Ruggiero's father was a first generation immigrant from Torre de Ruggiero in Catanzaro, Calabria, Italy who was not involved in organized crime. Ruggiero's mother was Mary Dellacroce, the sister of Gambino crime family underboss Aniello Dellacroce. Ruggiero's brother was Gambino associate Salvatore Ruggiero and the brother of John Ruggiero born June 9, 1946 and Francis A. "Little Frankie" Ruggiero born c.a. 1964. Ruggiero's nephew is mob associate Salvatore Ruggiero, Jr. His cousins include Gambino associate Armond Dellacroce and Sean and Shannon Connelly. Ruggiero is also a distant relative to John Gotti through John and Aniello's shared mistress, Shannon Connelly.
Angelo's former criminal attorney, Jeffrey C. Hoffman described him as a "very caring family man." Law enforcement authorities describe Ruggiero as a stocky and garrulous man with a gravelly voice brought on from years of cigarette smoke that sounded like a cement truck mixer. In court, Detective Michael Falcone said, "Heavy, Bullface. You know, he wasn't a handsome guy. How would I describe him? Animal or human? He looked like a fire pump." Special FBI Agent Bruce Muow later commented, "He helped take down the Gambino crime family because of his big mouth. His dark tan gives him the appearance of being of Mestizo descent. Criminal associates compared him to Marcus Junius Brutus, the Roman senator who assassinated Julius Caesar, due to Ruggiero's manipulative personality when planning the murders of Paul Castellano and Robert DiBernardo and failed murder attempt on Anthony Casso.
Salvatore Gravano once remarked on Ruggiero:
"I liked Angelo, he had a lot of balls. Not too much in the brains department. But he seemed then like an up-front guy. He caused a lot of people heartaches with his mistakes, his actions, everything he was doing. He was crude, but he was funny with his crudeness. He could make you laugh. So I kind of liked him.": During one of Ruggiero's court hearing, Ruggiero's son started talking to him from the spectator area. When the judge told his son to be quiet, Ruggiero told the judge "What the fuck is this, Russia? Who the fuck are you to tell me I can't talk to my son?" The judge became enraged at Ruggiero's outburst. After a heated argument, the judge revoked Ruggiero's bail and sent him back to prison.
Early years Edit
A high school dropout, Ruggiero grew up with future crime boss John Gotti and underboss Salvatore Gravano. In the 1950s, Ruggiero was arrested for street fighting, public intoxication, car theft, bookmaking, possession of an illegal firearm and burglary. Several of his recorded arrests as a juvenile delinquent were in the company of John Gotti. In 1966, Ruggiero and Gotti were arrested for attempting to steal a cement mixer truck.
On May 22, 1973, Ruggiero, John Gotti and Ralph Galione killed mobster James McBratney in a Staten Island, New York bar. McBratney had recently tried to kidnap a Gambino loanshark for ransom and the family leadership wanted him dead. The plan was to lure McBratney out of the bar before shooting him, but McBratney refused to cooperate and the gunman shot him there. Gotti and Ruggiero were later convicted of manslaughter and sent to prison. In July 1977, both men were released on parole. Soon after their release, both Ruggiero and Gotti were inducted into the Gambino family as made men in a ceremony officiated by family boss Paul Castellano, under Joseph N. Gallo and underboss Aniello Dellacroce. It is suggested by law enforcement that due to Dellacroce's role as underboss and fondness for John Gotti and his nephew were the reasons they were promoted to "made men".
From 1977 to 1984, to satisfy his parole conditions, Ruggiero took a no-show job as a salesman for Arc Plumbing and Heating Corporation, which was owned by Gambino associates Anthony and Caesar Gurino. After his brother Salvatore became a wanted fugitive, he and Gene Gotti kept in touch by calling Salvatore "just about every night from various public phone booths."
Although Dellacroce helped Ruggiero during his early years with the family, many observers felt that Dellacroce was actually much closer to Gotti. Dellacroce's relationship with Ruggiero was tested when Peter Tambone, a Ruggiero associate, was arrested for narcotics trafficking. Dellacroce made it clear that he would kill Ruggiero, Gotti or anyone else that he discovered dealing in narcotics. To save Tambone's life, Ruggiero instructed Tambone to claim that he was never involved with the heroin, only the laundering of the drug money.
