- "When the boss says push the button on a guy - I push the button, see, Senator?"
- ―Willie Cicci[src]
An employee of the Genco Pura Olive Oil Company since 1942, Willie Cicci was in reality a top enforcer and hitman for the Corleone family. He was a high-ranking soldier in the regime of Peter Clemenza.
Several key associates reported to him, including the Don's son in law, Carlo Rizzi. Cicci was also one of the men hired by Peter Clemenza for protecting Sonny Corleone during the war.
Role in the war
By 1955, Cicci had become prominent in the family and was well trusted enough to be assigned with the job of assassinating Don Carmine Cuneo on the day of Michael Rizzi's baptism in 1955. Cicci assassinated Don Cuneo in the revolving doors at a hotel after he got a haircut and shave at the hotel's barber shop while waiting for Cuneo to appear. He was also one of the men assigned to eliminate Salvatore Tessio following his betrayal. Cicci drove Tessio to his death but did not observe the execution itself.
The new regime
When Michael Corleone moved to Nevada, Cicci remained in New York, working for Peter Clemenza and later Frank Pentangeli, acting as his personal bodyguard and right-hand man, unknown as high-ranking soldier of capo. He went with Pentangeli to Anthony Corleone's first communion in Lake Tahoe and expressed his suspicions about the sudden death of Clemenza, who had supposedly died of a heart attack. After the party, Cicci went with Pentangeli to a meeting with the Rosato Brothers who then tried to kill Pentangeli but were interrupted by the appearance of a police officer. This resulted in a shootout between the gangsters and police officers, in which Cicci appeared to be shot in the middle of the road; after he unsteadily stood and fired his revolver, he was then struck by a car.
The Senate hearings
Cicci recovered and testified against Michael at the Senate hearings on organized crime. Cicci states that Michael not only killed Virgil Sollozzo and Captain McCluskey in 1946, but began making plans for a mass slaughter of the other New York Dons as early as 1950. Damning as Cicci's testimony was, he is unable to directly implicate Michael in any murders. He never received orders directly from Vito, Sonny or Michael; he said there were always "buffers" between the button men and the Don. His boss, Frank Pentangeli, was brought in as a surprise witness to corroborate Cicci's testimony; as a capo there is no insulation between Michael and himself. However, Frank was intimidated into silence and the hearings fell apart.
After the Mafia hearings Cicci was sentenced to prison for admitting crimes he committed in the past, though he presumably received a lesser sentence for cooperating with the government. Whether he died in prison, was released and died of natural causes in witness protection or was killed for breaking the omertà is unclear.
Personality and traits
A lank and lean retainer, Cicci's weaselly demeanour made other family members suspicious of him, particularly during the Five Families War in 1946. However, he was a loyal soldato for the most part, able to carry out orders swiftly and efficiently. When he was arrested and put on trial, he went out of his way to be deliberately unhelpful.
In the video game
- "We're gonna take down Cuneo, should be a piece of cake!"
- ―Willie Cicci[src]
Players (Favor 3: Destroy the Midtown Drug Market):
Willy Cicci - Cicci is a Corleone wise guy with a weasel-like demeanor but a strong work ethic, and he's fiercely loyal to the Corleones. He's been placed in charge of finishing Sollozzo's drug incursion once and for all.
Players (Favor 4: Intimidate a Grand Jury Member):
Willy Cicci - Cicci has moved from Madison Gardens to a well-known Corleone hangout: Molsenni's in Little Italy. He's helped himself to a drink and is relaxing in the office, awaiting your arrival.
Behind the scenes
- Willie Cicci was originally intended to be one of the major characters in The Godfather Part III, but was written out and replaced by Joey Zasa following the death of actor Joe Spinell. In The Godfather: The Game he is voiced by actor Gavin Hammon.
- There are a lot of problems regarding his name. In The Godfather Part II, his name is written as "Willi Cicci" in the credits, while in the video game it's written as both "Willie" or "Willi". In the video game, he takes over Tessio's hit contracts after his death. Also in one of the hit mission contracts, if Aldo refuses, he will say "Maybe later, Tessio, maybe later"... as the files had not been updated.