Thomas Genovese a.k.a. "Tommy" (August 31, 1941 Little Italy, Manhattan- January 16, 1979) was an Italian-American Colombo crime family associate and distant relative of Genovese crime family founder Vito Genovese.
Thomas Genovese was born in Napoli, Italy but his family immigrated to the U.S. and settled in Lower East Side, Manhattan where his relative Vito Genovese grew up. He is not a relative of Pittsburgh crime family mobster Michael James Genovese, although they share the same last name. His criminal activity is greatly known as being part of an insanely courageous band of young toughs who kidnapped mob soldiers and held them for ransom. Their victims included Francesco Manzo and Emanuel Gambino who they later murdered after Emmanuel attempted to escape. Thomas was a tough, fiercely loyal man who served as a soldier under Michael Franzese. Both Michael and his father John Franzese respected him, knew his wife and children, and considered him to be one of the crew's most valuable and dependable associates. Michael Franzese was informed that Carmine Persico had put out the contract on Thomas. He had recently been released from a federal penitentary after a long sentence and Michael felt sorry for him. He was having problems readjusting from the prison life. His wife had waited faithfully for his release for nearly a decade. Sonny and Michael Franzese were both friends with Thomas and his wife. On January 16, 1979 two days after the death of Colombo crime family sidewalk soldier Lawrence Carrozza, Thomas was murdered. Now after his wife had waited so long for her husband to be released, he was found shot in the head and stuffed in the trunk of his car. Michael was very upset over the gangland slaying of Thomas. After receiving the news he was called to a "sit-down" at the house of a mob associate. At the house he met four new Italian Colombo crime family recruits who served under capo John Matera.
He had been called to the sit down to celebrate the recruits, having successfully become "made" men in the Colombo crime family. They had murdered Thomas Genovese the night before. Michael surmizes in his biography that he was invited to the celebration as a way of informing him, without ever saying a word, that the murder contract was "in family" and that their was no need for retaliation. Their capo John Matera said, "To a job well done". The gangland slaying of Thomas would haunt Michael for his life. The Social Security Service listed him as dead in May of 1981.