The Sopranos

All 8 Characters Tony Kills In The Sopranos (& Why)

As a ruthless mob boss, Tony Soprano orders the deaths of many gangsters during The Sopranos, but he's unafraid to take matters into his own hands.

As head of the DiMeo crime family in The Sopranos, Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) had to order the deaths of all manner of rivals, informants and enemies. Over the course of The Sopranos‘ six seasons, Tony Soprano authorized the deaths of twelve people from his offices at the back of Satriale’s Pork Store of the Bada Bing strip club. These murders were carried out by loyal lieutenants like Paulie “Walnuts” Gaultieri (Tony Sirico) and Silvio Dante (Steven Van Zandt).

However, Tony Soprano wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty and often took matters into his own hands. As a result, he’s directly responsible for eight murders, the second highest after Paulie’s surprising Sopranos kill count. Sometimes these murders were committed in the interests of maintaining his criminal lifestyle, but other times Tony Soprano would kill out of anger, ignoring the chain of command and the privileged position of his victim.

Willie Overall

Tony and Paulie discuss the hit on Willie Overall in Remember When

Willie Overall was the first person that Tony killed, when he was a young man coming up in the DiMeo family. Tony and Paulie killed Willie on Labor Day, 1982 and buried him in the basement of a house. 25 years later, they had to lie low in Miami when Larry Barese told the FBI where Willie was buried. Luckily for Tony and Paulie, Larry told the authorities that Tony’s close friend Jackie Aprile killed Willie Overall. As Jackie’s death from cancer begins The Sopranos, no charges could be brought against him.

Febby Petrulio

Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) kills Febby

One of The Sopranos’ greatest tricks was how it combined domestic drama with the generic conventions of the mob movie. One of the earliest examples of this was in season 1, episode 5, “College,” in which Tony Soprano takes his daughter Meadow (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) to various college open days while tracking a known FBI informant. Tony bumps into Febby Petrulio (Tony Ray Ross), now living in witness protection as Fred Peters, at a gas station in Maine. After a game of cat-and-mouse between the two men, Tony finally strangled Febby to death outside his travel agency to send a message that his former life in the mob had caught up with him.

Chucky Signore

Tony Soprano in his black floral kill shirt, whacking Chucky Signore

The climax of The Sopranos season 1 revolves around the failed hit orchestrated by Tony’s Uncle Junior (Dominic Chianese) against his nephew. Tony survives both attempts on his life. After consulting Silvio and Paulie, he decides to remove Chucky Signore (Sal Ruffino), one of Junior’s trusted lieutenants, before Junior can make a third attempt. In a moment that will mirror one of Tony’s later kills, he surprises Chucky by arriving at the Jersey City marina with a pistol hidden inside a fish. Tony shoots Chucky dead, then he and Sil attach him to a cinder block and dump him in the river.

Matthew Bevilaqua

Matthew Bevilaqua is killed by Tony and Pussy in The Sopranos

In The Sopranos season 2, the release of Richie Aprile (David Proval) leads to a clash with his brother Jackie’s successor, Tony Soprano. Matthew Bevilaqua (Lillo Brancato Jr.), an ambitious young upstart and his partner Sean Gismonte (Chris Tardio) decided to throw their lot in with Richie. To impress Richie, they attempted to whack Tony’s “nephew” Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli) for hitting Richie’s niece Adriana La Cerva (Drea de Matteo). The hit failed, and Christopher was able to kill Sean before passing out from his injuries. Tony and “Big Pussy” Bonpensiero (Vincent Pastore) tracked down Matthew, and shot him to death in the back of a refreshment stand in revenge for the attack on Chris.

Salvatore “Big Pussy” Bonpensiero

Paulie, Tony, Sal and Big Pussy on a boat in The Sopranos

Tony realized that Pussy was an FBI informant in a vivid dream involving talking fish while struggling with food poisoning. It’s later revealed that Pussy had been informing on the DiMeo crime family from as far back as Christmas 1995, when Tony remembers how shifty his former friend was when he arrived at their traditional Christmas celebrations. Realizing that their friend has betrayed them, Tony, Paulie, and Silvio take Pussy out to sea on Tony’s new boat and confront him for being an FBI informant before shooting him dead and dumping his body overboard.

Ralph Cifaretto

Sopranos Tony Fights Ralphie

When Tony kills Ralph Cifaretto (Joe Pantoliano) in The Sopranos season 4, episode 9, “Whoever Did This,” it comes after a whole season’s worth of tensions between Ralphie and Tony. Before his final confrontation with Tony, Ralphie has murdered one of the strippers at the Bada Bing, and disrespected both the wife of Johnny Sack (Vincent Curatola) and the mother of Paulie. However, aside from a beating from Tony outside the Bing, Ralph’s made-man status and high earnings protected him from more violent recriminations.

The final straw is when Ralphie orchestrates the death of his and Tony’s horse, Pie-Oh-My for the insurance money. Tony, who has a well-documented affinity for animals, is furious about this and confronts Ralphie at his home, resulting in a brutal fight between both men. Tony ends up strangling made-man Ralphie to death, in clear contravention of the Mafia code. It’s a moment that shows how hypocritical Tony is, because he had previously forbidden Paulie from killing Ralphie for disrespecting his mother.

Tony Blundetto

Steve Buscemi as Tony Blundetto, killed by Tony Soprano

When Tony Soprano’s cousin Tony Blundetto (Steve Buscemi) was released from prison, he was courted by his cousin and Little Carmine’s crews. Frustrated at his low status in Tony’s crew, Blundetto accepted a contract from his prison buddy Angelo to kill Johnny Sack’s aide Joey Peeps. However, he went too far when he killed the brother of Phil Leotardo (Frank Vincent) in revenge for the Leotardos’ murder of Angelo. To avoid war with Johnny Sack’s crew, Tony went to see Blundetto at the lodge where he was lying low and shot him dead, a strange act of kindness given that Tony B likely faced an even more brutal fate from Phil Leotardo.

Christopher Moltisanti

Tony Soprano Christopher Death

The relationship between Tony and Chris is one of The Sopranos’ most compelling arcs, as both men grow further and further apart as the show continues. Tony clearly favors Christopher, causing tensions between his cousin and Paulie, but by season 6 of The Sopranos, Tony has no qualms about killing his cousin. The relationship between both men appears irreparable after Christopher’s Saw rip-off, Cleaver premieres and clearly plays out as Christopher’s revenge fantasy against Tony following the death of Adriana.

This plays into Tony’s reasons for killing Chris in the episode “Kennedy and Heidi” because he realizes his cousin is a liability that could jeopardize Tony’s criminal operations. Relapsing from sobriety, Christopher crashes the car he and Tony are traveling in while under the influence. Furious that Chris would be so reckless and noting the baby seat in the back of the car, Tony suffocates his cousin so that it looks like the crash killed him. As Tony’s last direct kill in The Sopranos, the tragedy of the decline in his and Christopher’s relationship makes it one of the most memorable deaths in the whole series.

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