Badmouthing Castellano Edit
Following the diagnosis of his uncle's terminal cancer, Paul Castellano issued an even stronger edict on narcotics, ruling that any member of the family made after 1962 was strictly prohibited from any involvement in narcotics under pain of death. He followed up by pressuring the National Commission to issue a firm mafia-wide ban that would also carry an instant death penalty. This new edict was aimed directly at John Gotti, Angelo, and Aniello, who Castellano began to suspect, had been secretly sanctioning (and profiting from) Gotti's narcotics operation. Castellano hoped that these and a number of other politically motivated moves in the crime family would brake the sudden, ambitious ascent of Angelo and John Gotti. Ruggiero frequently complained about the lack of money that he was earning through his illicit criminal enterprises. Authorities later commented that, judging by appearances, however, both Angelo and John seemed blithely unconcerned by a second consequence of the Ravenite social club wire tapping operation, a grand jury subpoena calling forth Angelo, John and ten other habitués of the Ravenite to discuss certain aspects of organized crime, as revealed by the successful Operation Acorn.
Gambino family capo, John Carneglia, often complained about Angelo to fellow criminals stating, "Dial any seven numbers, and there's a fifty-fifty chance that Angelo will answer the phone." Every other Sunday he drove to Castellano's house in Todt Hill, Staten Island to report to Castellano about the activities of the Bergin crew and the profits he could expect from the crew's hijacking and gambling operations. At home, Ruggiero would complain about Castellano's high-handed manner. He sneered that Castellano was a "milk drinker" and a "pansy". He put down Castellano's two sons, who were running Dial Poultry, as "the chicken men" and called business advisers that Castellano had around him as "the Jew club." He referred to Thomas Gambino, who oversaw the family's interests in the garment center as a "sissy dressmaker". He also conjured up images of Castellano and Bilotti spending evenings together at Todt Hill, "whacking off."
On December 16, 1985, only two weeks after Dellacroce's death, Castellano and his new underboss Thomas Bilotti were murdered outside Sparks Steak House in Manhattan. John Gotti now assumed the role of Gambino family boss
Ruggiero and the Gotti's Edit
Given John Gotti's new position of Gambino crime family boss in 1985, Gotti no longer handled the actual specifics of contract killings, and assigned the job to Ruggiero. But Ruggiero, who often let his emotions and mouth run away with him, would occasionally demonstrate a less than firm grasp of the arcane art of contract murder. On a recorded conversation he once threatened to throw two former drug trafficker's looking for payment in the pool of his Cedarhurst home where he told them he kept "man eating" sharks.
Angelo frequently insulted Gotti behind his back, which were recorded on FBI wiretaps. He considered John a "sick motherfucker" whose "fucking mouth goes a mile a minute." He also complained that Gotti was always "abusing" and "talking about people" and was "wrong on a lot of things." Even so, he spoke of a love for him that he equaled to a "brother". Angelo was considered Gotti's biggest ego booster among his close associates, despite the behind the back barbs. He later became a father figure to John A. "Junior" Gotti who considered him an "uncle" although they were not related by marriage or blood.
Ruggiero counseled Gotti, Jr. about his alleged involvement in the 1983 slaying of Daniel Silva, a twenty-four-year-old man stabbed to death during a barroom brawl at which Gotti publicly acknowledged being present, but denied any responsibility. Although the Ruggiero and Gotti families have close long lasting ties, when Peter Gotti and Gotti Jr. were promoted to boss of the Gambino crime family, Angelo's son Angelo Ruggiero, Jr. and his nephew Salvatore Ruggiero, Jr. were not promoted to the ranks of being a made man, as Angelo's uncle Dellacroce had done for Junior's father, John Gotti. This might be due to the fact of the legal troubles Ruggiero Sr. brought upon John Gotti and the Gambino family after having his house tapped by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Department of Justice.
