Dickie, John - Cosa Nostra. a History of the Sicilian Mafia - Ebook download as PDF File .pdf) or read book online. John Dickie's Cosa Nostra provides a history of the Sicilian mafia from the. s to the present that is as interesting as it is ambitious. After all, how much. PDF | On Jun 1, , Filippo Sabetti and others published The John Dickie ( ) Cosa Nostra: A History of the Sicilian Maﬁa (London.
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14 Cosa Nostra Today, it is impossible to tell the story of the mafia without reckoning with the power of that same myth. On 13 November, the young English manager of a sulphur company, John Forester Rose, was John Dickie. 5. Editorial Reviews. Review. "The inspiration of far too much pulpy entertainment, the Italian Cosa Nostra: A History of the Sicilian Mafia - Kindle edition by John Dickie. Download it once and read As it stands now, one is better off downloading the printed version and use a PDF or, even better, PDF/OCR scanned copy for tablet . Read Cosa Nostra PDF - A History of the Sicilian Mafia by John Dickie St. Martin's Griffin | Hailed in Italy as the best book ever written about the.
The burnt remains of a Fiat Croma were still wedged there, the car Judge Giovanni Falcone and his wife had driven over kilos of explosives packed into a drain beneath the road. What was left of the car leading Falcone's convoy had been blown 70 yards into an olive grove, its three passengers - Falcone's escorts - also killed. Falcone had posed the most serious judicial challenge the Mafia had ever faced. With the confessions of 'supergrass' Tommaso Buscetta, he dealt a crushing blow not to a mosaic of warring 'men of honour' gift-wrapped by Martin Scorcese, but a criminal syndicate which blended Hannah Arendt's 'banality of evil' with unity of purpose. The despair only deepened when, two months later, we correspondents headed south again to cover yet another assassination, that of Falcone's successor, Paolo Borsellino. The Mafia, it seemed, was irrepressible.
With the confessions of 'supergrass' Tommaso Buscetta, he dealt a crushing blow not to a mosaic of warring 'men of honour' gift-wrapped by Martin Scorcese, but a criminal syndicate which blended Hannah Arendt's 'banality of evil' with unity of purpose. The despair only deepened when, two months later, we correspondents headed south again to cover yet another assassination, that of Falcone's successor, Paolo Borsellino. The Mafia, it seemed, was irrepressible.
John Dickie is an 'advertising copywriter and market researcher', as well as an academic, so the volume is labelled a 'definitive history The mob genre has finally grown up'. So we are forewarned that this will be a slick Spaghetti southern, rather than an investigative revelation for readers who really know or care about Italy. Nothing wrong with that, except that Cosa Nostra appears in the slipstream of other penetrating, expert books about recent Italian history, with which the Mafia is, of course, integrally entwined.
Dickie makes the curious claim that 'it may also count for something if the history of the Mafia is told to the world beyond Italy.
This book is the first history of the Sicilian Mafia The book has three strengths. First, it is not its predecessor by Claire Sterling, who inhabited a pre-Falcone planet in which law-enforcement screen heroes, mostly from America, fight their crusade against organised crime - with little heed to the Mafia as existing close to the core of the Italian state.
Shelves: italy , factual , non-fiction , true-crime The word "mafia" is known to everyone, yet not many people have a very clear idea of what it is. Mention the mafia, and most people probably think of the American Mafia though this is in fact an offshoot of a decidedly Sicilian tree , or a scene from The Godfather.
The truth, as John Dickie shows in this excellent account, is both more interesting, and more complicated and harrowing, than fiction. Nobody knows quite when or how the mafia came into being; even the origin of the name is now hopele The word "mafia" is known to everyone, yet not many people have a very clear idea of what it is.
Nobody knows quite when or how the mafia came into being; even the origin of the name is now hopelessly lost and obscure. Mafiosi themselves tend to use the name "Cosa Nostra" — "our thing". The organisation owes much, perhaps, to Sicily's unique history. This small island, situated in the middle of the Mediterranean, barely a stone's throw from the Italian mainland and yet very different to the remainder of the peninsula, has been conquered by Greeks, Vandals, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, and the French.
