On March 15, 1981, [Philip “Chicken Man”] Testa returned to his home in South Philadelphia. Soon after he arrived, a nail bomb exploded under his front porch. The house was ravaged and witnesses claimed that pieces of Testa’s body were scattered blocks away. The roofing nails in the bomb were to make it appear that it was retaliation by the Irish Mob for the killing of union president John McCullough. However, after taking over as Boss, Nicky Scarfo had the real conspirators, Frank Narducci and Rocco Marinucci, murdered for the unsanctioned hit.
I was checking out this video of Justin Townes Earle cover of Bruce Springsteen’s Atlantic City on the avclub.com. I listened to a lot of Burce as a kid and this song was one of my favorites. When I was growing up, I always thought the opening line ("Well they blew up the chicken man in Philly last night/Now they blew up his house too") was really strange. Listening to it again this morning prompted me to go google “the chicken man”. Of course, Wikipedia was the first link in the search results.