May 4, 2004 by

Gaetano Badalamenti


Categories: Criminals

Gaetano Badalamenti, who was described by federal authorities as the “boss of all bosses” of the Sicilian Mafia, died on April 29 from cardiac arrest. He was 80.
Born in Cinisi, Italy, Badalamenti served in the Italian Armed Forces Infantry Division during World War II. Once Sicily was liberated, he joined the Sicilian Cosa Nostra. Badalamenti eventually became known as Don Tano, a member of the “triumvirate” that ran the Sicilian Mafia; Luciano Liggio and Stefano Bontade were the other two bosses.
When Salvatore “Toto” Riina rose to power, Badalamenti fled to Brazil, then Spain. In the mid-1970s, he joined forces with organized crime figures in New York who were using pizza parlors to smuggle $1.65 billion worth of heroin and cocaine from the Middle East and South America.
In 1987, the smuggling ring’s members were charged with conspiracy to import and distribute narcotics, conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), participation in a money laundering conspiracy and various substantive money laundering offenses. Prosecutors also claimed ring members were responsible for dozens of murders in Sicily and the United States.
The trial of Badalamenti and his 21 co-conspirators took 17 months and included testimony from more than 400 witnesses. Louis Freeh, who went on to became director of the FBI, was one of the lead prosecutors in the “Pizza Connection” case. Badalamenti was acquitted on the narcotics and RICO conspiracy counts, and convicted for money laundering. He was sentenced to 45 years in federal prison.
As Badalamenti was serving time, an Italian court convicted and sentenced him to life in prison in absentia for the 1978 murder of a disc jockey. Then in 2002, he and former prime minister Giulio Andreotti were acquitted of involvement in the 1979 murder of journalist Mino Pecorelli.

20 Responses to Gaetano Badalamenti

  1. Bosko

    Dear family of Gaetano I would like to pay my respect to a dear friend who i spend many years together in Memphes Tenesse.I had many memories of him and he was a very kind man and we were discosing when he comes out to come in my country Macedoia.I also spend some time with his son Vito in Chicago MCC. REST IN PEACE DEAR OLD FRIEND GAETANO AND GOD HAVE MERCY ON YOU.

  2. Tomasso Spanevello

    Nona Badalamenti is 102 years old now and she hopes her nephew GB said a good Act of Contrition so he can meet his Lord with a contrite heart.
    GB: We all made big errors in this world. Pray for the mercy of /Aniello de la Croce.
    Te Benedici

  3. R.J. Rios

    I would like to pay my respects to the family of Gaetano Badalamenti who in my opinion and I’m sure in many others’s was one of the only true Cosa Nostra men of honor left until his death.The Sicilian Cosa Nostra under the leadership of the Corleonesi,Luciano Leggio & Toto Rinna have destroyed Cosa Nostra and everything that it ever TRULY stood for.As Don Calo Vazzini said when he died in 1951 “When I Die The Mafia Dies!”I hope that the latest boss of bosses,Bernardo Provenzano can bring back some respect and honor to the society.Rest in peace Don Tano,you will always be respected!
    R.J. Rios

  4. Vinnie

    One of the last respected men of honour left. He was a gentleman to the end and never hesitated in helping friends. I spent much time walking and talking with him while in Fairton, a lot of jokes and advice passed between us. May he rest in peace.

  5. badalamenti jonathan

    bonjour, je m’appelle jonathan badalamenti, j’habite en belgique et je voulais me renseigner sur ma famille rest

  6. bvb

    Bad news today!!!!!!
    Provenzano get caught after a 45 years hideout!!! Best wishes for the new Boss and God May help Bernardo!!!!!!!!!!

  7. BA'ANDA

    Bonjour,je m’appelle BA’ANDA Alfred René je suis Camerounais ,je suis un fervent admirateur de la famille BADALAMENTI.
    Je voudrais nouer des relations avec la sucession pour une expansion de la famille au Cameroun.
    Merci de me parrainer pour la mise en place des projets trés lucratifs en République du Cameroun avec extension dans la sous-région CEMAC élargie au Congo RDC et en ANGOLA;
    GSM +2375935713

  8. vittorio

    o visto tutoo in vita mia sonno stanco di vedere…..mi piacherebbe piu non sentire miente….per la gente come me eh cosi, per la gente come la qui scribbi qui e diversoooo

  9. Darian

    I did not know this man personally, but i would like to pay my respects. I have read and heard many stories about him. I have a great respect for him. it would be an honor to speak with someone who knew him personally.

  10. Debra mayes

    May you rest In peace Uncle Gaetano ..
    I pray you and grandpa are once again toghter and at peace.
    I regret not making the trip to see you befre your passing……your loving Neice Debbie

  11. Francesco

    I need help. My dads cousins have the same last name as Gaetano I believe I am related some how. My grandfather also grew up in Cinisi, Sicily. I know we have some relatives that own a gas station and lemon farm in Sicily still. Any chance that I may be related? By the way, I live in St. Louis.

  12. dino t

    Respects to family,Great Don i saw you last in boston ma. walking with young Aurora lavina,you were one of the most respected Don Tano. r.i.p Dino T.

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