Some of these colonial powers were more forbearing than others, but ordinary Sicilians rarely benefited from their rule. Distrust of the state, and the conviction that an honourable man sorts out his own problems and avenges insults and injuries on his own initiative, was and is widespread. Strange as it may sound, honour — albeit of the kind that few outsiders would recognise — is written into the mafia's DNA. The mafia seems always to have existed on two levels.
On one level, it is hidden and mysterious, a sub-stratum that only its members know of or understand. On another level, however, it rises up into the mainstream and infiltrates politics, law enforcement, the judiciary, the Church. As the author says, Cosa Nostra "is a shadow state, a political body that sometimes opposes, sometimes subverts, and sometimes dwells within the body of the legal government. There have been mafia informants for almost as long as there have been mafiosi.
Why should anyone believe professional criminals who have any number of reasons to lie? The evidence of mafia informers was often dismissed as simply not reliable enough to be used in court—or in a history book. The testimonies of men of honour, even of pentiti, are always hard to read. In fact the word pentito is deceptive: Confessions turn up when the losers have no other weapons left. Buscetta was a loser and, like other pentiti, his testimony is skewed in parts as a consequence.
Buscetta explained exactly how men of honour think because he set out both the strange rules that they follow and the reasons why they often break them. Tommaso Buscetta never ceased to stress the importance of one particular rule within Cosa Nostra.
It relates to truth. Thanks to Buscetta we now know that the truth is a peculiarly precious and dangerous commodity for mafiosi. Thereafter, any man of honour who tells a lie can easily find that he has taken a short cut to the acid bath.
Yet at the same time, a well-disguised lie can also be a very powerful weapon in the permanent struggle for power within Cosa Nostra. The upshot is simple: The fear that someone could be speaking ill of him is constant.
Throughout those three years the two enemies did not exchange a single hostile word, and even shared Christmas dinner. Buscetta knew that his cellmate had already been condemned to death by Cosa Nostra; it is not known whether the cellmate was also aware that he had been marked down for execution. He was duly murdered on his release. Men of honour prefer not to say anything to anyone who does not already know what they are talking about; they communicate in codes, hints, fragments of phrases, stony stares, significant silences.
In Cosa Nostra, no one asks or says more than they absolutely have to; nobody ever wonders out loud. Buscetta was particularly eloquent in explaining what it feels like to live in such a world: In Cosa Nostra there is an obligation to tell the truth, but there is also great reserve.
And this reserve, the things that are not said, rule like an irrevocable curse over all men of honour. It makes all relationships profoundly false, absurd. For the same reason that they are so reluctant to speak openly, when men of honour do tell each other things, what they say is never idle chat.
Thus, since Buscetta, mafiosi have no longer been viewed as inherently unreliable witnesses. This has important consequences for the history of the mafia. It is a history built from all the usual sources—from police files, government inquiries, newspaper reports, memoirs, confessions, and so on.
But running like a blood-tinged watermark through many of those documents, whether they directly reproduce the words of men of honour or only contain their faded traces, are the signs of the deadly truth game that is life within the mafia.
But it is not mere guesswork either. The history of the mafia thus has many characters and many layers. Accordingly, the different chapters of this book tell different kinds of story. In one or two of these chapters, because of a lack of historical evidence, the mafia must remain what it often seemed to be at the time: Recent defectors have provided an insight into how mafiosi think and feel now, which is simply not possible for earlier periods.
There never was a good mafia that at some point became corrupt and violent. There never was a traditional mafia that then became modern, organized, and business-minded. The world has changed but the Sicilian mafia has merely adapted; it is today what it has been since it was born: Men of Honour Countless films and novels have helped lend a sinister glamour to the mafia. These mafia stories are so compelling because they dramatize the everyday by adding the hair-trigger thrill that comes when danger is mixed with unscrupulous cunning.
The world of the cinematic mafia is one where the conflicts that everyone feels—between the competing claims of ambition, responsibility, and family—become matters of life and death. It would be both pious and untrue to say that the mafia presented in fiction is simply false—it is stylized.
And mafiosi are like everyone else in that they like to watch television and go to the cinema to see a stylized version of their own daily dramas represented on-screen. One obvious thing that is different is that none of the glamour of the cinema can survive an encounter with the horrific reality of Cosa Nostra.
