“It Was So Fascinating! Here They Were, in My Little House in the Suburbs, Trying to Plan a Murder!”

Mob wife Brenda Colletti, still yakking after all these years

"I’m standing on the porch holding the remote control for the bomb while he sets it up. Then he comes back, takes the remote, pushes the button and — KA-BOOM! I mean, the whole house rocked. I almost had a heart attack. Philip goes running inside, laughing hysterically. For the next two hours, the neighborhood was crawling with cops, but they never found out who did it. I wanted to kill Philip myself."

The summer passed in that frustratingly inept way until early August, on a day when Philip and a high-strung, semi-reformed drug-addict crony named John-John Veasey broke their usual hunting habits and decided to prowl the streets of South Philly by daylight. “They went out that morning, Brenda says, "and I started my day, doing my usual errands. At around two in the afternoon, the phone rang.

”’It’s me,’ Philip said.

"’Oh, hi,’ I said.

 "’Clean the house,’ he told me. ‘And come to the city.’

”Okay,’ I said, and hung up.

"Jesus Christ, I thought. This was the signal. ‘Clean the house’ meant put all the guns and bullets into a bag and stash them under a woodpile. ‘Come to the city’ meant meet him at his parents’ house. When I got there, I knew something was up when I saw John-John standing outside, carrying a milk jug of gasoline.

"Philip doesn’t say a word. He’s too busy looking up and down the street. But John is practically jumping out of his skin.

"’We did it!’ he says to me. ‘Home run! Put on the radio!’

"Philip looks at him and says, ‘Shut up and get in the car.”’

Brenda got in her car and followed her husband and Veasey. "Once we got a few blocks away, I put KYW on the radio, and we heard the announcer say, ‘Mafia shootout on the streets of South Philadelphia! One man is dead and another is wounded after a daring broad-daylight hit!’

"’Go, team!’ I yelled out the window."

 They turned onto a desolate street in South Philly, where the two men parked, soaked their car in gasoline, and torched it. "Except that just a second before Philip threw the match, John-John stuck his hand in there, trying to grab some change off the dashboard. And his whole hand went up. He started screaming, but they both ran back to my car. They got in, and I drove away. I thought I was going to have a stroke."