Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Catching Up with the Bonanno Mob Family

Gay Talese's efforts to catch up with the children of Bill Bonanno, son of Mafia boss Joseph Bonanno,brought the author to Arizona.

Talese's 1971 book "Honor Thy Father" focused on the Bonanno crime family but his latest essay, now appearing in Newsweek, seeks to find out how the children have dealt with their notoriety. Talese met with the children recently at Bill and his wife, Rosalie's, home in Tucson, according to a release promoting the article. Here's what he found:

* Son Joseph became a doctor, who says he's overcome the Bonnano surname, but hasn't escaped it, having to win acceptance in his profession. He attended the University of Arizona and interned in pediatrics at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical in Phoenix.

* Charles Bonanno is an interstate truck driver, a job he took after working in an auto-repair shop in Phoenix for 10 years. He told Talese about a trip across the Canadian border when he was questioned about his name. "Are you in any way related to either Joseph Bonanno or Bill Bonanno?" the guard asked. "They're my grandfather and father," Charles answered, and the response was: 'Well, then you're on the nonentry list.'"

* Salvatore Bonanno graduated from the University of Arizona and is a computer-systems executive with his own firm in Phoenix. However, he tells of quitting a previous job for a company installing casino security systems when he was shifted to another assignment because of the family name.

* Felippa Bonanno, who raised 10 children, is expecting another, and operates a day care center, says she has not experienced difficulty with the name.

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