Nicky "The Crow" to the left in dark sunglasses

Nicholas "Nicky the Crow" Caramandi (born May 20, 1934)[1] is a former hitman for the Philadelphia crime family before entering the FBI's Witness Protection Program. [2]


Nick Caramandi was the hitman Nicodemo Scarfo went to when he needed somebody murdered. Scarfo has been described as one of the most dangerous and feared Mob bosses in history because of a gigantic army of vicious killers he had under his control, and the brutality and ruthlessness of professional assassins and ruthless killers like Caramandi.

Caramandi had met Scarfo years earlier when he was just a soldier and had been exiled to a then-dying Atlantic City by Angelo Bruno, due to Scarfo's extremely violent and psychopathic tendencies and unnecessary brutal murders he committed. Caramandi and Scarfo used to run lucrative scams together to make large amounts of money and became close friends over time and maintained their close relationship as Scarfo slowly climbed through the ranks of the Philadelphia Mafia and eventually became a massive earner and powerhouse in the family when gambling was legalized in Atlantic City and the once-dying city began to boom again. Scarfo later became boss after a succession of murders and betrayals in the higher ranks of the family. It was at this point that Caramandi became a chief enforcer and veteran hitman for Scarfo during the war with a rival faction within the family led by a capo known as "The Hunchback", Harry Riccobene.

Scarfo assigned the contract on Harry Riccobene to capo Pasquale Spirito who gave the job to Charles Iannece (a close friend and associate of Caramandi's) and Caramandi. After several blown opportunities during the early months of 1982, Scarfo put together a new plan. Frank Monte, the new Philadelphia crime family’s consigliere, and raymond "Long John" Martorano paid a visit to Harry Riccobene’s half-brother Mario Riccobene. After listening to an offer to “serve up” Harry, Mario told the two men he would get back with them. Instead, he went straight to his brother Harry and exposed the plot. Scarfo gunman Nick Caramandi stalked Harry and later Mario Riccobene all over the city. The hit team would sometimes work from 7:00 a.m. until late into the night. They staked out Riccobene’s step-mother’s home, girlfriend’s apartments, the homes of friends and business associates, all in hopes of getting an open shot at their adversaries but never got to kill Harry nor his brother, but Mario was later killed by another Scarfo hitman, Francis "Faffy" Iannarella.

Scarfo hitmen, Caramandi and Iannece were then assigned to kill their own capo, Pasquale Spirito, who was considered "a complainer", and apparently had intentionally not paid tribute to Scarfo, according to Caramandi, had even begun to talk treason about Scarfo. Caramandi and Iannece tortured and killed Spirito and were later assigned to Salvatore Testa's crew.

Caramandi stated that the word coming from Scarfo out of La Tuna was that he wanted to “hear noise”. Scarfo was pleased that Caramandi and Iannece had taken care of Spirito. They were promised their “buttons”--becoming made members of the family--when Scarfo returned. However, that never happened.

Instead, the murder contracts continued to flow. Carmandi's next assigned target would be his new Capo, Salvie Testa. Scarfo wanted him gone because he was gaining too much following within the crime family, and becoming too wealthy and powerful. Scarfo was paranoid that Testa might want to usurp power and might come to be a rival. However, Caramandi could not get close enough to Testa, an experienced and ultra professional assassin who knew all the tricks, and was later killed by his own best friend Joseph "Joey Punge" Pungietore. Caramandi did however benefit financially from Testa's murder.

Government Witness

Caramandi continued to loyally serve the Scarfo regime in both Philadelphia and Atlantic City, New Jersey. Caramandi was next assigned to extort $7 million dollars from a developer in Atlantic City. Caramandi met with the developer and on the second occasion, unbeknownst to Caramandi, the developer had gone to the FBI and one his associates that was with him in the room listening in on the meeting was actually an FBI agent recording the attempted extortion. Caramandi was later arrested. While in jail Caramandi said he got word that Scarfo was displeased with him and began to fear for his life.

In 1986, Nicky the Crow became a stool pigeon, a government witness against Nicodemo Scarfo. Caramandi not only killed a'lot of people for Scarfo, but also killed Scarfo by testifying against him.[2]

Caramandi is currently in the Witness Protection Program and has appeared in various crime documentaries on the Philadelphia crime family.[2]


  1. Birth reference search results for Nicholas Caramandi. Retrieved on March 22, 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "The Boss". Was the Philly mafia dismantled due to the George Martorano conviction?. Retrieved on March 22, 2019.
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