Background EditThe Five Families of New York were Corleone, Tattaglia, Barzini, Cuneo, and Stracci. They were the most powerful eastern seabord crime families, sparring for control of New York City's various businesses and rackets. The Corleone family had all of New York's judges and politicians in their pocket, so the other families made various attempts to scare them off or win them over. Virgil Sollozzo, a drug dealer who had poppy fields in Turkey, began narcotics trade in the USA in December 1945, which was aimed at scaring off the Corleone corrupt officials from their wing and giving the Tattaglias and the Corleones' rivals more money as well. To end the conspiracy, Don Vito Corleone's son Michael shot Sollozzo and his bodyguard, the NYPD Police Captain Mark McCluskey, at the Louis Restaurant in Midtown in June 1946, which caused the Five Families to cry for war against the Corleones.
War EditAs soon as the mob war began, the Corleone made men hit the mattresses, as they did not have the manpower to fight just yet. Instead, the newspaper companies on their payroll, run by Norm Felichelli, put it out to the public that McCluskey was linked to drug racketeering, which put off most of the heat that the police had put down on them. Michael Corleone fled to Sicily to avoid the mob war and the police, but arrangements were being made to bring him back at the same time.
A year later, Corleone caporegime Peter Clemenza ordered the death of Cuneo soldier Bobby Marcolini, a hit that was not sanctioned, but the Corleones were pleased by the events that occured afterwards: Clemenza associate Aldo Trapani took over most of Cuneo's businesses. A further blow to Cuneo was when their capo Ronnie Tosca was shot in the back of the head at Tyler's Top Cuts, his favorite barbershop. The other capo Mario DeBellis, who felt that he had been slighted by the Corleones, requested a duel in the sewer of Little Italy, and Trapani was sent to do so with him, in a quick-draw. DeBellis was quickly shot, ending his life with honor. In New Jersey, their business manager Nicholas Klaus was killed at a barbecue in June of 1949.
Things were also going poorly for the Straccis. The Corleones began expanding into New Jersey, taking over The Highway Hotel and other Stracci rackets, also taking over the Waterside Warehouse and the Stracci Hub, which were vital in the distribution of racket merchandise. The Straccis had already lost most of their made men before the Five Families War, but their buttonmen were whittled down rather quickly. Their only fortune was finding the dead body of rival Tattaglia family Capo Luigi Fusco in a dark NJ alley, with several marks from a lead pipe.
The Barzinis went unscathed, finding the easy parts of the war. They repelled several Corleone attacks, but lost many of their small businesses, especially tailor shops and barbershops, which were defended by a handful of muscle. However, their capo Big Bobby Toro was shot and killed during transfer from the Little Italy Police Station to Riker's Island, where Barzini wanted to keep him "safe".
During these years, the families lost a great deal of their racket income when the Corleones began hijacking their racket trucks, which carried the racket merchandise to their fronts. Aldo Trapani and his crew stopped the car in the middle of the road (usually damaging it with a gun so that it would stop), killed the two guards, interrogated the driver to get his keys, and delivered it to a truck-drop off, areas that were usually in alleyways, in front of hotels, or in front of Corleone warehouses.
In 1950, after years of fighting, the Tattaglia crime family arranged for an assassination attempt on Aldo Trapani, who was gaining status in the family and was taking out the rival families one by one. They tried to kill him at his Chateau Leive apartment, but failed, instead kidnapping his girlfriend Frances Malone and killing her in St. Michael Archangel's Church in Brooklyn. They lost their Capo Aldo Bandeto, who was killed by Trapani after interrogating him on where they were going to take his girlfriend.Shortly after the murder of Malone, Aldo Trapani and Sonny Corleone planned to assassinate Bruno Tattaglia, the clever yet cruel Tattaglia Underboss who had carried out the hit. Corleone arranged a meeting with Tattaglia Capo Pietro Abruzzi, who refused to speak on where Bruno was, so Corleone threw him out of a door on the second floor of an apartment thats balcony was being constructed, letting him fall to his death. Tattaglia would be present at his funeral at Tito Morelli's funeral parlor. Trapani shot his way through the guards and threw Bruno into an oven, weakening the Tattaglias even more and causing great grief in his father, Don Philip Tattaglia. Matters were worse when Salvatore Tessio sent Aldo Trapani to bomb the Tattaglia Compound. The Corleones killed all of the Tattaglia soldati defending the compound, before planting bombs in both of the armories, destroying the compound, temporarily.
After the death of Tattaglia, the Five Families took action. The Cuneo family gained a mole in Marty Malone, the brother of Frances, who was upset about his sister's death and how he could not be promoted above the rank of associate just because his father was Irish, according to Omerta. The Cuneos attacked the Corleone Compound in several cars, disembarking to attack the Corleones. Sonny Corleone and Aldo Trapani, as well as several Corleone buttonmen, shot up all of the attackers.
In revenge for the Cuneo attack on the compound, Sonny Corleone initiated a mob war between the Cuneos and Corleones, attacking their businesses. They raided Caruso!, interrogating and killing Capo Dino de Martini after they found out that he was stalling; racket boss Dario Cicco was on the run and heading for a racket truck. After a car chase, Cicco was tracked down to Holden Holdings, where he told the Corleones that Capo Artie Manzanero was supplying the Cuneo fronts, so the Corleones took over his warehouse and forced him to give the Corleones an equal share of income as the Cuneos.
