This whole sequence in Goodfellas baffled me. Why was DeNiro's character Jimmy allowed to betray and slaughter every member of his crew, including one of their wives (which I thought was taboo) without repercussions? Obviously two of them disobeyed Jimmy by purchasing expensive things but the others did not. I know from the line "he kicked some money upstairs to Paulie" that Paulie was his boss and naturally the boss of all the guys Jimmy whacked. How could Paulie not care? Like Henry casually said "It made him sick to turn the money over to the guys that robbed it, he'd rather whack em". This was straight up betrayal and mass murder of loyal and capable associates that included civilian family members. How did Jimmy not get any blow back from this?

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    Welcome to Movies & TV! It is preferred if you can post separate questions instead of combining your questions into one. That way, it helps the people answering your question and also others hunting for at least one of your questions. Thanks!
    – Catija
    Commented Aug 30, 2015 at 22:04
  • I cleaned up your question by limiting it to a single independent question about one movie for the reasons Catija mentioned in her comment. Feel free to ask the other question about Casino as a new question. You can take a look at this question's revision history if you need the original wording for that.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 9:06

2 Answers 2


The restrictions on killing are only for "made" men, i.e. recognized core members of a mob family. That's why the murder of Billy Batts was such a big deal. Batts was a made man, and untouchable unless you get permission from the higher ups, and why the Goodfellas were so happy at the prospect of Tommy getting made. None of Jimmy Conway's men had that privilege, so their murders go mostly unhindered by the powers to be.


Jimmy was in charge of his own crew on that heist. Hell, the driver (Parnell Edwards) was black. When's the last time you heard of a black guy in the mob? Jimmy had them all whacked when he feared they were going to start implicating him.

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    Definitely seems like it would be hard for Jimmy to recruit for his next heist once word gets around that he eventually kills his recruits.
    – Shiz Z.
    Commented Sep 1, 2015 at 0:08

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