Camillo Carmine Galante (February 21st, 1910 - July 12th, 1979) was a Mafia boss and assassin for the Luciano crime family.
Galante's crime career started at an early age, when he formed a street gang after being sent to reform school due to repeated trouble with the police. After Prohibition was started, Galante began working with the Mafia and was briefly imprisoned for two-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to assault.
In 1930, Galante was arrested for murdering police officer Walter DeCastilla during a robbery, but was released without charge. Later that year, Galante wounded NYPD officer Joseph Meenahan and a bystander during a shootout while attempting to hijack a truck. He was sentenced to 12 and a half years imprisonment for this the following year, but was released on parole in 1939. During the sentence, he was diagnosed as a psychopath.
In 1940, Galante began working for the crime family owned by Lucky Luciano, mainly carrying out hits for underboss Vito Genovese. Suspected of around eighty murders, arguably Galante's greatest moment was when he fatally shot magazine publisher Carlo Tresca, who Vito had ordered him to kill, having been asked to do so by his close friend Benito Mussolini. Shortly after, he was imprisoned for a parole violation, eventually being released in 1944.
Galante later began working for crime lord Joseph Bonnano, with their common enemy being Vito's ally Carlo Gambino. Galante became involved in Bonnano' s drug empire, dealing with heroin shipments to Montreal. Galante was eventually indicted on charges of smuggling Illegal Drugs, with his first trial being declared a mistrial after the foreman of the jury was thrown down a flight of steps by one of Bonnano's men, although Galante was sentenced to 20 days imprisonment for contempt of court. In a second trial, Galante was convicted of being involved in Bonnano' s heroin empire and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment.
After his release on parole in 1974, Galante seized control of the Bonnano family, as The Commission, the governing body of the Mafia, forced Joseph Bonnano to retire after he allegedly planned to kill three fellow members. Galante used this position to have eight of Carlo Gambino's associates murdered, and tried to take control of the Illegal Drug Trade. In March 1978, Galante's parole was revoked on the grounds that he violated his parole by associating himself with the Bonnano mob, however it was reinstated on February 27th the following year.
In 1979, The Commission, alarmed by Galante's attempt to take over the narcotics market and the fact he had seized control of the Bonnano mob, ordered Galante's execution. On July 12th, Galante was eating at a restaurant with his bodyguards when three hitmen who may have included Richard Kuklinski burst in and opened fire. Galante, the owner of the restaurant (who also happened to be Galante's cousin) and one of Galante's associates were killed, whereas his bodyguards ran away.
Galante was buried at St John's Cemetery, having been refused Mass due to his mob career.
Galante appears briefly in the film Donnie Brasco, and is mentioned in the episode of the HBO show The Sopranos "A hit is a hit".