Nicholas "Nicky Buck" Piccolo (October 10, 1904 - February 14, 1989) was a Philadelphia mobster and high-ranking member of the Scarfo crime family during the 1970s and 1980s.

Known as one of the last "gentleman gangsters", Piccolo and his two younger brothers Mike and Joe all became made men in the Philadelphia family. The brothers owned the mob hangout "Piccolo's 500 Restaurant" in South Philadelphia. Piccolo was a caporegime in the Philadelphia family under boss Angelo Bruno. After Bruno's murder, he became consiglieri under boss Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo. A nephew of Piccolo, Scarfo was introduced into the family by his uncle. Scarfo and underboss Phil "Crazy Phil" Leonetti, Piccolo's great nephew, ruled the Philadelphia family and its Atlantic City, New Jersey branch with brutality and violence from 1982 to 1988. During the early 1980s, while Scarfo was briefly in prison, Piccolo was heavily involved in the runnings of the crime family

Like many mobsters, Piccolo was a married man who also kept a mistress 20 years younger than he was. Piccolo met his mistress Helen (also known as Babs) during the 1940s. From 1949 to 1988, Piccolo took Babs to Florida every February. On weekends, Piccolo and Babs went to his vacation home in Seaside Heights, New Jersey on the Jersey Shore. After the death of his wife, the 82 year-old Piccolo married Babs on March 1, 1986, causing a mild family scandal. The newlyweds honeymooned at the Scarfo compound in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, spending a good amount of time on Scarfo's boat, The Usual Suspects.

In February, 1989, Nicholas Piccolo died at his Seaside Heights home from emphysema, caused by many years of heavy smoking. His funeral in Seaside Park, New Jersey drew many mafioso and was closely monitored by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents. In the wake of Scarfo's 1988 life sentence and Piccolo's death, his other nephew, Anthony "Tony Buck" Piccolo became family boss until his 1995 incarceration for racketeering. After Piccolo's death in 1989, Babs retired to Coconut Creek, Florida. In October 2005, she returned to Seaside Heights after her Florida home was destroyed during Hurricane Wilma

Descendants of the Piccolo family reside in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Sewell, New Jersey.

References[edit | edit source]

  • Anastasia, George, Blood and Honor: Inside the Scarfo Mob - The Mafia's Most Violent Family 2004, ISBN 09410159864

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