Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Judge denies compassionate release request for aging Bonanno family hitman linked to Tommy Karate

An aging Bonanno crime family hit man was denied compassionate release from prison by a Brooklyn federal judge, who said the murders he participated in were too “heinous” to allow him to go free.

Vincent Giattino was part of Thomas “Tommy Karate” Pitera’s murderous crew in the late 1980s. He’s serving life in prison for a pair of grisly slayings — including using a silenced handgun to help Pitera kill Phyllis Burdi in September 1987.

Pitera thought Burdi was responsible for his wife’s fatal overdose, and after her death, Pitera dismembered Burdi and buried her on Staten Island, prosecutors said.

Giattino, 70, was also convicted of fatally shooting FBI informant Wilfred Johnson in Brooklyn in 1988. He did so, “in order to please Gambino crime family boss John Gotti,” prosecutors wrote.

In a February letter to Brooklyn Federal Court Chief Judge Margo Brodie, Giattino’s lawyer Anthony Cecutti asked that the mobster get “the chance to live out the remainder of his life with his family and not die in prison.” Giattino, convicted in 1992, has served 30 years of his life sentence.

Cecutti described his client as a “changed man.” He’s a mentor to younger inmates at the medium-security federal prison in Allenwood, Pa., and is as active as he can be in his daughter Brigitte’s life, the lawyer said.

“Presently, Mr. Giattino is fighting to keep his hope alive. He has an ever-growing fear that he may die in prison if he becomes infected with COVID-19, or, suffer serious health complications. Or, that he may simply succumb to ‘death by incarceration,’ and never again be a father to Brigitte outside of prison,” Cecutti wrote.

Brodie said that despite the strides he’s made, the murders were too horrific to allow his early release. This is the mafioso’s second denied request to be sprung.

“Giattino committed two heinous murders using guns equipped with silencers and trafficked narcotics as a devout member of [the Bonanno crime family],” the jurist wrote Tuesday. “While the court appreciates Giattino’s efforts at building relationships with prison staff and counselors, mentoring and supporting other inmates, maintaining cohesive family relationships, and demonstrating remorse for his past actions, the nature and seriousness of Giattino’s crimes support his continued detention.”



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