Nicky Cavella was the son of respected Mafia member Johnny Cavella. When he was eight years old, Nicky's Aunt Mo Cavella convinced him to kill his parents and his older sister to frame his Uncle Jimmy for the killings and take over his father's operation. Mo raised him to learn how to operate in the Mafia from a young age and when he began to mature into his teen years she began forcing him to have sex with her. After a few years of enduring this sexual abuse, Cavella choked his aunt to death with a pillow.
Eventually, he worked for Don Massimo Cesare and was ordered to scare rival crime lord David Kai as a trial to join the Mafia. At the meeting, Cavella murdered David Kai's sons, including tricking him into cannibalising hi youngest son, but left Kai alive. Due to Cavella's brutality, the Mafia exiled him to Boston, along with his crew of killers, Pittsy and Ink. In Boston, Cavella started having relations with corrupt military officer William Rawlins.
After the Punisher crippled the Cesare crime family Nicky Cavella was summoned to assassinate the Punisher. Nicky agreed but believed they first had to eliminate the Punisher, who at that time was being interrogated by Micro who was operating with the CIA to force Frank Castle to work with the Government in counter-terrorism. Pittsy castrated agent William Roth to convince him to tell him where Castle was being kept. They went in and wounded and killed other agents including Micro. Pittsy was shot in his shoulder and Ink was killed by Kathryn O'Brien. Micro and Frank escaped to one of the Punisher's safehouses and Cavella sent an army of Mafiosos to kill them who failed. Pittsy snuck in to kill him but was impaled on a gate and later shot to death. Cavella forced Larry Barrucci to fight the Punisher but Larry was instantly shot to death in the thorax. Later Cavella killed two cops and fled in their car.
A year had passed and he had become known as one of the few criminals to survive a meeting with the Punisher. Working alongside Teresa Gazzera, Pittsy's sister, he dug up the Castle family grave and urinated on the bodies, this permitted him to be elected as the Don. Cavella believed that the Punisher would be driven mad by rage and go after him but instead he massacred local gangs to convince the authorities to rebury his family.
His former lover William Rawlins was ordered by the Generals to stop Frank Castle, learning about what Cavella had done he decided to team up with him. They planned for Rawlins to shoot Castle dead with a sniper rifle while he was moving in to kill Cavella who would be sitting on a chair as bait. The plan failed because Rawlins' ex-wife, Kathryn O'Brien alongside Will Roth kidnapped Rawlins and Kathryn shot at Cavella's men to Castle and took him with them. Cavella and Teresa followed their car to Roth's apartment, where unbeknownst to Nicky, Rawlins was brutally interrogated and gave them the information they wanted. Teresa tried to forcefully seduce Nicky who was horrified and pushed her away. Trying to prove herself to Nicky an enraged Teresa snuck into the apartment against Nicky's orders and try to kill Castle and O'Brien who were sleeping after having had sex but was instead killed by Castle and O'Brien after a brutal fight.
The next day as Castle and O'Brien left the apartment, they faced off Cavella who was out looking for Teresa and who held a boy hostage to escape when he realised they had spotted him. Castle warned him that if he hurt the boy he'd die bad, Castle accused Nicky of being a coward who relied on his psyhco rep and got others to do the dying for him. Nicky surrendered himself to Castle and was in the trunk of a car and taken to a far away forest which Frank marched him deep into at gunpoint into with his hands bound while he begged for his life, confessed his sins and prayed for forgiveness as he had drawn a direct parallel between his own coming death and the way in which he had killed his father. Nicky was shot low in the belly after Castle explained to him how he would die. After three days he died a slow and painful death, likely from blood poisoning as Castle had predicted. Sometime later his body was found by a hunter in the Pocono Mountains, carrion bird had taken out his eyes.
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