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Philip (Rusty) Rastelli; Head of the Bonanno Crime Family

July 01, 1991

Philip (Rusty) Rastelli, 73, the Mafia boss whose marriage was as turbulent as any mob war. Rastelli had been boss of the Bonanno crime family, one of the city's five Mafia groups, and presided over its virtual disintegration during the 1980s. His wife, Connie, was gunned down in 1962 after she told federal agents that her playboy husband was a drug trafficker. Once, upon learning that her husband had taken up with another woman in Canada, Mrs. Rastelli raced to the scene of the adultery and beat her younger rival senseless. She also informed Rastelli that if he fooled around any more she'd kill him. But Rastelli continued to stray after his return to New York. One day, his wife confronted him on a Brooklyn street and fired several shots in his direction, hitting him twice but not seriously. When Rastelli indicated their relationship was over, his wife carried out her threats to talk to law enforcers. Rastelli emerged as a leader of the Bonanno family in the early 1970s, after the retirement of family founder Joseph Bonanno. His power increased with the murder in 1979 of Carmine Galante. He was serving a 12-year sentence for labor racketeering in a Missouri federal prison before being released to a New York City hospital when his liver cancer was diagnosed. He died there on June 24 .

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