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|First appearance||"Ancient Tribes" (season 2, episode 2)|
|Last appearance||"Exeunt Omnes" (season 6, episode 8)|
|Created by||Tom Fontana|
|Portrayed by||Chuck Zito|
|Nickname(s)||Chucky the Enforcer, Chucky|
Charles "Chucky The Enforcer" Pancamo is a fictional character, played by Chuck Zito, on the HBO series Oz. Pancamo is a member of the "Wise Guys", a collection of Italian inmates connected to the Mafia.
Prisoner #97P468. Convicted June 4, 1997 - Sentence: 35 years, eligible for parole in 15.
Nicknamed, 'The Enforcer', Pancamo is introduced in the show's second season. He is an Italian-American mobster serving time for tying a woman in a bag and throwing her into the ocean. Unlike other prisoners with flashbacks showing their crimes, it's not mentioned what crime he was convicted of (presumably some degree of murder), nor is any context given for why he committed the crime. Extremely muscular, he is primarily an enforcing member of the prison's Italian gang until he is asked to take over by Antonio Nappa. Pancamo runs the gambling and drug businesses in Oz. He is one of the most feared men in Oz, but makes several mistakes as a leader of the Italians. He is shown to be less cunning than other gang leaders such as Morales and Adebisi. However, he does find a way to come out of each situation on top and is one of the few leaders in Oz to make it through the duration of the show.
Tom Fontana, who hired Chuck Zito to play Pancamo, said, "I'm going to push you and your character. I'm going to take you to places you've never been." Zito replied, "That's fine. But there's one thing you should know. I don't do rapes, and I don't get raped. And I do my own wardrobe." Zito is one of the few actors on the show that has spent time in prison. When Zito auditioned for the role, the characters first name was "Sam", but was changed to Chucky after Zito received the part.
Pancamo mainly acts as a soldier, second in command to Peter Schibetta. He does not really like the black inmates who work in the kitchen and often calls them "moolies". He helps Schibetta try to kill Simon Adebisi, leader of the Homeboys, the prison's black gang. Adebisi is able to defeat both of his attackers and knocks Pancamo out with a can of peaches. Adebisi rapes Schibetta but Pancamo will not confirm that it has happened since he was unconscious. Things look up for Pancamo when his Mafia mentor and former boss Antonio Nappa arrives and brings the Italians back into power. After taking Adebisi off of heroin for the time being with the help of staff member Lenny Burrano, Nappa and Pancamo steal Adebisi's drugs and offer Wangler a deal. Nappa, Pancamo, and Don Zanghi tell Wangler that if he kills Kipekemie Jara, an African man who has Adebisi under control, that he can work as their partner and they will call a truce. Wangler kills Jara and the Italians accept the Homeboys as their partners.
This season starts with Adebisi being released from the psych ward and coming back to work in the Italian's kitchen. Pancamo is often cautious with Nappa and advises him on how to deal with the Homeboys. He often reminds Wangler not to get too cocky whenever he deals with the Italians. When Nappa gets infected with HIV, he makes Pancamo acting boss. Afterwards, Pancamo finds out that Nappa is publishing an autobiography detailing all the criminal acts he has committed. With permission from Nappa's superiors in the Mafia crime family outside of prison, Pancamo has the book destroyed and has gay inmate Nat Ginzburg murder Nappa.
Adebisi comes to Pancamo, asking to be partners in the drug trade. Pancamo tells him that if he kills the other Homeboys, he can be their partner. Adebisi burns Poet and Pierce first and then Wangler is left without any help and at Adebisi's mercy. As a result, Pancamo, Adebisi, and Hernandez now are three way partners in the drug trade. Pancamo also represents the Italians in the boxing tournament. After easily knocking out a Biker in round 1 of the first fight, Pancamo somehow loses to Cyril O'Reily, the mentally handicapped brother of Ryan O'Reily. Wondering how he lost to an inmate who he had over 60 lbs. on, he is told Ryan O'Rielly that the fight was fixed by a Russian mobster Yuri Kosygin. With advice from O'Reily, Pancamo gets Kosygin placed in isolation by tricking him into trying to kill Nikolai Stanislofsky.
Later, racial tension brews in Oz, and Pancamo tells Adebisi to cool the rhetoric or else they will be unable to push drugs if the prison is locked down. Adebisi refuses and Hernandez points out that he is in a crazy state. Vern Schillinger also calls Pancamo and all the other White inmates to a meeting claiming that they must all stick together because they are bound by the color of their skin. Warden Glynn however locks Oz down going into the new millennium.
Season 4 Part I
Oz is no longer locked down and things for the time being go back to normal until a shooting takes place in Em City. In Em City, Pancamo then sponsors new Italian inmate Ralph Galino a contractor who is imprisoned for his alleged part in a building collapse. Galino then reveals that he has no criminal connections, works an honest job, and despises Italian-Americans like Pancamo who give the rest of them a stereotypical criminal image. This causes the Italian inmates to ignore Galino as he is unable to provide any use to them. Hernandez decides that the Latinos will join the White inmates side of the racial tension issue and snitches on Adebisi for getting the gun inside Oz. In the meantime a new Latino inmate Enrique Morales arrives in Oz. Because Morales comes in with credibility and Pancamo thinks Hernandez is on the verge of a mental breakdown, he prefers that Enrique run the Latinos in the drug trade giving him Hernandez's third if Hernandez is eliminated. Morales agrees and has Bob Rebadow kill him. In the meantime, a new inmate Desmond Mobay, a Jamaican inmate wants into the drug game. Unknowing to Morales, Adebisi, and Pancamo, Mobay is actually a narcotics detective named Johnny Basil. They all ask Mobay to do a variety of tests to prove that he can be a gangster such as taking punches from Pancamo and snorting heroin (which undercover police are forbidden to do) among other things. A straw poll is then taken to determine if Mobay is worthy where Pancamo votes yes, Adebisi votes no, and Morales abstains. They resolve that he is a worthy ally under the condition that he kills an inmate. Mobay does so and for the time being has Pancamo's support.
