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Phil Leotardo.jpg

Philip "Phil" Leotardo (1937-2007) was acting boss of the Lupertazzi crime family from 2004 to 2006 (succeeding Johnny Sacrimoni and preceding Faustino Santoro) and boss in 2007, succeeding Santoro and preceding Butch DeConcini. Leotardo was a ruthless leader who consolidated his power through bloodshed, taking control of the family by having his predecessor Santoro killed, and attempting to increase his family's power by waging war against the DiMeo crime family in 2007. After failing to whack the DiMeo family leadership, Leotardo was betrayed by his own family, which no longer supported his leadership. He was murdered by DiMeo hitman Walden Belfiore at a Raceway gas station in Oyster Bay, Long Island.

Biography

Phil Leotardo was born in New York City, New York in 1937 to a family of Sicilian ancestry. His family name was changed from "Leonardo" to "Leotardo" by Ellis Island officials. Leotardo was the older brother of Billy Leotardo, the two of them joined the Lupertazzi crime family of the American Mafia. Leotardo became a captain in the family after committing 27 hits to his credit, and he acquired a percentage in a midget car racetrack. In 1984, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison, and he was released in 2004.

By the time Leotardo's release from prison, the Lupertazzi family was entering a crisis. The death of longtime boss Carmine Lupertazzi Sr. led to underboss Johnny Sacrimoni and the late boss' son Carmine Lupertazzi Jr. fighting for the title of boss, and Leotardo took the side of Sacrimoni. Leotardo became Sacrimoni's right-hand man during the war, and he oversaw the murders of Lupertazzi's bookkeeper Lorraine Calluzzo and her enforcer and lover Jason Evanina. After Joey Peeps' murder, the Leotardo brothers responded by killing Angelo Garepe. This led to Lupertazzi's associate Tony Blundetto killing Billy Leotardo in an assassination attempt on Phil, who was injured in the attempt. The murder of Billy Leotardo by Blundetto, the cousin of DiMeo crime family boss Tony Soprano, left Leotardo with a massive grudge against Soprano's family.

Leotardo created further bad blood with the DiMeos after whacking DiMeo captain Vito Spatafore for his homosexuality; he had Gerry Torciano and Dominic Gamiello beat Spatafore to death in his hotel room as Leotardo sat on the bed and watched. Sacrimoni's decision to turn states against the family led to Leotardo becoming the acting boss of the Lupertazzi family, and he had to deal with a near-war with the DiMeos when his Sheepshead Bay wire room was blown up in retaliation for DiMeeo's murder, when Gamiello was murdered for claiming that Carlo Gervasi was gay, and when his Ukrainian mistress and her father were murdered by Neapolitan hitmen Italo and Salvatore. On Christmas Day of 2006, before Leotardo could respond to these threats, he suffered a late-night heart attack and was hospitalized. He was moved to tears when Soprano visited the hospital and asked Leotardo for peace, and he hoped to retire from the Mafia to spend time with his blood family.

When Leotardo recovered and left the hospital, he decided to step down as boss and make his protege Gerry Torciano the new boss. However, the Lupertazzi underboss Faustino Santoro made his own bid for power by having Torciano murdered, and Leotardo decided to get back in the game. After Santoro's arrogance got too much to handle, Leotardo had Santoro murdered by men sent by Butch DeConcini, who Leotardo made his new underboss. As Sacrimoni was dead from a heart attack, Leotardo was now able to become full boss of the family, with DeConcini as underboss and Albie Cianflone as consigliere.

Leotardo rejected Soprano's offer of compromise on an asbestos removal project, and Leotardo went to war with Soprano after he beat one of his men for threatening his daughter. Leotardo and his "war council" instructed that hits be made on Soprano, his consigliere Silvio Dante, and his underboss Bobby Baccalieri. Baccalieri was killed and Dante was wounded so badly that he fell into a coma. However, Soprano survived, and Leotardo responded by threatening DeConcini during a phone call. DeConcini was now willing to meet with Soprano to end the war; Carmine Lupertazzi Jr. arranged a meeeting between Soprano and Paulie Gualtieri of the DiMeos and DeConcini and Cianflone of the Lupertazzis to bring an end to the conflict. DeConcini did not know where Leotardo was hiding, but he gave the DiMeos permission to whack his old boss.

Death

Leotardo being shot

Leotardo was tracked down to a Oyster Bay, Long Island Raceway gas station by Soprano's contacts in the FBI, and DiMeo hitmen Benny Fazio and Walden Belfiore were sent to take him out. Fazio drove his car into the station, and Belfiore exited the car and walked towards Leotardo. Leotardo had exited the car and bade farewell to his grandchildren, as well as having talked to his wife about his medication. Belfiore snuck up on Leotardo and shot him in the side of the head with a silenced pistol, shooting him once more in the chest after he fell down. Leotardo's wife left the car with her grandchildren in an attempt to find help, but the car, still in "drive", ran over Leotardo's head as some African-American customers nearby watched in horror. His death led to DeConcini taking over the Lupertazzi family, and to peace with the DiMeos.

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