Philip "Chicken Man" Testa was a leading member within the the Bruno Family and briefly became it's boss after the murder of Angelo Bruno and Antonio Caponigro in 1980.
Taking the lead
Philip Testa was born in Sicily and upon immigrating to America he joined the Mafia organization led by Angelo Bruno. After good work Testa was eventualy appointed as the Family underboss. Bruno was a well liked boss and avoided and forbade his members to become involved in the drug business, which also led to his downfall. Bruno was killed on March 21, 1980 in a hit that was most likely ordered by his consiglieri Antonio Caponigro, who wanted to remove Bruno to take part in the massive drugtrade. Not long after the murder Caponigro was summoned to New York to appear before the commission, but never returned home. A couple of weeks later the police found an abandoned car in the Bronx containing the mutilated body of Caponigro. Next to the body the police found a couple of dollarbills soaked in blood, most likely as a sign he had become to greedy. Now with both the boss and consiglieri murdered, a new leader had to step up. The Commission decided to appoint underboss Phillip Testa as the new leader of the Philly mob. He then appointed Nicodeme Scarfo, a man who was banished before to Atlantic City by Bruno, as his consiglieri. Sometime later Testa also inducted his son Salvatore in the family.
The city of broderly love however was about to become a war field and the Bruno Family was slowly turning as one of the most violent Mafia organizations in America. Almost one year after the death of Angelo Bruno on March 15, 1981, Testa returned to his home in South Philadelphia when suddenly a nail bomb went off under his porch. The blast teared up the entire building and instantly killed Testa. The nail bomb was allegedly done on the orders of his underboss Pete Casella. Immediately, the press jumped on the story, noting that a Philadelphia Mafia War had begun. During the 4 years after Angelo Bruno's murder about 30 mobsters were killed.
Philip Testa's son, Salvatore, was an up and comer in the mob. He was elevated by Scarfo to the rank of capo in the months after his father's death. Scarfo was said to have liked Salvatore who had become one of the leading gunmen inside the family. However, after Testa called of a wedding between him and the daughter of Scarfo's underboss, Scarfo was angered and ordered Salvatore to be killed. In 1984 28y old Salvatore Testa was murdered. It is however possible that Scarfo ordered the killing not because of the wedding, but because Salvatore was a popular guy inside the family and could have formed a future threath.