Things get even better in the drug trade when new unit manager, an African American named Martin Querns replaces Tim McManus. Querns tells Adebisi that they can have unrestricted drug dealing if his supporters prevent any violence from happening. He enforces this by making Pancamo, Morales, and Adebisi trustees. In the mean time, Hank Schillinger, son of Aryan Brotherhood leader Vernon Schillinger, beats a murder charge for killing the son of Tobias Beecher. Beecher comes to Pancamo and hires him to arrange a hit on Hank, which he does after Beecher promptly pays him. Things get complicated, however, when several of the white inmates and guards are transferred out. All the new guards are black and all the new inmates are black and allied with Adebisi. When Pancamo's cellmate Don Zanghi is thrown into solitary confinement, Pancamo is beaten by the black guards for protesting. Pancamo and Morales both talk to Adebisi about how they are disappointed with the way things are set up as a result. Adebisi tells them that he is cutting them out of the drug trade completely, and when they threaten to go to war, Adebisi says that they will both lose since Em City is now overwhelmingly Black and then tells them that he and Querns have arranged for the Italian and Latino inmates to be transferred out. In Unit B, Schillinger suggests to Pancamo and Hoyt that an all-white unit should be created which Tim McManus ardently rejects.
Season 4 Part II
After Adebisi has been killed by Kareem Said, Em City is running back to normal. With no leader the Homeboys are out of the drug trade so Pancamo and Morales are both cruising comfortably. Things get complicated when the Homeboys are brought back into the fold by new inmate Burr Redding. Pancamo and Morales offer a partnership that Redding rejects. As a result, Pancamo and Morales tell ex-communicated Homeboy Supreme Allah, whom Redding despises, that he can be their partner if he kills Redding. Supreme says yes with time so that he can get the approval of other Homeboys. In the meantime, Morales frames Redding for murdering a Chinese refugee and as a result Redding plans his own attack on the Latino and Italian inmates. The Italians and Latinos are playing basketball in the gym when the Homeboys are ready to ambush them. A deadly fight would have occurred had Augustus Hill not tipped off the COs. Supreme Allah is then killed and Redding is back in full swing.
Pancamo is called to an interrogation by FBI agent Pierce Taylor, who tells him that a Mafia hitman named Gaetano Cincetta has implicated him in the murder of Hank Schillinger. Pancamo denies everything to Agent Taylor, who tells Pancamo his next meeting is with Hank's father and Aryan leader Vernon Schillinger hinting that he'll tell Schillinger that Pancamo had Schillinger's son murdered. Pancamo informs Tobias Beecher after his meeting with Agent Taylor and promises Beecher protection from the Aryans. Later the Aryan Brotherhood attacks Pancamo and James Robson approaches him from behind and stabs him in the side, putting him in the hospital. At the end of the season, Pancamo nearly dies in the hospital from a staph infection brought on by poor medical treatment, but he survives thanks to Oz's chief physician, Dr. Gloria Nathan. While Pancamo is in the hospital, the Italians fall apart: Schibetta is hospitalized after being gang raped by the Aryans, Redding convinces Warden Glynn to let him run the kitchen and kicks the Italians out, and Morales and Redding muscles them out of the drug trade. However, new inmate Frank Urbano takes over for Pancamo and helps them regain their standing. The Italians fight back against the Aryans and Urbano negotiates a favorable deal to take back their share of the drug trade.
At the beginning of season 6, Pancamo is released from the hospital and his partnership in the drug trade with Morales is running smoothly. Ryan O'Reily lies about Peter Schibetta wanting to curse the Italians with the evil eye but Pancamo and Urbano believe him and they kill Peter and remove his eye. Pancamo also sees that James Robson has been ousted from the Aryan Brotherhood, so he attacks him in the library. Robson seeks protection from Wolfgang Cutler, who makes him his sex slave. Pancamo tries to kill Robson, but Cutler steps in and wards him off.
When Redding takes the Homeboys to work as telemarketers, Glynn gives back control of the kitchen to Pancamo under the condition that he stays away from the Aryans. In the gym, Pancamo and the other Italians approach Robson with an offer. He tells him that if he kills Cutler, they will forgive him. Robson has sex with Cutler one last time then hangs Cutler, making it look like a suicide. Pancamo is then approached by Redding, who asks him to stop any attempt by the Homeboys to deal drugs so they will be forced back to work as telemarketers. Pancamo gladly does so and has one of Poet's drug connections outside of prison killed. Pancamo then sees a new inmate selling hash brownies in the cafeteria. The Italians corner him and kill him with hot steam from a pipe inside the storage room. In the end, the Italians have a monopoly over the drug trade, with the Homeboys working as telemarketers and the Latinos leaderless after Morales is killed in the infirmary.
- Unknown woman - Thrown in the water by Chucky, then got 35 years in Oz in 1997.
- Peter Schibetta - Murdered by the Italians via manipulation of Ryan O'Reily, Warden Leo Glynn never investigated the murder.
- Stanley Bukowski - Murdered by the Italians, for selling ganja brownies in Emerald City and to stop Poet & Reggie Rawls from dealing drugs.
- David Bianculli, "'OZ' PEN IS MIGHTIER Prison drama continues to be one of TV's best," New York Daily News (July 11th 2000).
- Joe Layden, Sean Penn, and Chuck Zito, Street Justice (Macmillan, 2003), 274.