Phillip Giaccone also known as "Philly Lucky" and "The Priest" (July 12, 1932 Ridgewood, Queens - May 5, 1981 Lindenwood, Queens) was a Bonanno crime family capo.


Giaccone was born in the Ridgewood section of Queens. His father died during the 1930's, leaving Giaccone, his sisters and brothers, and mother to fend for themselves during the Great Depression. Serving as an altar boy, Giaccone grew up to be a strict Catholic. Giaccone had good grades in school and graduated from high school. As a young man, Giaccone became a protege of Bonanno underboss Giovanni Bonaventre. Giaccone was described as being brazen, yet gentlemanly; when a relative was diagnosed with haemophilia, Giaccone assumed the financial support of his wife and children. Giaccone was also known to be ruthless when necessary. Giaccone was a flamboyant dresser.

Giaccone had a wife Annette, a daughter Corinne, and a son Phillip Giaconne Jr. Giaccone was an in-law to Gambino crime family boss Carlo Gambino. Giaccone's legitimate business was Pinto Trucking, a trucking firm in South Ozone Park, Queens that served also as a headquarters for his crew. During his entire life, Giaccone was never convicted of any crime.

Galante murder

By the mid 1970's, the Bonanno family was in turmoil again. After official boss Phillip Rastelli went to prison in 1975, capo Carmine Galante took effective control of the family. It is suspected that the heads of the other New York Five Families collaborated with Rastelli to arrange Galante's death; they supposedly viewed Galante's greed and ambition as a threat to all their interests. On July 12, 1979, Giaccone, Dominick Trinchera, and Alphonse Indelicato allegedly murdered Galante at an Italian-American restaurant in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

After the Galante murder, a fight for control of the family started. One faction included Phillip Rastelli and his closest allies, Joseph Massino, Salvatore Vitale, and Dominick Napolitano. Both Massino and Vitale had served in Giaccone's crew, but had not been happy with his leadership. The opposing faction consisted of three Bonanno capos; Giaccone, Dominick Trinchera, and Alphonse Indelicato. With Rastelli still in prison, Giaccone and the other two capos started plotting to kill Massino and Dominick Napolitano. However, Massino discovered the plot and moved to kill them first. The original idea was to order Bonanno associate Donnie Brasco, who was actually undercover FBI agent Joseph Pistone, to first murder Giaccone in Miami, Florida. However, Rastelli later canceled the contract because Napolitano wanted to kill all three capos at the same time.

The three capos murder

On May 5th, 1981, Massino loyalists shot and killed Giaccone, along with Dominick Trinchera and Alphonse Indelicato, in a Brooklyn night club. On the pretext of working out a peace agreement, Joseph Massino had invited the three capos (Giaccone, Trinchera, and Indelicato) to meet with him at the 20/20 Night Club (owned by Salvatore Gravano) in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. However, Massino's real plan was to assassinate the capos. The ambush was set in the club store room, with Salvatore Vitale, Richard Kuklinski and two other gunmen wearing ski masks hiding in a closet. One of the gunmen was mobster Vito Rizzuto, who came from Montreal, Quebec with another Canadian mobster to help Massino. Massino told the men to avoid shooting so that bullets wouldn't riccohet around the room. Massino also brought drop cloths and ropes for disposing of the bodies afterwards.

When the capos arrived at the 20/20 club, Joseph Massino and Bonanno mobster Gerlando Sciascia escorted them to the store room. Massino was reportedly walking arm in arm with Giaccone. As the men entered the room, Sciascia brushed his hand through his hair, giving the prearranged signal. Vitale and gunmen rushed out of the closet, with Rizzuto yelling "stick up". Massino immediately punched Giaccone, knocking him to the floor. Giaconne got up and tried to run out of the room, but was blocked up against a wall with Dominick Trinchera. The gunmen, like a firing squad, killed Giaccone with a volley of submachine gun fire. The three capos were unarmed, as was the rule when attending a peace meeting.

Burial ground

After the killings, the Bonanno gunmen transported the three bodies to a lot in Lindenwood, Queens. The lot was a Gambino mob graveyard; Gambino crime family capo John Gotti arranged for his men to bury the bodies there as a favor to Massino. A few weeks after the shooting, authorities discovered Indelicato's body and removed it from the lot.

In October 2004, FBI agents excavated the property and discovered the bodies of Phillip Giaccone and Dominick Trinchera. Among the personal items they unearthed was a Piaget watch that belonged to Giaccone's wife. In December 2004, the bodies were positively identified as Giaccone and Trinchera.

On December 5, 2005, Bonnano crime family Boss Joseph Massino, now a government witness, pleaded guilty to murdering Phillip Giaccone, Dominick Trinchera, and Alphonse Indelicato. He received two life sentences in prison. In May, 2007, after being extradited to the United States, Rizzuto pleaded guilty in a Brooklyn court to reduced charges in the three capos murder and was sentenced to ten years in state prison.

In popular culture

  • In the 1997 film Donnie Brasco, Philip Giaccone was portrayed by Frank Vallelonga, also known as Tony Lip
  • In the 2017 Canadian mini-series Bad Blood, in a flashback, Giaccone was portrayed by Massimo Cannistrano
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