Monday, September 14, 2009

Giacomo "Jimmy Legs", Episcopia, Bonanno crime family

Giacomo (James) Episcopia, also known as "Jimmy Legs", was a Italian-American Bonanno crime family mobster from Greenpoint, Brooklyn that served under capo Carmine Galante and later Dominick Napolitano

.During the intra-Family "Bananna Wars", Episcopia sided with rival Bonanno faction leader Gaspare DiGregorio. He was suspected of being one of the gunmen involved in the January 28, 1966 Troutman Street ambush, which started the civil war in the Bonanno crime family.

Over the years Episcopia was promoted to act as bodyguard and chauffeur for Bonanno crime family capo and acting boss Carmine Galante until his gangland slaying in 1979. While acting as a bodyguard for Galante, Episcopia allegedly traveled to Canada with the Capo to arrange heroin deals. During these extended business trips to Canada, Episcopia enrolled in a Canadian college and took courses on philosophy.

During the Bonanno Family's civil unrest in 1979 with Alphonse Indelicato, Phillip Giaccone and Dominick Trinchera, he at first joined their ranks when Dominick Napolitano transferred Giacomo to serve in the crews of Giaconne and Trinchera. Giacomo, who was a Phillip Rastelli loyalist, survived the Bonanno crime family civil war and re-aligned himself with Dominick Napolitano. He was a close friend of Joseph D. Pistone. Unlike Dominick Napolitano, Benjamin Ruggiero and Nicholas Forlano who were all murdered (Ruggiero was rescued en route to execution), Giacomo's life was spared even though he built a friendship with Pistone during his six years undercover in the Bonanno crime family