A man of honour may dodge, manipulate, and rewrite those rules, but he is nonetheless always aware that they shape how he is perceived by his peers. After the Capaci bombing Giovanni Brusca was not idle. Brusca then killed a spectacularly wealthy businessman and man of honour who had failed to use his political contacts to protect the mafia from the maxi-trial. Worse followed. Finally, in January , when Giuseppe was fourteen, Brusca ordered him to be strangled and his body dissolved in acid.
Four hundred police surrounded the box-like two-storey house where he was hiding. At about 9 P. They found Brusca and his family at table watching a television programme about Giovanni Falcone—the fourth anniversary of his murder was only two days away.
Brusca is now collaborating with justice. Here is what he says about the murder of Giuseppe Di Matteo: But today it would be useless to try and justify it. But this is a flimsy claim, historically speaking, because within the mafia betrayal and brutality have been compatible with honour since the beginning.
Giovanni Brusca is more typical than some mafia defectors would have the world believe. What is now clear is that the code of honour is much more than a list of rules. Becoming a man of honour means taking on a whole new identity, entering a different moral universe. He told of its initiation rite in which the candidate for membership holds a burning picture—usually of the Madonna of the Annunciation—while swearing allegiance and silence until death.
The initiation ritual shows that honour is a status that has to be earned. Until he becomes a man of honour, an aspiring mafioso is carefully watched, supervised, put to the test; committing murder is almost always a prerequisite for admission. The burning of the sacred image symbolizes his death as an ordinary man and his rebirth as a man of honour. At initiation, the new mafioso swears obedience—the first pillar of the code of honour.
This has always been something of a delicate issue for the Sicilian mafia; indeed, mafiosi have frequently made the claim that they never touch women and children. Cosa Nostra certainly does not murder babies willy-nilly, not least because to do so would damage its image and alienate some of its closest supporters. Yet Giuseppe Di Matteo was far from being the first child whose life had been very deliberately ended by men of honour. Like nearly all mafia killings, the murder of Giuseppe Di Matteo was committed after it was collectively decided that it was necessary.
Once such a decision became policy, it would have been considered dishonourable not to put it into effect. Which is where obedience comes in. If someone wants to have a good career [in Cosa Nostra] he must always be available. At that time I was a soldier in Cosa Nostra, I obeyed orders, and I knew that by strangling a little boy I would make a career for myself.
I was walking on air. Honour accumulates through obedience: Belonging to Cosa Nostra offers the same advantages as does belonging to other organizations, including the achievement of aspirations, an exhilarating sense of status and comradeship, and the chance to pass responsibility, moral or otherwise, upwards in the direction of their bosses. All of these things are ingredients of mafia honour. Honour also involves the obligation to tell the truth to other men of honour and, therefore, the notoriously elliptical way in which mafiosi talk.
Giovanni Brusca relates that, when he visited American mafiosi in New Jersey, he was appalled by how talkative his hosts were by comparison. A dinner was held to welcome him, yet on entering the restaurant Brusca was astonished to see that the mafiosi had all brought their mistresses, and that they chatted openly about which Families various mobsters belonged to.
Or even in private. Everyone knows what needs to be known. They only commit murders in exceptional circumstances. They never carry out massacres like we have in Sicily. This need for trust also explains the components of mafia honour that relate to sex and marriage.
Moreover, if a mafioso gambles, womanizes, and parades his wealth, he is likely to be considered unreliable and therefore expendable. Keeping to these rules is an important way of showing your fellow men of honour that you can be trusted. For example, there are work social events that usually revolve around manly pursuits like hunting parties and banquets.
Honour is also about loyalty. As was appropriate, he did not ask questions. What he knew about his relatives in Cosa Nostra he gleaned from hearsay, and from the media; thus he was unaware for a long time that his father was boss of the local mandamento district. The reverse is not true, in the sense that a mafia boss has an absolute right to keep watch over the personal lives of his men.
It is crucial that individual mafiosi make a sensible choice of marital partner and behave honourably within marriage. Mafiosi have an even greater need than other husbands to keep their spouses sweet, simply because a disgruntled mafia wife could do extensive damage to the whole Family by talking to the police.
