "Sonny Black" Napolitano. Sonny Red and Sonny Black were soon on a collision course. Alphonse partnered up with Phillip Giaccone, Dominick Trinchera, Anthony Indelicato, Alphonse's brother Joseph Indelicato, Michael Sabella, Frank Lino, Nicholas Marangello, Steven Maruca and Cesare Bonventre. Michael Sabella, Maruca and Marangello would later switch sides and align themselves pro-Phillip Rastelli, which proved to be a wise decision on their part, before the slayings of Trinchera, Giaconne and Alphonse Indelicato.


On May 5, 1981, Sonny Red Indelicato and two of his associates, Phillip Giaccone and Dominick Trinchera, were shot to death in an ambush at the old 20/20 Club that was a night club once run by Gambino crime family underboss Sammy Gravano. Indelicato's body turned up three weeks later in the Ruby street lot (mafia graveyard) in Ozone Park, Queens, but the remains of the other two were not unearthed until 2004

It later came out that Sonny Red's corpse was supposed to be hacked into pieces before it was disposed of, but was instead simply buried in a hasty manner. Indelicato's body was wrapped in a painter's drop cloth discovered by a pair of children who saw the heel of his cowboy boot sticking out of the ground. The two capos, Giaccone and Trinchera were dismembered and placed in plastic green garbage bags.

Crime scene photograph showing the remains of Alphonse 'Sonny Red' Indelicato.

According to FBI agent Joe Pistone, the murderers involved in the assassination of Alphonse Indelicato were Sonny Black, John Cersani, Joe Massino, his underboss and brother-in-law Salvatore Vitale, Joseph DeSimone, Nicholas Santora, Vito Rizzuto, career felon Louis Giongetti, Santo Giordano,Gerlando Sciasca, and mobster who would later turn informant Frank Lino. Benjamin Ruggiero and John Cersani were lookouts, were sent in after to clean up the massacre and dispose of the bodies along with Dominick Napolitano, James Episcopia and Robert Capazzio.

Alphonse's capo son, Anthony Indelicato, a.k.a. Bruno was supposed to be slain too, but he did not turn up at the meeting that saw his father ambushed. FBI agent Joe Pistone, undercover with the mob as "Donnie Brasco," was tasked with finding and killing Bruno, which quickened Pistone's being removed from the operation.

Joe Massino, who later became boss of the Bonanno Family, was convicted in 2004 of ordering seven murders, including those of Indelicato, Giaccone and Trinchera. The informant, Salvatore Vitale (Massino's brother-in-law), confessed to being another one of the gunmen involved in the slaying.

The mob war following Galante's death was witnessed by FBI agent Joseph D. Pistone, who was undercover as Donnie Brasco. In the movie, Donnie Brasco, Sonny Red was played by Robert Miano. Unlike the movie, in reality, Joe Pistone was never involved with the murder of Alphonse Indelicato. Indelicato was never ambushed in his home, but called to a Brooklyn social club with the promise of peace talks.

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