Joseph Massino, the longtime boss of the New York City area’s Bonanno crime family, yesterday became the first to testify against a former confederate, reports the New York Times. In federal court in Brooklyn, Massino, 68, spent nearly five hours cataloguing his misdeeds, including murders. Asked by a prosecutor, “What powers did you have?,” he replied, “Murders, responsibility for the family, made captains, break captains.”
Massino told a jury that the man on trial, Vincent Basciano, the family's former acting boss, had spoken to him about ordering the 2004 killing of Randolph Pizzolo, a Bonanno associate Basciano is charged with ordering Mr. Pizzolo's murder. For much of the day, Massino established his credentials and gave the jury his view from the top, his philosophy of mob management and his personal history — all larded with a steady stream of culinary metaphors and references. “If you need somebody to kill somebody, you need workers — it takes all kinds of meat to make a good sauce,” said the onetime restaurateur, catering consultant. and coffee truck owner, referring to Basciano's skills both as a killer and as an earner for the crime family.