Women may also actively support the work of their men, albeit in a subordinate role. Women cannot formally be admitted to the mafia and honour is exclusively a male quality. Judge Falcone once compared entering the mafia to being a convert to a religion: Or a mafioso. Catania boss Nitto Santapaola had an altar and a little chapel constructed in his villa; according to one pentito, he also once had four kids garrotted and thrown in a well for mugging his mother.
Clergymen have often treated men whose power is based on routine murder as if they were sinners of the same ilk as everyone else. They have overlooked the evil influence of the mafia because it seems to share the same values of deference, humility, tradition, and family as the Church. They have accepted donations drawn from criminal wealth for processions and charity.
They have been content to see cosche plural of cosca disguise themselves as religious confraternities, and to entrust the administration of charity funds to dignitaries with blood on their hands.
Some churchmen have even been killers. But the point is not, as some would wish to claim, that the mafia is little more than a branch of the Catholic Church. In fact, the secret of mafia religion is that it serves the same purposes as the code of honour; it merely expresses the same things in a different language. Mafia religion generates a sense of belonging, trust, and a set of flexible rules by borrowing words from the Catholic creed, just as the code of honour does so by aping the chivalric terms that were still used by the nobility when the mafia began.
Men of Honour 33 Like mafia honour, mafia religion helps mafiosi justify their actions—to themselves, to each other, and to their families.
Indeed, the religion professed by mafiosi and their families is like so much else in the moral universe of mafia honour, in that it is difficult to tell where genuine—if misguided—belief ends, and cynical deceit begins. Understanding how the mafia thinks means understand- ing that the rules of honour mesh with calculated deceit and heartless savagery in the mind of every member. As such, it has nothing to do with Sicilian traditions, or chivalry, or Catholicism.
When it is working well, the code produces a proud sense of fellowship. It means abandoning both an identity and a dense fabric of friendships and family ties; it means trying to find a way of coming to terms with a life built on murder; it means incurring an automatic death sentence. He sensed the suspicion growing among the mafiosi held in cells on the same wing. As the pressure mounted, it began to show— he let his beard grow and neglected to clean his clothes.
Instead, on 28 July , he used the laces of his tennis shoes to hang himself in his cell. This evening I will find the peace and serenity that I lost some seventeen years ago [at initiation into Cosa Nostra]. When I lost them, I became a monster. I was a monster until I took pen in hand to write these lines. Before I go, I ask for forgiveness from my mother and from God, because their love has no limits. The whole of the rest of the world will never be able to forgive me.
The historical question raised by this picture of life inside Cosa Nostra is simply: Pentiti may have talked to the police on many occasions, but when they did, they tended to talk about specific crimes and not about what it felt like to be a mafioso.
But what evidence there is does suggest that something along the same lines as this code of honour existed all along. After all, if it had not existed, then the mafia would not have survived so long; in fact, it might never even have emerged at all. Their withdrawal was the culmination of one of the most famous military achievements of the century, a feat of patriotic heroism that astonished the rest of Europe.
Until that day, Sicily had been ruled from Naples as part of the Bourbon kingdom that encompassed most of southern Italy. Then, in May , Giuseppe Garibaldi and around 1, volunteers—the famous Redshirts—invaded the island with the aim of uniting it with the new nation of Italy. Palermo was conquered after three days of intense street fighting during which the Bourbon navy bombarded the city. With Palermo liberated, Garibaldi then led his men—who were now growing in number and becoming an army in their own right—east towards the Italian mainland.
On 6 September, the hero was welcomed into Naples itself by cheering crowds, and the following month he handed over his conquests to the King of Italy. He refused to take any reward, and headed back to his island home of Caprera with little more than his poncho, some basic supplies, and seed for his garden.
The mountainous island had a long-standing reputation as a revolutionary powder keg. Garibaldi had succeeded largely because his expedition had triggered another uprising; the Bourbon regime rapidly collapsed in the face of it.
It now became clear that the revolt of had been only the beginning of the trouble. The incorporation of 2. What they found instead— they would often protest—looked like the face of anarchy: There was massive and enraged popular resistance to the introduction of conscription, previously unknown in Sicily. Many people also seemed to think that the patriotic revolution had entitled them not to pay any tax.