Relationship with Wilfred Johnson Edit
For reasons which have never been made entirely clear, mob associate Wilfred Johnson hated Angelo. Out of all the members of the Bergen crew he seemed most intent as an informant on hurting Angelo who he referred to as "that fat fuck" in some way. However, Johnson pointedly did not include John Gotti in his discussion of the Bergin narcotics operation, insisting to the FBI that he didn't know too much about that subject. The FBI suspected this was a lie but Johnson nevertheless provided them with precise sketches of the interior of the Ruggiero home in Cedarhurst, New York, accompanied by recommendations on the best places to plant a wire transmitter. When the bug was planted in 1982, the FBI was provided with what is now considered by many in law enforcement as one of the most remarkable oral histories ever recorded on the progress of a major criminal conspiracy. Ruggiero revealed that he helped murder Gambino family soldier Anthony Plate, with John Gotti and Wilfred Johnson for his uncle Aniello Dellacroce in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Threatening Ronald Reagan Edit
In 1984, Angelo spread a little rumor in organized crime circles a few days before he and John Gotti were spotted by United States Secret Service agents and NYPD detectives eating at the Sheraton Center Hotel in Manhattan. President Reagan was coming to the hotel that day to address at state Republican Party meeting, and the president's protectors told Angelo and John that they would feel more comfortable if they left before his arrival. Gotti and Ruggiero were extremely proud of the fact that they intimidated the Secret Service and the NYPD as being potentially harmful to President Ronald Reagan. John and Angelo went and made sure everyone in the Gambino crime family knew about the incident.
The Tapes Edit
Citing Wilfred Johnson, Jame Cardinali, Mark Reiter and George Yudzevich, FBI informants, the FBI's "Gambino Squad" in Queens, New York received permission from the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. to seek a wiretap order on Angelo's home phone which was granted November 9, 1981. They were investigating loansharking and illegal gambling, but soon turned their attention towards the trafficking of heroin. The tapped telephone in Angelo's home was listed in his daughter Princess Ruggiero's name. It was singled out because he had told informants it was "safe". They said that Angelo, only a few months after the Bergin wiretapping from Queens officials, was openly discussing on the phone the loansharking and gambling rackets that he, John Gotti and Gene Gotti operated.
In its initial request to wiretap the telephone, the FBI listed Peter Gotti and Richard Gotti as loanshark collectors and stated that Angelo was a "known murderer who would, without question, seek physical retribution and possibly murder a shylock victim who is unable to pay his debts." Somehow Angelo found out that agents had been listening to him and went into hiding. The affidavit caused panic and deception within the Dellacroce–Gotti faction regime and the Paul Castellano loyalists in the Gambino crime family, whose titular boss equated drug dealing with death. Somehow, sometime in late June 1985, the Bergin crew finally demonstrated it could get accurate information. Angelo obtained a pasted-together version of the last of the FBI's six Angelo electronic-surveillance affidavits. The notes told him that FBI Agent John Conroy was not all he cracked himself up to be and that attorney Michael Coiro was not wired into the Eastern District as he imagined. Critically, the FBI working papers confirmed the depth of the probe, and that it was supported by a three-bug invasion of his home. Sources advised Angelo Ruggiero became scared to death because he had been lying systematically to Paul Castellano and his uncle Aniello Dellacroce insofar as he had constantly told them that he had not been dealing in drugs by himself, by merely cleaning up loose ends of his brother Salvatore's narcotics operation.
On December 1, 1984 the Angelo wiretap was removed because he moved from Howard Beach, Queens to Cedarhurst, New York, to a house he was having renovated. Angelo told informants it was a good move for him and that the FBI would not know where he lived. In fact, pen registers at the Our Friends Social Club had disclosed several calls to his home in Cedarhurst and FBI agents were watching on the day Angelo moved in. The agents had increased physical surveillance of Angelo and John Gotti, suspecting they might be dealing drugs. Despite Angelo's growing uneasiness and despite his efforts to discuss matters in code, evidence of narcotics trafficking began to grow around him mostly from his tape recorded telephone conversations with drug traffickers Alphonse Sisca and Arnold Squitieri.
On April 17, 1984, he met with Jack Conroy. Conroy was an associate who said he had a source who worked at the telephone company, which is notified when phones are being legally tapped, and he could find out who authorized the taps. A week later, he told Angelo this would cost $1,000- $800 for his telephone company source and $200 each for he and his partner. Angelo agreed. In a few days, Conroy delivered a bill of goods. He said the taps were legal because of a March 18 federal court order in the Southern District of New York, which is Manhattan and the Bronx. This invention caused Angelo to speculate that he was only peripherally involved in an investigation aimed at someone else. Just in case, however, he told Conroy, who had just suckered Angelo out of $1,000, that he would get some other telephone numbers for him to check. No problem, Conroy told Ruggiero. Conroy was really an undercover FBI agent who was posing as a telephone repairman.
