Peter Schibetta

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Peter Schibetta is a fictional character on the HBO series Oz, portrayed by Eddie Malavarca.


Character overview[edit]

Prisoner #98S112. Convicted May 19, 1998 - Five counts of extortion: money laundering. Sentence: 35 years, eligible for parole in 20.

He is the son of Nino Schibetta, the first leader of Oz's Italians shown on the series. Once inside, he enlists the warden's brother Mark to murder someone in repayment of a debt owed to Schibetta. Schibetta then exploits his knowledge of Mark's crime as a way of blackmailing Warden Glynn himself. When Mark finally confesses to the murder, Glynn is freed from the Italians' control and goes after Schibetta with a vengeance. When Schibetta is raped, first by Simon Adebisi and later by the Aryans Vernon Schillinger and James Robson, Glynn makes no effort to punish his abusers, and even tacitly endorses the rapes as a way to keep Peter Schibetta and others like him under control. When Schibetta is eventually murdered, the warden shows little interest in finding and punishing his killers. Despite being raped and demoted from the Mafia, he never became a rat.

History[edit]

Season 1[edit]

Peter Schibetta visits his father and tells him about his dying mother and the situation with deceased inmate Dino Ortolani, who was also his cousin. Nino tells him that Dino's family has revenge coming to his killer and that Peter's mother should be examined by a Jewish doctor, since Nino believes they are the best available.

Season 2[edit]

Peter Schibetta is imprisoned for money laundering and runs the Italian Mafia when his father Nino turns up dead. Once in prison, he tries to dominate every situation he is in as if he were still running the Family; he shows no fear and little respect to other inmates. His war with the black inmates grows especially intense when Ryan O'Reily tells him that his father was murdered by Simon Adebisi (Nino had actually been murdered jointly by Adebisi and O'Reily). Schibetta asks Miguel Alvarez to murder Adebisi for a partnership in the drug trade, which Alvarez declines.

Glynn quickly becomes irritated by Peter's constant blackmailing and veiled threats towards his brother. Glynn angrily tells Peter that while Nino might have asked for an occasional favor for him and his friends in return for keeping Glynn's secret, he would not have been constantly trying to order Glynn around his own prison. Peter responds indifferently, and continues to blackmail Glynn. Glynn finally confronts his brother and regretfully tells him that he must turn himself in for the murder he committed.

After Glynn's brother confesses to his crime, an enraged Glynn transfers the Italians to work in the women's dress factory as revenge for blackmailing him. Soon after, Schibetta is poisoned by Adebisi, who gives him a partially opened chocolate bar tainted with rat poison. Staff member Lenny Burrano, an Italian prison worker who works as an inside consultant for the Family, tells him that the family is embarrassed by his "leadership," and if he does not kill Adebisi, his position of leadership will be revoked. Schibetta and fellow wiseguy Chucky Pancamo attempt to murder Adebisi in the kitchen, but Adebisi defends himself against the duo with various kitchen utensils and knocks Pancamo unconscious with a can of peaches, and then brutally rapes Schibetta. Peter has a nervous breakdown, hallucinating that his father is still alive, and is sent to the psychiatric ward. His godfather, Antonio Nappa, arrives in Oz and with the help of CO supervisor and secret Mafia member Lenny Burrano gets Glynn to conduct a "random" drug test in order to deprive Adebisi of heroin.

Season 3[edit]

Schibetta is in the psych ward. Adebisi is also there for a little while as he goes into severe heroin withdrawal. He defends Schibetta when another inmate attacks him. Schibetta is in terrible shape and looks very pathetic. This convinces the staff to let Adebisi out of the psych unit while Schibetta remains inside, still traumatized. Shibetta is not seen during the rest of the season (nor in the following season). Adebisi is able to convince the Italians he is no threat, but secretly infects Nappa with AIDS, and then forms a partnership with Pancamo, who has Nappa killed in the meantime when Nappa goes against the Mafia code of silence by writing his memoirs. This new partnership with the man who raped their former leader shows that the Italians have forgotten about Schibetta.

Season 5[edit]

Peter Schibetta is released from the psych ward after four years. Schibetta has lost the respect of fellow inmates because he was raped by Adebisi and is taunted as a "prag" (prison sex slave) by raping him. Despite his ordeals, Pancamo and the other Italians are happy to have Peter back.

Things get complicated when the Aryan Brotherhood learns that Pancamo orchestrated a hit on Hank Schillinger, the son of Aryan leader Vernon Schillinger. Pancamo is stabbed and hospitalized and the Latinos, the Italians' usual drug-trafficking partners, go to work with Burr Redding and the Homeboys instead. Seeking revenge, Schibetta goes to Muslim leader Kareem Said asking to help him murder Schillinger. Said refuses, saying that Schibetta will "always be known as one of Adebisi's bitches" and the other Italian mobsters led by Zanghi agree and decide not to make a move until Pancamo gives the order. Schibetta sees this as a way to prove his worth and goes after the Aryans alone.

When Aryan leader Vernon Schillinger and his second in command James Robson go to pick up their damaged pool table, Schibetta attempts to stab Schillinger after they taunt him with racial slurs and references to being raped by Adebisi. Schillinger, Robson, and another Aryan beat and gang-rape Schibetta over the pool table, during the rape Schillinger taunts Schibetta about comparing Schillinger's penis size to Adebisi's. Schibetta is taken into the psych ward again and is counselled by Sister Peter Marie, while the Aryans now get a good laugh when playing with their repaired pool table.

Schibetta is taunted by Schillinger with references to the rape and is threatened with the prospect of another rape or even death if he talks too much. Sister Pete goes to Glynn explaining that she wants justice for Schibetta, but Glynn says that the rape was justified in that it made him less of a discipline problem. Sister Pete insists on counselling Schibetta, but he ultimately suffers a mental breakdown.

Season 6[edit]

Peter Schibetta is released from the psych ward again and is told from a source that Ryan O'Reily helped Adebisi kill his father. With revenge on his mind, he arranges for people O'Reily loves to get the "evil eye," essentially a death curse which his wife's grandmother may cast after obtaining a person's personal possession. First dead is Father Daniel Meehan, a priest who is trying to appeal O'Reily's brother Cyril's death sentence; the priest suffers a brain aneurism and dies in his sleep, inside the cell he and O'Reily share. Schibetta tells O'Reily that Meehan is dead because of him and that there will be others. O'Reily responds by going to Pancamo and telling him that Schibetta plans to curse everyone he holds a grudge against, claiming that this included Pancamo (which he thinks would be revenge for failing to protect Peter from Adebisi and the Aryans). In the meantime, Schibetta steals O'Reily's mother's car keys to put the curse on her. Pancamo and the other Italians stop him however, gouging out his eye to prevent him from passing the curse onto them. Glynn does not conduct a rigorous investigation of his old enemy's murder.

There is a little inaccuracy in the editing regarding Peter Schibetta in the sixth season of Oz. He dies in the second episode "See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Smell No Evil", killed by the other Sicilians. However, he can be seen briefly in the cafeteria (in the background, waiting in the line to get lunch) in the next episode "Sonata da Oz", when inmates James Robson and Chucky Pancamo are shown arguing.

Analysis[edit]

Paul Mason writes, "In Oz Peter Schibetta goes from respected wise guy to 'Adebisi's Bitch' in the space of one night and is never able to remove the stigma of having been raped."[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Paul Mason, Captured by the Media: Prison Discourse in Popular Culture (Willan, 2006), 160.

External links[edit]