In , Garibaldi himself so despaired at the state of the new Italy that he came out of retirement and used Sicily as a base to launch another invasion of the mainland. His objective was to conquer Rome, which still remained under the authority of the Pope. But an Italian army stopped him in the mountains of Calabria, and he was even shot and wounded in the foot.
Rome would not become the capital of Italy until In so doing it set a pattern for the coming years. Unwilling or unable to find the support to pacify Sicily politically, the government repeatedly tried the military solution: But the situation failed to improve. As they had done when Garibaldi attacked in , revolutionary gangs descended on the city from the surrounding hills.
There were unsubstantiated rumours of cannibalism and blood drinking by the rebels; martial law was once again the response. The revolt was quelled, but it was only after ten more years of turmoil and repression that Sicily settled into life as part of Italy.
In , for the first time, politicians from the island entered a new coalition government in Rome. Its walls were enclosed by a band of olive and lemon groves, behind which lay an amphitheatre of hills and mountains. There was the same simplicity to its layout: Despite the damage caused by the Bourbon shelling, Palermo in the s offered numerous attractions for residents and outsiders alike; foremost among them perhaps was the famous sea front.
During the seemingly endless summers, once the intense heat of the day had faded, genteel Palermitani took moonlit carriage rides along the Marina, perfumed by its flowering trees; or they sampled ice creams and sorbets while promenading to the sound of favourite opera melodies played by the city band.
Visitors in the early s were often struck by the sheer number of monks and nuns in the streets. Palermo also seemed like a stone palimpsest of cultures stretching back over many hundreds of years.
Like the rest of the island, it was layered with the monuments left by countless invaders. For since the ancient Greeks, virtually every Mediterranean power from the Romans to the Bourbons had made Sicily its own. The island seemed to many as if it were a fabulous display case of Greek amphitheatres and temples, Roman villas, Arab mosques and gardens, Norman cathedrals, Renaissance palaces, baroque churches.
Sicily was also imagined in two colours. It had once been the granary of ancient Rome. For hundreds of years thereafter, wheat grown on vast estates painted the imposing highlands of the interior in golden yellow. When the Arabs conquered Sicily in the ninth century, they brought new irrigation techniques and introduced the groves of citrus fruit trees that tinted the northern and eastern coastal strip with dark green leaves.
Without having a clear idea of what it was, the first people to study the problem assumed that it must be archaic, a leftover from the Middle Ages, some symptom of the centuries of foreign misrule that had kept the island in a backward condition. Accordingly their first instinct was to look for its source in the golden yellow of the interior highlands, among the ancient grain- producing estates. For all its desolate beauty, the interior of Sicily was a metaphor for everything Italy wanted to leave behind.
The great estates were worked by droves of hungry peasants who were exploited by brutal bosses.
Many Italians hoped and believed that the mafia was a symptom of this kind of backwardness and poverty, that it was destined to disappear as soon as Sicily emerged from its isolation and caught up with the historical timetable. Tommaso Buscetta, too, thought that the mafia began in the Middle Ages as a way of resisting French invaders. The mafia began at roughly the time when beleaguered Italian government officials first heard talk of it.
The mafia and the new nation of Italy were born together. Untying those narrative threads and laying them out in the following chapters requires a little chronological dexterity; it means moving back and forth in the turbulent period from to , and a brief loop back through the half-century before then. For if the mafia was not ancient, then neither was the golden yellow of the interior the place where it was born.
Lemons had first become prized as an export crop in the late s. Two pillars of the British way of life played their part in this boom. From , the Royal Navy made their crews take lemons as a cure for scurvy. On a much smaller scale the oil of the bergamot, another citrus fruit, was used to flavour Earl Grey tea; commercial production began in the s. Sicilian oranges and lemons were shipped to New York and London when they were still virtually unknown in the mountains of the Sicilian interior.
In , over , cases of lemons were exported. By , it was , In the mids an astonishing 2. In , citrus cultivation yielded more than sixty times the average profit per hectare for the rest of the island. Nineteenth-century citrus fruit gardens were modern businesses that required a high level of initial investment.