Angelo at the time the indictments were being prepared, seemed to not be worried of the outcome of the trial. He spent $40,000 on remodeling his home in Cedarhurst and was overheard saying, "the bugs in this house were a bunch of bullshit and nothing is coming." His confidence later seemed ridiculous, even to his confederates.
After Paul was arrested for racketeering and other crimes, he learned for the first time that his home had been bugged by the FBI, and that the Ruggiero tapes were the legal basis for it. Paul went to Angelo's uncle, Aniello Dellacroce and demanded him to give over the tapes. Dellacroce tried to placate Castellano, saying that there were many personally embarrassing moments on the tapes that Angelo did not want anyone to hear. He said that he wanted the tapes not to justify murdering him, but for his lawyers who were trying to suppress the introduction of his own tapes in the upcoming 1985 Mafia Commission Trial. In ensuing sessions between Ruggiero, Gotti and Dellacroce, Ruggiero remained adamant about not giving up the tapes. He accused his uncle of betrayal for even entertaining the thought. He told his lawyers he would kill them if they gave up the tapes.
Salvatore Gravano stated, "I didn't know till later that the bug on him gave the government the OK, the right legally, to bug Paul's house. It was Angie's big mouth. I mean, he's caught on tape all over the fucking place. His tapes, the tape with Gerry Lang (Gennaro Langella) and Donnie Shacks (Dominic Montemarano). You name it and Angie's on tape. And always talking about stuff that he ain't supposed to be even mentioning to anybody. We find out about the tapes on Angie when he was arrested. And they eventually would become a major fucking problem. Ultimately, people would say these tapes and what was on them probably led to Paul's downfall. But what really led to it was also a lot of things he was doing that people in the family were against, and when the time came, when it came down the wire, this was why me and Frank DeCicco and the other guys went along with it. Right then though, Angie's tapes had nothing to do with me whatsoever. I was never at Angie's house. I'm not on any of his tapes in any way, shape or form. That was all Angie's problem. John Gotti's problem. And Paul's."
Sammy Gravano later said:
"I don't think if he lived (Dellacroce), he would've let Angelo get murdered. He would have probably put him on a shelf somewhere and appease Paul that way. If he let Paul kill him, there would have been a war. I think he felt, Paul's the boss, so let's 'fess up, this is the truth, this is what happened, here are the tapes. Then, if Paul followed up and said, "Well, I want him dead", Neil would have fought tooth and nail to save him. And if he couldn't, who knows what the fuck would've happened?":
He also later stated,
"I don't think John (Gotti) gave a fuck about Angelo or the tapes. I think he was looking to create a situation to capitalize on our other grievances about Paul. There was tension between Aniello Dellacroce and his followers and Paul Castellano, and Frank DeCicco enjoyed their mutual respect. But when Ruggiero tried to convince DeCicco that Dellacroce had real disputes against Castellano, he did not believe him. To Ruggiero's unhappiness, DeCicco said that as far as he was concerned, his uncle was a faithful underboss to Paul Castellano. Angelo would also listen to his uncle's protege and childhood friend, John Gotti insult Dellacroce about his "La Cosa Nostra bullshit." When Dellacroce was dying, Ruggiero was a constant visitor to his bedside until his death on December 2, 1985.
DiBernardo murder and Attempted Murder of Casso Edit
"I said to Angie that if DiB said anything, it didn't mean nothing. Just talk. DiB wasn't dangerous. I asked Angie to reach John and see if we couldn't hold up on this, and when John came out, we would discuss it. It was something we could hold up on. But Angie immediately responded that it had to be done. John was steaming. John's brother Genie, and Genie's crew would the hit at this house of the mother of one of the soldiers. I was to get DiB there for a meeting, and whoever was sitting behind DiB would shoot him. But the house wasn't available. Angie came back to me. He said John was really hot. He wanted it done right, he wanted it done right, and he wanted me to do it. I didn't know what Angie was telling John about my reservations. I knew Angie was into DiB for $250,000. I would imagine that this could've played a part in everything. But I don't know if John knew that. Maybe John had some other motives, some hidden resentment in the past. Frankie (Frank DeCicco) and me had a tough time even getting John to elevate DiB to captain after Paul (Paul Castellano) got hit. But I never questioned that he gave the order."
