James Episcopia

Giacomo (James) Episcopia (November 15, 1928- died February 15, 1997) also known as "Jimmy Legs", was an Italian-American Bonanno crime family mobster from Greenpoint, Brooklyn that served under capo di tutti capi Carmine Galante and later Dominick Napolitano.


Episcopia was born to first-generation immigrants from Sicily. He was named after James, son of Zebedee one of the disciples of Jesus Christ. His parents originally wanted Giacomo to pursue the priesthood but he became involved in the Bonanno crime family and lived the life of a career criminal. Jimmy stayed in Montreal, Canada for a period of time when he worked as a connected associate of the Bonanno crime family serving under Michael Sabella. He was reputedly involved in drug trafficking, extortion, contract killing, armed robbery, larceny, and hijacking.

During the intra-Family "Bananno Wars", Episcopia sided with rival Bonanno faction leader Gaspare DiGregorio. He was suspected of being one of the gunmen involved in the January 28, 1966, Troutman Street ambush, which started the civil war in the Bonanno crime family.

Along with fellow DiGregorio supporter Frank Mari, Episcopia was suspected of involvement in the March 11, 1968 murder of Bonanno faction loyalist Samuel Perrone. Perrone was gunned down as he went to purchase a carton of cigarettes at a candy store located across from his business, Bingo Warehouse, and Trucking Company, located on Leonard Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Police surmised that Perrone's gangland slaying was in retaliation for the shooting of Peter Crociata, the Underboss of the DiGregorio faction. Crociata was seriously wounded after being shot in the throat on March 4, 1968, while parking his car on a Manhattan street.

Over the years Episcopia was promoted to act as bodyguard and chauffeur for Bonanno crime family capo and acting boss Carmine Galante until his gangland slaying in 1979. While acting as a bodyguard for Galante, Episcopia allegedly traveled to Canada with the Capo to arrange heroin deals. During these extended business trips to Canada, Episcopia enrolled in a Canadian college and took courses on philosophy.

During the Bonanno family's civil unrest in 1979 with Alphonse Indelicato, Philip Giaccone and Dominick Trinchera, he at first joined their ranks when Dominick Napolitano transferred Giacomo to serve in the crews of Giaconne and Trinchera. Giacomo, who was a Phillip Rastelli loyalist, survived the Bonanno crime family civil war and realigned himself with Dominick Napolitano. He was a close friend of Joseph Pistone. Unlike Dominick "Sonny Black" Napolitano, who was murdered for bringing Pistone into the Bonanno family, Giacomo's life was spared even though he built a close friendship with Pistone during his six years undercover in the Bonanno crime family. He was convicted in the "Donnie Brasco" case in New York in 1983 for 5 years.

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