- "Word is, you're getting too friendly with my men, Marinelli."
"What? Who the hell are you?""
- ―Aldo Trapani and Donnie Marinelli[src]
Regarded by the police and many of the other Families as a small time thug, Marinelli was, however, known as a man with his ear to the street, with many friends amongst the hoodlums of Brooklyn.
In December 1945, Marinelli and Mikey Saleri were involved in the attempted assassination of Vito Corleone, but failed to kill the Don, managing only to hospitalise him. Marinelli was engaged in a scuffle with Aldo Trapani, but Trapani became distracted when fellow capo Camel Hair took Frankie Malone as a hostage, giving Marinelli time to escape.
Blackmailing the CorleonesEdit
In 1946, Marinelli had obtained evidence that the Corleone family had been bribing a police officer and used this information to blackmail the Corleones into submission, in revenge for the death of Saleri, who had been murdered the previous year.
Marinelli was a frequenter of the The Ambassador in Brooklyn, which is where he was beaten to death with a baseball bat by Aldo Trapani. His death was followed by the deaths of his fellow caporegimes Luigi Fusco and Tony Bianchi, in a scheme masterminded by Salvatore Tessio that aimed to destroy the Tattaglia's power structure.