A young Carmine ‘The Snake’ Persico. Date Unknown
Bank robber Jonh Dillinger
Albert Anastasia after being shot and killed in a barbershop. Photo from Las Vegas Sun.
Brooklyn born Tommy “Karate” Pitera is said to be a former Mafia hitman for the infamous Bonanno crime family. He earned his unusual nickname because he was a Karate and Martial arts master, who at one point in his teens studied in Japan.
It is said that Pitera was a vicious and sadistic killer, with a body count of over 60. However, there is no proof.
Little is known about Tommy “Karate” Pitera, even though there was a book published by now deceased author Philip Carlo (best known for his two lengthy books on the Night Stalker Richard Ramirez and The Ice Man Richard Kuklinski) titled “The Butcher.” The book, written right before Philip Carlos death, is hard to believe—-mainly because Pitera refused to cooperate with Carlo, and while the two exchanged only a few letters, they never actually met in person and Pitera refused to answer any of the questions Carlo asked, especially about his childhood, martial arts experience, and living in Japan.
As a result, Carlo attacked his manhood—-describing Pitera as having an extremely high-pitched falsetto voice. This accusation was actually contradicted by DEA agents. Carlo also said that Pitera used to dress up in drag as a disguise—-there is absolutely zero proof of such a thing.
What is unique about Pitera is that while many mafia figures turn informants/rats and chirp names, Pitera remained tight-lipped and never turned anyone in.
Tommy “Karate” Pitera now sits in USP Allenwood in PA, and is currently working on overturning his case with new DNA evidence which may soon come to light.
EPIC GREEN MAN!