Bonventre, Vito (1875-1930)

Born Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily, 1875.

Killed Brooklyn, NY, July 15, 1930.

Born in Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily, in 1875, this second cousin of Joseph Bonanno crossed the Atlantic with a number of other relatives in 1906. He became a successful bootlegger in Brooklyn and a powerful member of Nicola Schiro's crime family. He possibly served briefly as a successor to Schiro atop that organization.

For many years, the Bonanno-Bonventre-Magaddino clan in Castellammare battled their rivals, the Buccellato Family. In the 1910s and early 1920s, that bloody rivalry reached American shores. Vito Bonventre appears to have played a major role in the elimination of Buccellatos in the U.S., and he was briefly a suspect in the New Jersey murder of Magaddino enemy Camillo Caiozzo in 1921 (the Good Killers case.)

According to Bonanno, Bonventre became the second wealthiest member of Cola Schiro's Brooklyn Family in the late 1920s (with Schiro being the wealthiest).

As the organization of boss of bosses Joe Masseria moved to put down an uprising of Castellammarese Mafiosi in Brooklyn, Bonventre was targeted. He was murdered outside his home garage on July 15, 1930. His murder and that of Detroit Castellammarese leader Gaspar Milazzo a month earlier are often considered the opening salvo of the Castellammarese War.

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