Billy Batts was a fictional character played by Frank Vincent in the 1990 Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas. The character was based on the Lucchese crime family member William "Billy Batts" Benventa, who was murdered by Tmmy DeSimone, who was portrayed as Tommy DeVito, who was played by actor Joe Pesci in the film.
In the film Goodfellas, Billy, who, like his real life counterpart, was a made member of the Gambino crime family, was murdered by Tommy DeVito, after he had insulted Tommy.
Born to a family of Sicilian descent in New York City, Billy became an associate of the Gambino crime family. He rose through the ranks of the Gambino Crew and became a Soldato in the family, becoming an "untouchable" made member.
On June 11, 1970, Billy, as did his real-life counterpart did, met his ultimate fate when, at The Suite Lounge, he insulted Lucchese associate Tommy DeVito about how he used to be a shoeshine boy, so DeVito and his friend, fellow associate Jimmy Conway (played by Robert De Niro in the film), beat Batts unconscious. At first, DeVito and the gang left, but DeVito savagely beat him, assisted by Conway, repeatedly hitting his head and shoving away Vito Ambrosio, his associate. They threw away his gun and finally smashed him, leaving his pounded body on the floor. Using the table blankets, they carried him into their car, believing he had died. While the Lucchese associates were having dinner at DeVito's mother's house, he woke up and tried to beat the trunk open.
The associates heard the bumps while they were on the Upstate parkway, and they drove off the road to investigate. Batts wheezed, so DeVito stabbed him seven times with a chef's knife (borrowed from his mother) and Conway shot the body five times, and buried it. They returned six months later when news came that a condominium was being built over the burial site, and they re-buried it in another location in New York City.
Billy Batts was a made member of the Gambino crew, meaning that he could not be touched until the offender had a sit-down with his boss and got the OK to kill him. Batts was killed without Carlo Gambino's permission, meaning that he would be the one who was whacked; he did not come up with a good reason or meet with the boss. This resulted in DeVito's murder in 1979, after years of conflict with the Lucchese Family, as the Gambinos annoyed everyone over the location of Batts (or his body, after they found out).
Misconception concerning "Billy Batts death in "Goodfellas"Edit
The common belief, perpetuated by Goodfellas, is that Tommy DeSimone murdered Bentvena, on whom the "Billy Batts" character was based, for insulting him at The Suite. However, the real reason for the murder was that Burke had taken over Billy Batts' loanshark business while he was in prison. According to Hill, Bentvena had been complaining to Joe Gallo about getting back this racket. Not wanting to return the business to Bentvena, Burke decided to eliminate him instead. When he was attacked, Batts was so inebriated he failed to defend himself.