Tommy "Karate" Pitera (1 Viewer)

Thomas "Tommy Karate" E. Pitera (born December 2, 1954) is a former Mafia hitman in theBonanno crime family. Pitera earned a reputation as a vicious and sadistic killer who enjoyed murdering people. He was suspected by law enforcement of as many as 60 murders.[1] He was well known for his use of karate and other martial arts when fighting which is a skill he had learned at a young age. It earned Pitera his nickname "Tommy Karate".

Born in New York City, Pitera grew up in the Gravesend section of Brooklyn to parents Joseph Pitera and Catherine. His father was a wholesale candy distributor salesman. Thomas had thick, jet-black hair with piercing blue-gray eyes and high cheekbones. He had a particularly high pitched effeminate falsetto voice that was compared by biographer Philip Carlo to Michael Jackson's but having even more falsetto. Mob associate Frank Gangi thought Pitera sounded more like Mickey Mouse or Minnie Mouse. Pitera was a quiet child who was bullied in school. He attended David A. Boody Junior High School and left little impression with his teachers.[1]
As a child, Pitera was a huge fan of the 1969 The Green Hornet television show and actor Bruce Lee; this began his lifelong interest in martial arts. Pitera was highly skilled in martial arts, having spent 27 months training assiduously in Tokyo, Japan where he studied under the revered Hiroshi Masumi after winning an arduous kumite competition in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. He was trained to use the tonfa,nunchucks and katanas. While in Japan, he grew his hair down to his shoulders to adopt the Bruce Lee image.[1]
After his scholarship ended, he sought work in a chopsticks factory to underwrite his stay and earn more money. This led him to acquire the nickname "Tommy Karate" by friends and mobsters. After returning from Japan, Pitera joined the Bonanno family and quickly earned a reputation for violence and murder. Pitera was one of the most feared soldiers on the streets, amongst the likes of Tony Mirra and Roy DeMeo, who were two other brutal underworld killers.[1]
Pitera belonged to a family faction headed by captains Alphonse "Sonny Red" Indelicato, Dominick Trinchera and Philip Giaccone. This group opposed the current leadership under boss Philip Rastelli and his leading captains Joseph Massino and Dominick Napolitano. In 1981, Massino and Napolitano set up the murders of the three rival captains in a Brooklyn club. After their deaths, Massino made peace with the rest of the leaderless faction, including Pitera. Pitera was working for Bruno Indelicato, until Bruno became a drug addict and fled New York. During the 1980s Pitera became a made man of the Bonanno family. Pitera then worked for Anthony Spero who put him in Frank Lino's crew.[1]
Criminal career

On August 29, 1988, Pitera ambushed Wilfred "Willie Boy" Johnson as he walked ahead to their car and shot him to death. Johnson had been a close associate of Gambino crime family boss John Gotti since the two of them had been petty burglars and thieves. Johnson had also had served as a driver to Gotti after Gotti became a made man and Captain with the Gambinos. In 1985, Gotti discovered that Johnson had been a government informant since 1966. Pitera murdered Johnson as a favor to Gotti. The hit had been delegated to Pitera and fellow gunman, Vincent "Kojak" Giattino, by Gambino Capo Edward Lino.[1]
Pitera was close to Bonanno Consigliere Anthony Spero, who headed the violent Bath Beach crew. This group was involved in extortion, loan sharking, drug dealing and murders. Pitera's crew was notorious for robbing drug dealers and then reselling their drugs. Pitera murdered twoColombian drug kingpins and then resold their 40 pounds of cocaine.[1] Pitera killed Tala Siksik, a Middle-Eastern drug supplier, in his Brooklyn apartment. Pitera then stripped the body, sliced it into six pieces in the bathtub, and then buried it at a secret dumping ground. Investigators eventually found six of Pitera's victims in a mob graveyard in Staten Island near the William T. Davis Wildlife Refuge. Pitera had decapitated the bodies and buried the heads separately to impede their identification using dental records.[1]
Pitera's approach to murder and body disposal was cold-hearted and clinical. He used the Staten Island graveyard because he believed that the damp soil would accelerate decomposition. Pitera studied books on dissection and carried a special tool kit for cutting up bodies. He always insisted on burying corpses deep enough so that police dogs could not locate their scents. Before burying body parts, Pitera either wrapped them in plastic or placed them in suitcases. Pitera's one weakness was that he enjoyed keeping jewelry and other souvenirs of his work. This went beyond Mafia culture and was classic serial killer behavior.[1]
On June 4, 1990, Pitera was indicted for heading a drug dealing crew and for his involvement in seven murders, including the 1988 Johnson murder. Investigators alleged that Pitera had been involved in as many as 60 murders. Pitera's crew sold about 220 pounds of cocaine per year, multiple kilos of heroin and hundreds of pounds of marijuana. FBI agents discovered more than 60 automatic weapons, knives, swords, and literature such as The Hitman's Handbook and Kill or Be Killed, which dealt primarily with assassination techniques as well as torturingand dismembering cadavers, in Pitera's apartment in Gravesend, Brooklyn.[1]
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Trial


