As of 1989, only 60 of the 360 convicted defendants from the 1986 Maxi Trial in Sicily remain imprisoned.
Angelo "Quack Quack" Ruggiero, Gambino crime familycaptain and heroin dealer, dies of cancer. His boss and former best friend John Gotti doesn't visit him before he dies, reportedly still harbouring ill feelings towards Ruggiero for the trouble he caused when his house was bugged.
February - U.S. Attorney General Richard Thornburgh, recently appointed by President Ronald Reagan, officially merges the regional organized crime strike forces the office of the U.S. Attorney General.
May 2 - Gerald Scarpelli, a former Chicago hitman turned FBI informant, commits suicide while held in the Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center.
May 2 - Russian mobster Michael Markowitz who operated a gasoline bootlegging business under the auspices of Colombo Family caporegime Michael Franzese was shot to death while driving his Rolls-Royce in Brooklyn. After being convicted of taking part in the illegal business Markowitz became a government witness against Franzese and testified as to the roles of the Genovese and Lucchese Families in the lucrative business.
June 6 – Anonymous letters signed by “il corvo” (literally “crow”, but meaning “provocateur”) begin to circulate accusing Giovanni Falcone and police inspector Gianni De Gennaro of sending Contorno to Sicily to start a state sponsored vendetta against the Corleonesi.