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Bill Bonanno

Bill Bonanno was born into a world of respect, tradition and honor. The late son of legendary Mafioso Joseph Bonanno, Bill was a "made" member of the Mafia by the time he was in his early twenties. Bill was one of the few to provide an eyewitness account of his life as a high-ranking captain in the Bonanno crime family.

His book, Bound by Honor (St. Martin’s), not only recounts Bonanno’s tumultuous life, but also is an engrossing chronicle of organized crime. He also co-authored the novel The Good Guys (Grand Central), written with FBI undercover agent Joe Pistone, aka “Donnie Brasco”.

Published in Authors

The Good Guys

by Bill Bonanno and Joe Pistone with David Fisher

Former mob chief Bill Bonanno and former undercover FBI agent Joe Pistone, a.k.a. Donnie Brasco, who infiltrated the Mafia's Bonanno family in the 1970s, combine their unique experiences to deliver an unprecedented crime thriller.

This novel represents the extraordinary insights of two men who lived their lives in the Mafia - either as a member of a key crime family, or as a cop who infiltrated them. Their unusual perspective gives The Good Guys a real, gritty feel, and infuses the novel with chilling true-to-life details and a real insider's perspective.

Published in Fiction

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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Published in Autobiography

Bound By Honor

by Bill Bonanno

"People in my world don't usually write autobiographies. Or if they do, they are usually in the witness protection program. I'm not in anyone's program, but my own. I've spent many years in prison, had federal, state, and local authorities down on me, had writs, judgments, verdicts, and offers of 'leniency' directed at me. And, in my world, I've been the target of assassins and have been at the storm center of one of the most turbulent periods in modern gangland history but here I am, like Ishmael, come back to tell you about it."
- from Bound By Honor

Bill Bonanno takes you inside the mob at its peak, when New York's Five Families -- Bonanno, Gambino, Colombo, Lucchese and Genovese -- not only dominated local businesses but also controlled national politics.

Published in Memoirs