The Last Testament of Bill Bonanno

by Salvatore “Bill” Bonanno with Gary B. Abromovitz

“What I am about to share with you has never been told by anyone who actually attended the Commission meetings….A story that I authorized to be published only after my death.” —Bill Bonanno

Born into a powerful mob family and married into another, Salvatore “Bill” Bonanno was privy to a private world that existed just outside the law for decades in America—a world ruled by the tenets of loyalty, secrecy, brotherhood, and survival at any cost: the Mafia.

The son of Joe Bonanno—the Godfather-like head, or Rappresentante, of one of the original five crime families—Bill Bonanno came of age in the Golden Age of the Mafia. As the family’s trusted Consigliere, he witnessed the unspeakable. He participated in cloistered acts of initiation. He spoke the language of violence and hierarchy, Sicilian history and familial ties that bind until death. He knew the untold secrets of the Commission meetings—where they were held, who attended, what security was required, how business was conducted, and what issues were discussed-secrets that could never be revealed…until now.

In his waning years Bill realized that these secrets, the details, stories, and images—which he had meticulously kept from his own memoir Bound by Honor as well as Gay Talese’s acclaimed chronicle of the Bonanno family, Honor Thy Father—would disappear with his passing. So with the help of author Gary Abromovitz, Bill composed a true last testament, a comprehensive opus that would finally unburden him of years of hidden truths—a project that can only now be published after Bill’s death.

The Last Testament of Bill Bonanno begins with an outline of the real history of the Mafia and its evolution from a secret outlaw group of Sicilians in the 1200s. It then pulls back the blinds on the secret Commission meetings of the 1930s-1960s and reveals the highly confidential, and often misunderstood, details of the day-to-day life of the syndicate. Told from the inside—and complete with photographs of never-before-seen rituals and ceremonies—The Last Testament of Bill Bonanno is the ultimate insider’s final attempt to lay bare the truth of the Mafia on paper, for all to see

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