Friday, January 19, 2007

Kidnapping shows breakdown in Mafia authority

Italian officials believe the recent kidnapping of a rich Sicilian landowner is a signal that the prestige of old line Mafia bosses is in decline, according to a story by Malcolm Moore of the UK Telegraph.

Pietro Licari, 68, was abducted last weekend near his home outside Palermo, in a blatant violation of a Mafia ban on kidnappings that dates back to the 1960s. The relatively small amount of money demanded for Licari's release and other factors have caused investigators to blame the crime on a non-Mafia gang.

According to the story, Cinisi crime boss Gaetano Badalamenti outlawed kidnappings in the late 60s. Badalamenti was later jailed in the United States for heroin trafficking. The ban was violated just once, in 1976, when a youth gang outside of the Mafia abducted a woman. The Sicilian underworld was able to persuade the gang to release the woman.

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Editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer. Publisher of American Mafia history website mafiahistory.us. Moderator of Mafia-related Google+ community and Yahoo discussion group. Author of Wrongly Executed? Coauthor of Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia and DiCarlo: Buffalo's First Family of Crime. Contributor of American Mafia history to Australian-published Mafia: The Necessary Reference to Organized Crime. Writer/co-writer of crime history articles for Informer, On the Spot Journal, Cigar City Magazine, Tampa Mafia Magazine.