But later botched the murder of Lucchese crime family mobster Anthony Casso, who was a Capo at the time. Casso openly called Ruggiero an "idiot". Insulted, Ruggiero decided to have Casso murdered, a task entrusted to Capo Michael Paradiso, one of Gotti's oldest friends. Paradiso, in turn, assigned the actual task of killing to three hoodlums, including a Staten Island thug named James Hydell, a nephew of Gambino crime family capo Daniel Marino. Hydell shot Casso five times, but failed to kill him, a mistake that proved costly: kidnapped by Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa, Hydell was hideously tortured by Anthony Casso for twelve hours, then killed, all as a warning to Ruggiero.
The incident further rattled Gotti's faith in Ruggiero's abilities as a capo and created a major managerial problem: as family boss, Gotti was being ushered into the great riches of the upper-level rackets, ones that required capos with some intelligence and business sense who could help him run the organization. Ruggiero proved to have none of these attributes. After the attempted shooting of Anthony Casso, John A. "Junior" Gotti later stated that Ruggiero was placed on the "shelf" for ordering the attack. Despite orders from his father, John Jr. continued his friendship with his father's old friend and spoke to him regularly.
Personal toll over Salvatore's death Edit
After Angelo was notified of his brother's death, he, along with Gene Gotti and John Carneglia, went to Salvatore's hideout in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, searching for a yet-to-be-sold shipment of heroin and cash. A few months earlier however, hoping to catch up with his elusive brother and to gain evidence to indict John Gotti, the FBI's Gambino Squad had thoroughly wired Angelo's home. Not only was his telephone line bugged, but microphones were placed in his kitchen, den and dining room. Federal agents were able to record Angelo's attorney Micheal Coiro, offering condolences to Angelo on the death of his brother, and then saying, "Gene found the heroin." The talk of heroin in the wake of Salvatore's death and the connection to a Gotti family relative seized the attention of the investigating FBI agents. The investigation into Angelo suddenly held promise in leading to indictments of major family operatives.
Angelo was known as a constant chatter-box, providing a running commentary on everything going on around him. Everyone who visited him had to endure endless gossip, complaints and general indiscretions. The death of his brother Salvatore, hit Angelo hard and he was often overheard on FBI wiretaps in his Cedarhurst, New York home wistfully speaking of his brother to Bonnano crime family mobsters Gerlando Sciascia and Joseph LoPresti, his two drug trafficking partners. Unlike his brother Salvatore who became a multi-millionaire from his successful large scale drug trafficking operation, Angelo would never rise above a wealthy street-level mobster. He later told Joseph LoPresti, "You know I lost my brother. I said to myself: "I'll have to get drunk". I had two vodkas... I went in my room, I closed the door and I cried...." The bugs also overheard Angelo saying how difficult it was accepting his brother's death because the body was in "fuckin pieces." He added: "If he would have been shot in the head and [they] found him in the streets- that's part of our life, I could accept that."
A memorial service was held in Howard Beach, Queens at Mary Dellacroce's house. Afterward Angelo said his late younger brother, "... had a pretty good, nice sendoff. I mean my whole fucking family [and]... all the wiseguys in the family (Gambino crime family) were there." Angelo who had scheduled a secret rendezvous with Salvatore for that day made arrangements for the welfare of his brother's children.
McBratney and Castellano slayings Edit
Ruggiero was involved in the 1973 murder of James McBratney with Gotti and Ralph Galione. Ruggiero also participated in the 1985 slaying of Gambino leader Paul Castellano. Finally, Ruggiero was suspected in the 1980 disappearance of John Favara, a neighbor of Gotti who had killed Gotti's 12 year-old son Frank in a car accident. Ruggiero was later the subject of a government undercover investigation. Mobster turned government informant Wilfred Johnson provided investigators with the layout for Ruggerio's home so that they could install for bugs and wire taps. Investigators monitored Ruggiero's activities in narcotics. Investigators later recorded conversations between Ruggiero and Gene Gotti that implicated the two men in Castellano's murder.
