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Mob ties just a few clicks away

Citizen Staff

Late Joseph Bonanno’s duds for sale on eBay



If you’ve ever dreamed of having mob ties, your chance has arrived – just log on to eBay.

The family of late Mafia boss Joseph Bonanno Sr. is selling clothing that once belonged to the Tucsonan despised by generations of law enforcement authorities because he was head of the Mafia’s New York-based Bonanno crime family.

The eBay auctions include designer neckties, monogrammed handkerchiefs and a trenchcoat and hat.

For about 20 years before he died at 97 on May 11, 2002, Bonanno lived with son Salvatore “Bill” Bonanno and his wife, Rosalie. The elder Bonanno moved to Tucson in 1968.

“So he had all his belongings here from over the years. At one time, they had three houses, so there was a lot of stuff,” Rosalie said.

Joe Bonanno left notes explaining who was to get what after he died, Bill Bonanno said.

“But there were so many things left over – jackets, shirts, handkerchiefs, tailored suits made in the 1940s and 1950s,” he said.

The family suggested they sell the assorted clothing and other items, Rosalie Bonanno said.

“There are so many admirers, so many fans, collectors. We felt like we owed it to them to share his legacy,” she said.

Sorting all of the stuff continues and is no easy task, she said.

“I’m having problems with Bill not wanting to part with sentimental things. And there are lots of grandchildren and great-grandchildren,” she said.

The eBay auctions will continue for several months, she said.

Bids are coming from around the country and overseas – particularly from Australia and England.

The family perceives Joe Bonanno as a staunch supporter of his family, a man of honor in the traditions of Sicily where he was born, a good businessman, Bill Bonanno said.

Law enforcement authorities, on the other hand, viewed him as a crime figure whose misdeeds extended from Prohibition, when bootleg whiskey was a lucrative business, into modern times.

“Prohibition only lasted 13 years,” said the younger Bonanno, “but the ramifications lasted another 50 years. I have no problem with it. Everybody will have their own opinion about the mystique of Joe Bonanno.”


ABOVE: A jacket and vest with photos of Joseph Bonanno Sr. wearing them are being auctioned on eBay. LEFT: Sally Milo, a broker, holds a vest owned by Bonanno.

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