Land needed to be cleared of stones and terraced; storehouses and roads had to be built; surrounding walls had to be erected to protect the crop from both the wind and thieves; irrigation channels had to be dug and sluices installed.
Even once the trees had been planted, it took about eight years for them to start producing fruit. Profitability followed several years after that. As well as being investment-intensive, lemon trees are also highly vulnerable. Even a short interruption to water supplies can be devastating.
Vandalism, whether directed at the trees or the fruit, is a constant risk. Although there were and are lemon groves in many coastal regions of Sicily, the mafia was, until relatively recently, overwhelmingly a western Sicilian phenomenon. It emerged in the area immediately surrounding Palermo. With nearly , inhabitants in , Palermo was the political, legal, and banking centre of western Sicily. More money circulated in the property and rental sectors than anywhere else on the island.
It was here that much of the farmland in the surrounding province and beyond was bought, sold, and rented. Palermo also set the political agenda. The mafia was born not of poverty and isolation, but of power and wealth. The lemon groves just outside Palermo were the setting for the story of the first person persecuted by the mafia ever to leave a detailed account of his misfortunes. He was a respected surgeon, Gaspare Galati.
Almost everything that is known about Dr Galati as a person—his courage most notably—emerges from the testimony he would later submit to the authorities, who subsequently confirmed the authenticity of what he wrote. In , Dr Galati came to manage an inheritance on behalf of his daughters and their maternal aunt. The fondo was a model enterprise: But when he took control of it, Gaspare Galati was well aware that the huge investment in the business was in danger.
Two months before his death, he had learned from the steam-pump operator that the sender of the letters was the warden on the fondo, Benedetto Carollo, who had dictated them to someone who knew how to read and write. Carollo may have been uneducated, but he had attitude: Galati describes him swaggering about as if he owned the farm, and it was widespread knowledge that he creamed 20—25 per cent off the sale price of its produce; he even stole the coal intended for the steam engine.
Between the Sicilian groves where the lemons grew, and the shops in northern Europe and America where consumers bought them, a host of agents, wholesale merchants, packagers, and transporters plied their trade. Financial speculation lubricated every stage of the process, beginning while the lemons were still on the trees; as a way of offsetting the high initial costs and spreading the risk of a poor harvest, citrus businesses usually sold the crop well before the fruit was ripe.
Upon taking control of the Riella fruit farm from his brother-in-law, Dr Galati resolved to save himself trouble and lease it to someone else. Carollo had other ideas. When prospective tenants came to view the fondo, he made his views abundantly clear to them as he showed them round: The doctor stood firm.
At around 10 P. The attackers had made a terraced platform out of stones inside another grove so that they could shoot him from behind the surrounding wall—a method used in many early mafia hits.
The victim died in hospital in Palermo a few hours later. An inspector ignored this lead and arrested two men who had no connection with the victim. Subsequently they were released when no evidence was found against them. Despite this lack of support from the police, Dr Galati hired another warden. Looking back a year later, by which time he had found out exactly what he was up against, Dr Galati was able to explain this new terminology: He was promised that Carollo and his associates, who included an adopted son, would be arrested.
But the inspector—the same man who earlier had sent the investigation down a false trail—was not so keen. Three weeks passed before he took Carollo and his son into custody, and even then they were released after two hours on the grounds that they had nothing to do with the crime. Galati became convinced that the inspector was in league with the criminals.
Father Rosario, a man with a record as a police spy under the old Bourbon regime, was also a prison chaplain and took advantage of his role to ferry messages to and from inmates.
But Father Rosario was not the leader of the gang. He had been born into a desperately poor peasant family and had started his working life as a labourer. The revolts of and gave him the chance he needed to show his mettle and win important friends.
By , at the age of fifty-five, Giammona was a man of status; he owned property worth some , lire, the Chief of Police of Palermo reported. He was strongly suspected of having executed several fugitives from justice to whom he had at first given shelter.
Their deaths became necessary, the police thought, when they started to steal from local properties while under his protection. Giammona was also known to have received a sum of money along with instructions to carry out mysterious business on behalf of a criminal from near Corleone who had fled to the United States to escape prosecution. The Uditore mafia based their power on running protection rackets in the lemon groves. They could force landowners to accept their men as stewards, wardens, and brokers.