Actions at 1985 preliminary hearing Edit
At a hearing to decide whether Angelo's bail should be revoked, an FBI agent testified that an informant said that Gotti and Angelo choreographed the murders of Thomas Bilotti and Paul Castellano. With his freedom on the line Angelo blurted out, "This is like Russia". Later, when a judge ordered him to jail, Angelo lost his temper and appeared to threaten a prosecutor when he pointed his finger and said, "Go home and celebrate with your family! Go ahead and laugh!"
Falling out with John Gotti and death Edit
After the first heroin trafficking case against Ruggiero, Gene Gotti and John Carneglia ended in a mistrial, because of jury tampering, Ruggiero remained in federal detention, his bail still revoked, for the second trial. This also resulted in a mistrial, again for suspected jury tampering. For the third trial, in 1989, Ruggiero was finally released on bail and severed as a defendant in the case. He had terminal lung cancer. Later, his drug trafficking partners Gene Gotti and John Carneglia were both convicted and sentenced to 50 years. Salvatore Gravano then heard that John wanted to have Angelo murdered for allowing himself to be recorded by the FBI. Sammy convinced Gotti that because Angelo was dying of cancer that it was not even worth it to carry out the execution. Instead, John kept Angelo out of the loop from all criminal activities.
In 1989, Angelo Ruggiero died of cancer in Howard Beach, Queens, at 48-years-old. After turning state's evidence to avoid prosecution, former underboss Salvatore Gravano reported that during the last months of Angelo's life both he and Gene Gotti urged John to visit his near death childhood friend. Gotti refused to see his once loyal soldier and friend because he was still angry over Ruggiero's criminal activities being recorded on wire taps. Gravano also claimed that he nearly had to drag Gotti to attend his wake.
His son and namesake, Angelo Ruggiero, Jr., and Ruggiero, Sr.'s, paternal nephew, Salvatore Ruggiero, Jr., would later follow their fathers into an organized crime "career." Angelo, Jr., was convicted of grand larceny, in May 1998, and sent to prison for one-to-three years.
As John Gotti had once berated Ruggierio for allowing his conversations to be recorded in his own household without his knowing, Gotti would fall to the same fate. FBI agents planted listening devices at the Ravenite Social Club and the Bergin Hunt and Fish Club. Between November 30, 1989, and January 24, 1990, Gotti implicated himself in a wide variety of criminal activities. These tapes would bring John Gotti to trial in January 1990 for ordering the botched execution of Carpenters' Union boss John O'Connor.
Medical history Edit
It is speculated that Ruggiero suffered from Dissocial personality disorder, Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and Tourette syndrome which earned him the moniker of the "Perle Mesta of the Mob". He earned the name "Quack Quack" from his extreme talkative nature and because he suffered from Plantar fasciitis, a painful inflammatory infection of the feet of which the most telltale sign was his duck-like waddle. Ruggiero later suffered from obesity and eventually died from lung cancer.
People Murdered by Angelo Ruggiero Edit
1.James McBratney/associate/Irish Mob/May 22nd 1973/Personal/ Ruggerio was the hitman along with John Gotti and Ralph Galione. McBratney was murdered because he kidnapped and killed Carlo Gambino's nephew Emmanuel.
2.Anthony Plate/associate/Gambino Crime Family/Summer 1979/Personal/ Ruggiero was the hitman along with John Gotti, Plate was murdered because he was involved in the robbery of Anthony Gaggi which left him injured.
2.John Favarra/none/independent/March 18th 1980/Personal/ Ruggerio was one of several members of the Bergin crew who kidnapped and murdered John Favara because he had accidentally run over and killed Gotti's youngest son Frank.
3.Paul Castellano/Boss/Gambino Crime Family/December 16th 1985/At the scene/ Ruggiero was involved with the planning of this murder and was in charge of the Backup shooters on the night of the murder. Castellano was killed because he was unpopular and because Gotti wanted to become boss.
4.Thomas Bilotti/Underboss/Gambino Crime Family/December 16th 1985/At the scene/ Ruggiero was involved with the planning of this murder and was in charge of the Backup shooters on the night of the murder. Bilotti was killed because he was unpopular and because he was Castellano's Bodyguard.
5.Robert DiBernardo/Capo/Gambino Crime Family/June 5th 1986/Ordered It/ DiBernardo was killed because he was allegedly plotting against the boss, however Ruggiero had another reason to have him murdered, he owed DiBernardo $250,000 and by having DiBernardo murdered Ruggiero's debt will be wiped out and Ruggiero won't have to pay back anything.