Placido Russo (プラチド・ルッソ, Purachido Russo) was the head of the Russo Family Mafia. His murder in December 1934 served as the nadir of the Russos' long term decline in power, and effectively ended the Russos' reign in Chicago for good. With the media blaming him for the bombings and mass human disappearances plaguing Chicago at the time of his death, his historical legacy is not a flattering one.
In addition to being the uncle of notorious hitman Ladd Russo, Placido is the grandfather of Ricardo Russo, who left for New York following Placido's death with the intention of resurrecting the crime family there.
Placido is a portly, middle-aged man with tanned, wrinkled skin, thick black eyebrows, and is otherwise bald save for a ring of hair around the back of his head. He is seen wearing a casual business suit.
Placido commands intimidating respect from his underlings, but for all his braggadocio and disparagement of his nephew Ladd Russo cannot help but be intimidated by him all the same. His ill-temper in 1931 only worsens over the next few years as the family endures increasing financial hardship and pressure from other mafia and law enforcement alike, and his upswing in mood is thus drastic when he becomes an incomplete immortal in 1934.
Placido's newfound invulnerability bolsters his confidence and arrogance to the point of rejuvenation. Fueled by the new, grand ambition of achieving true immortality and at long last optimistic that the Russo Family will prosper again, he begins making bolder and bolder decisions; not only does he take Lua Klein and Carol hostage, he goes so far as to think he will be able to intimidate and blackmail Nebula into bending the knee. Both his unbridled greed and arrogance directly contribute to his eventual death at Nebula's hands.
(To be written in full)
December 30 marks one of the worst days in Placido's life. Not only has he yet to hear from a man who promised to secure him fifty new recruits, his men report that the remains of Russo capo Sidaris and several other Russos were discovered in charred condition – likely the work of Jacuzzi Splot and his gang. What is more, two thieves purportedly stole the family's monthly earnings from a Russo convoy that very morning.
Furious, Placido orders his men to "put the screws" on every couple in the city, an order which a newly-arrived Ladd dismisses as asinine. Ladd introduces the woman and the men who follow him into the office as his girlfriend Lua Klein and his friends, and announces his intention to hijack the Flying Pussyfoot express en route to Manhattan and extort ransom money from the railroad company.
Despite the Russos' obvious financial straits, the plan is too reckless and too public to earn anything other than Placido's disgust. He demands that Ladd keep the Family name out of his activities, displaying arrogant condescension that Ladd swiftly crushes; he both reminds Placido of his own mortality, and reminds him of how poorly regarded he is in the eyes of other mafia and law enforcement alike. Before Ladd leaves, he asks if Placido would mind letting him borrow an old white suit of his for the hijacking.
1934 (To be added).
- Katsumi Enami had yet to give Placido a character design when the first manga began serializing, and as a result Placido's design in the manga is radically different to his design in the 2007 anime. In the manga, he appears both younger and slimmer than his anime counterpart; a middle-aged balding man who strongly resembles Jon Polito's character Johnny Caspar in the gangster film Miller's Crossing.