Giammona was not just picking on Dr Galati; he was orchestrating a concerted campaign to control the citrus fruit industry of the whole Uditore area. New threatening letters arrived: But he was fortified by the knowledge that his complaints had led to the removal of the police inspector whom he suspected of collusion with the mafia. Dr Galati also reasoned that the mafia was unlikely to take the risk of killing a man of property and status like himself, so he decided to ignore the ultimatum.
Just after the deadline passed, in January , his new warden was shot three times in broad daylight. Benedetto Carollo and two other former workers on the fondo were arrested on suspicion. Before the warden collapsed from his wounds, he was able to see and identify his attackers.
At first, lying in hospital, he did not respond to police questions. Then, as his fever rose and death seemed near, he called for the investigating magistrate and gave a statement: Encouraged by the magistrate, Dr Galati treated the wounded warden himself, tending him day and night.
He never went out without his revolver and kept his wife and daughters at home. Dr Galati was told that he, his wife and daughters would be stabbed, perhaps on their way out of the theatre; the blackmailers clearly knew that Dr Galati had a season ticket. Nevertheless there seemed to be a hint of desperation to these latest blackmail letters. Dr Galati became more hopeful that, with a case being prepared and a witness ready to testify, Benedetto Carollo had finally been cornered.
As soon as he was well enough to move, he went to Antonino Giammona and asked to make peace. He was invited to celebrate the deal at a banquet, after which he changed his statement and the case against Carollo collapsed. Without even waiting to say goodbye to his relatives and friends, Dr Galati took his family and fled to Naples, leaving behind his property and a client list that he had taken a quarter of a century to build up.
All that he could then do was to send a memorandum to the Minister of the Interior in Rome in August Nothing had been done to investigate these crimes.
A war to control the citrus fruit industry in the area was going on while the police force remained impassive. A capable young police officer was put to work on the Galati case.
It turned out that, like his murdered predecessor, the second replacement warden was a fearsome character. Although Dr Galati either did not know it or would not admit it, the likelihood is that both of the wardens he employed were also affiliated to the mafia.
He was probably being used all along in a war between rival mafia cosche. The Uditore mafia responded to the new investigation by showing off its friends.
A series of landowners and politicians lined up behind Antonino Giammona. In the end, a police caution and intensified surveillance were the only response that the authorities could muster. As will become clear later, the origins of the mafia are closely related to the origins of an untrustworthy state—the Italian state.
The case also produced evidence of the most distinctive component of all: When Dr Giuseppe Galati sent his memorandum to the Minister of the Interior in , he provoked the Minister into asking for a report from the Chief of Police of Palermo.
It is in this report that the Chief of Police revealed the mafia initiation ritual for the first time. Then the oath of loyalty would be taken as the image was burned and its ashes scattered, thus symbolizing the annihilation of all traitors. Now a huge and intricate field of investigation has opened up for the authorities. The ritual undergone by Brusca makes for a striking comparison with the version, and that comparison creates a better understanding of how and why it made sense for the mafia to be a secret association right from the outset.
The man who would later blow up Judge Falcone at Capaci was initiated young, at nineteen. The fact that his father was a boss had helped put him on the fast track; his first murder was already behind him.
About committing crimes?
He did not know it but the initiation had already begun. At a certain point, the others gathered in a room, leaving Brusca outside.
The men of honour began to fire questions at Brusca: Among the statutes of the organization that Riina set out to Brusca that day was the now famous one relating to introductions. No one is allowed to introduce himself as a mafioso, even to another man of honour. My tooth hurts! Mine too. When did yours hurt? On the day of Our Lady of the Annunciation. Where were you? Passo di Rigano. And who was there? Nice people. Who were they? Antonino Giammona, number 1. Alfonso Spatola, number 2, etc.
And how did they do the bad deed? They drew lots and Alfonso Spatola won. He took a saint, coloured it with my blood, put it in the palm of my hand, and burned it. He threw the ashes in the air. Who did they tell you to adore? The Genesis of the Mafia 47 B: The sun and the moon. And who is your god?
What kingdom do you belong to? The index finger. Passo di Rigano, mentioned here, is another village on the outskirts of Palermo.