One of Pitera's crew members, Frank Gangi, the nephew of Genovese crime family Captain Rosario Gangi, decided to testify against Pitera. Frank had been arrested for driving under the influence and allegedly started reliving Pitera's worst atrocities in his mind while sitting in the holding cell. Gangi confessed to all the murders he was involved in with Pitera, and provided information on other Pitera murders. Gangi described how Pitera matter-of-factly assassinated Gangi's girlfriend Phyllis Burdi while she was passed out in bed after sharing cocaine and sex with Gangi. Pitera then cut Burdi's corpse into six pieces in the bathroom. Gangi also testified that during a fight with a drug dealer named Marek Kucharsky, Pitera pulled a knife and repeatedly stabbed Kucharsky and finally cut his throat.[1]
In Pitera's trial, the chief prosecutor, David W. Shapiro, demanded the death sentence for the "heinous, cruel and depraved" murders committed by Pitera. He called Pitera a "heartless and ruthless killer" explaining in detail how Pitera tortured one victim by slowly, deliberately shooting him seven times in various parts of the body, in one of a series of murders carried out in a deliberately barbaric manner. The prosecution also produced a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent who testified to digging up graves containing the dismembered bodies of some of Pitera's victims.[1]
Pitera's defense lawyer, David A. Ruhnke, urged the jury to reject the death penalty on the grounds that Pitera had no prior criminal recordand that other participants in the murders were allowed to plead guilty to lesser charges. Moreover, only two of the murder victims, Richard Leone and Solomon Stern, were killed on March 15, 1989, after the Federal death penalty law went into effect. The four other murders took place earlier, so those counts carried maximum sentences of life in prison. Pitera's aunt, sister-in-law and two cousins testified on Pitera's defense that he was a loving and caring family member.[2]
 

Hellwig

Banned
Short Bussed
Just read about an enforcer for 'Whitey' Bulger in Boston,Johnny Martorano last week. At least 20 kills. Not a bad read...
Martorano.jpg
 
Just read about an enforcer for 'Whitey' Bulger in Boston,Johnny Martorano last week. At least 20 kills. Not a bad read...

I will check it out. If u like mob stuff author philip carlo has some good books on the iceman and tommy karate and anthony "gas pipe" casso. I always enjoyed carlo stuff.. Too bad he passed on.
 

Hellwig

Banned
Short Bussed
Yeah, I read the Iceman book. Have to check the others out too. Thx.
Come to think of it, I may have already read the Casso book ages ago, too... my memory is not what it should be:lulz:
 
Yeah, I read the Iceman book. Have to check the others out too. Thx.
Come to think of it, I may have already read the Casso book ages ago, too... my memory is not what it should be:lulz:


Oh then you would like the tommy karate book. Probably my fav. Could not put it down till it was done.
 

Silo

" CHUTZ-PAH "
Anyone knows if there's any good books or Doc's besides the one on bio on that infamous crazy lunatic Roy DeMeo?:rage:

Supposedly, this was the only man the iceman was scared of and i don't blame him.
 

Camarel93

NewbieX
Anyone knows if there's any good books or Doc's besides the one on bio on that infamous crazy lunatic Roy DeMeo?:rage:

Supposedly, this was the only man the iceman was scared of and i don't blame him.

Read murder machine it's an awesome book about the Demeo crew. The Iceman talked utter bs though he claimed to have carried out hits for Demeo as well as killing him even though he only met him once to buy a gun.
 

Dex666

NewbieX
Carlo's books are entertaining, but they seem to be full of disinformation. He at one point claimed in Iceman that Richard Kuklinski had killed Roy DeMeo and in Gaspipe he stated that DeMeo was taken out by his own crew (more likely).
 

NightMare

My gift to you, a Nightmare of terror
Very good report. I need to read these more often, I just don't seem to find the time to put in for it most of the time. I don't like the blue and white letter change, I am getting older now and it fucks up my eyes. Otherwise, job well done, thanks for the read.
 
Y[ quote="Dex666, post: 234147, member: 54568"]Carlo's books are entertaining, but they seem to be full of disinformation. He at one point claimed in Iceman that Richard Kuklinski had killed Roy DeMeo and in Gaspipe he stated that DeMeo was taken out by his own crew (more likely).[/quote]
Ya agreed one book would contradict the other. Then again mafia is a pretty secretive world so its hard to know the exact truth on everything. I think realest book by carlo is the tommy karate book
 

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