January 20—Los Angeles Family Boss Dominic Brooklier, largely resulting in the testimony of government informant Jimmy "The Weasel" Fratianno, is convicted of racketeering charges and sentenced to 4 years imprisonment. Other members of his organization include Capo Michael "Big Mike Rizzi" Rizzitello with 5 years, Underboss Samuel Scoirtino with 4 years and 2 years each for Capo Louis Dragna and Consigliere Jack LoCicero are also convicted of racketeering, included the gangland slaying of former Capo/Consigliere Frank Bompensiero.
January 23—Genovese crime family leader Frank "Funzi" Tieri becomes the first organized crime leader to be convicted of operating a criminal organization for the purposes of racketeering, which include murder for hire and extortion.
January 31—John Stanfa, a Philadelphia crime family member and former driver of slain boss Angelo Bruno, is convicted in Federal District Court of lying to a grand jury investigating Bruno's murder.
March 1—Salvatore "Toto" Catalano, a Sicilian "Zip", stepped down as Underboss of the Bonanno crime family (reportedly due to his inability to communicate with members of the organization as well as associates because of language problems).
March 15—Philip "Chickenman" Testa, former Underboss and successor to Angelo Bruno, is killed on his front porch by a pipe bomb explosion.Done on orders of his Underboss Pete Casella. There were roofing nails put in the bomb to make it look like it was retaliation for killing union president John McCulough ,but Pete Casella was found out and banished from La Cosa Nostra by the Commission.
April 23—Stefano Bontade, boss of the Santa Maria di Gesù Mafia family in Palermo, is killed while driving home from his 42nd birthday party. His murder is considered to be the start of the Second Mafia War that raged from 1981-1983, but had been simmering in the previous years. In fact, two wars were being waged simultaneously by the Corleonesi. Its leader Totò Riina had secretly formed an alliance of mafiosi in different families, cutting across clan divisions, in defiance of the rules concerning loyalty in Cosa Nostra. This secretive inter-family group would become known as the Corleonesi. The Corleonesi killed the ruling families of the Palermo Mafia to take control of the organisation while waging a parallel war against Italian authorities and law enforcement to intimidate and prevent effective investigations and prosecutions. The murder was carried out by Totò Riina's favourite hitman Pino Greco also known as the “little old shoe” (scarpuzzedda) – a nephew of Michele Greco. Bontade’s close ally, Salvatore Inzerillo, was killed three weeks later with the same Kalashnikov.
May 5—Bonanno crime family captains, Alphonse "Sonny Red" Indelicato and Dominick "Big Trin" Trinchera are called to a Brooklyn social club where they are ambushed and murdered. Undercover FBI agent Joseph "Donnie Brasco" Pistone implicates Dominick "Sonny Black" Napolitano, John Cerasani, Joe Massino, Salvatore Vitale, Joseph DeSimone, Louis Giongetti, Benjamin "Lefty" Ruggiero. Vitale, who started to collaborate with the authorities in 2004, implicated the Canadian faction of the Bonanno Family Vito Rizzuto, Gerlando Sciascia, Santo Giordano and Emanuele Ragusa in the murder. Soldier Frank Lino went to the meeting with Indelicato-Giacone-Trinchera, was able to escape. John Gotti's, "Bergin Crew" Gene Gotti, Angelo Ruggiero and John Carneglia buried the bodies in a vacant lot in Queens, New York.
May 27—Chelsais Bouras, head of Philadelphia's "Greek Mob", is killed by gunman in a South Philadelphia restaurant, allegedly by Scarfo gunman.
July 25—Future pentito Salvatore Contorno narrowly escapes a murder attempt by Pino Greco "scarpazzedda" and Giuseppe Lucchese — the favourite hitmen of the Corleonesi. The Corleonesi employed a scorched earth policy to hunt down the allies of Stefano Bontade (Contorno's boss), killing his relatives and friends, to prevent them from hiding. Nevertheless, they were not able to get to Contorno, which earned him the nickname Coriolano della Floresta, a kind of popular Sicilian version of Robin Hood. While in hiding from both the authorities and the Corleonesi, Contorno sent anonymous letters to the police, revealing information on the Mafia, its members, the various factions and the violent turmoil it was undergoing. Police super-intendant Antonino Ninni Cassarà developed a relationship with Contorno as an informant, code-naming him Fonte di Prima Luce (Source of First Light).
March 15 — Philip C. Testa "Chicken Man", Philadelphia crime family Boss.
April 23 —Stefano Bontade, Palermo mafia Capo-Boss.
May 5 — Phillip Giaccone, Bonanno crime family Capo.
May 5 — Alphonse Indelicato, Bonanno crime family caporegime.
May 5 — Dominick Trinchera, Bonanno crime family Capo.
May 11 — Salvatore "The Heroin King" Inzerillo, Sicilian mafioso, Passo di Rigano Clan capo.
May 27 — Chelsais Bouras "Steve", Philadelphia mobster and leader of the "Greek Mob".