In 1951, the Corleones made a new offensive, taking over the last of the rackets in Little Italy. The Corleones were a strong family by now, and Trapani was promoted to soldier. However, each of the Five Families sent a few hitmen to the Little Italy Toll Plaza, arranging for tollbooth attendant Liam Broderick to pretend to drop his change so that the assassins could gun down Sonny in his car. Sonny was shot up, with several bullet holes all across his body.
After Sonny's death, the Corleones took out several of their enemies, killing rival made men and forcing several shopkeepers and racket bosses to switch their allegiances. The Corleone don, Vito Corleone, arranged for a peace meeting with the other families, The Commission meeting at Hotel Alioto. Corleone agreed to share his politicians and corrupt officials that he had in his pocket, invest in the drug trade (reluctantly), and stop his war with the enemy factions. He retired shortly after, leaving his son Michael, who returned home from Sicily after Sonny died, as Don. From 1951 to 1952, he allowed the Barzinis to chisel away at his caporegimes' territories, but gave them permission to start their own families when he made the move to Nevada in September 1952, and Trapani, who was a soldier in the Clemenza crime family, left the organization to start the Trapani crime family. Tessio was not pleased by the erosion of the Corleone power structure; neither was Jaggy Jovino. Both collaborated with the Barzinis. That year, Jovino was killed holding Rosa Morelli hostage at Rosa's brothel in Little Italy after ratting out the Corleones, and Tessio did the same without being detected yet.In 1953, the Corleones acknowledged that there was a traitor in their ranks, after three years of trouble with Malone. Malone shot David Cooper, an FBI Agent in the Corleone ranks, an action which Corleone knew the traitor would do. Trapani helped to kill his Barzini bodyguards, and was a suspect. Malone ran off to The Peak, where he was gunned down alongside his Cuneo buttonmen. Shortly after Malone died, Vito Corleone had a heart attack and passed away as well.
In 1954, Stracci underboss Salvatore Stracci was killed trying to blow up the Verona Warehouse, a Corleone distribution warehouse, and the Straccis withdrew. Barzini family consigliere Domenico Mazza was shot as he peaceably strolled in Midtown's luscious parks. Also, Emilio Barzini, Jr., the Barzini family's underboss, was killed at Mazza's funeral by a car bomb. Marco Cuneo and Luciano Fabbri, the Cuneo underboss and consigliere, were murdered as well.
In 1955, Barzini capo Giovanni Armanno was killed holding FBI Agent Gino Cenni hostage in the basement of a New Jersey church, and the Corleones were able to put many Barzinis behind bars in court cases that were offshoots from this incident. Trapani shot Capo Pietro Testa as he was making a deal with Little Italy Police Chief Quinn Anderson, killing him at the exact same time as when they were shaking hands.
Now, after the last of the made men were killed, Corleone arranged for the final bloodbath that would end the war: the deaths of the dons and traitors. Salvatore Tessio was shot dead in a firefight with Willie Cicci. Victor Stracci was killed by Aldo Trapani and Clemenza in an elevator, Cicci and Trapani shot Carmine Cuneo dead as he exited a hotel, they gunned down Tattaglia in bed with a prostitute, and Barzini was shot dead by Trapani after leaving the Foley Courthouse.
Shortly after the murder of the dons, the Corleones bombed the rival families' compounds, taking over their neighborhoods. The last made men, associates, enforcers, and other affiliates of the Five Families weree wrapped up, and the Tattaglia family was destroyed for good, not any one of them showing up in Little Italy or Brooklyn again, not even at Rosa's, a brothel that they commonly visited. As for Barzini, their don Paul Fortunato remained hostile, but later became an ally of the Corleones. The Cuneos and Straccis became Corleone allies and business partners again. Finally, the Corleones took over every racket that was left over by 1956, as well as killing Tattaglia enforcers that stuck around. Thus ended the bloodiest mob war in history.
The Five Families War had around 5,143 deaths, including innocents, police, and mobsters:
- Mobsters - 3,565
- Tattaglia - 1193
- Cuneo - 943
- Barzini - 765
- Stracci - 781
2. Innocents - 977
3. Police - 484
Important Figures Edit
Among these deaths, many important mob figures were killed:
- Emilio Barzini, Sr. (Barzini)
- Domenico Mazza (Barzini)
- Emilio Barzini, Jr. (Barzini)
- Big Bobby Toro (Barzini)
- Giovanni Armanno (Barzini)
- Pietro Testa (Barzini)
- Philip Tattaglia (Tattaglia)
- Freddie Nobile (Tattaglia)
- Donnie Marinelli (Tattaglia)
- Tony Bianchi (Tattaglia)
- Johnny Tattaglia (Tattaglia)
- Bruno Tattaglia (Tattaglia)
- Nico D'Avella (Tattaglia)
- Piero Abruzzi (Tattaglia)
- Giuseppe Partinico (Tattaglia)
- Mikey Saleri (Tattaglia)
- Carmine Cuneo (Cuneo)
- Luciano Fabbri (Cuneo)
- Mario DeBellis (Cuneo)
- Marco Cuneo (Cuneo)
- Bobby Marcolini (Cuneo)
- Ronnie Tosca (Cuneo)
- Nicholas Klaus (Cuneo)
- Victor Stracci (Stracci)
- Salvatore Stracci (Stracci)
- Jack Fontana (Stracci)
- Leon Grossi (Stracci)
- Oscar Zavarelle (Stracci)
- Michael Costa (Stracci)
- Plinio Ottaviano (Stracci)
- Sonny Corleone (Corleone)
- Luca Brasi (Corleone)
- Salvatore Tessio (Corleone turned Barzini)
- Marty Malone (Corleone turned Cuneo)
- George "Jaggy" Jovino (Corleone turned Barzini)