Thursday, January 4, 2007

Sicilian godfather's Bible verse puzzle

Matteo Messina Denaro

Authorities are studying a memorial message in a Sicilian newspaper placed by reputed Mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro, according to a story by Richard Owen of the UK Times.

Denaro's memorial notice to his father, who died in 1998, contains a Biblical verse in Latin, to which some words have been attached. Police suspect that Denaro might be using the message to communicate with underworld colleagues. Sicilian mob bosses, including Bernardo Provenzano who was captured last year, are known for sending coded messages based on Bible passages.

The first portion of the memorial, translated into English reads from the Old Testament Book of Ecclesiastes: "To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven, a time to be born and a time to die"

But, after that, it includes words not used in the Bible: "but only he who wants to will fly, and your flight has forever been sublime."


- Biography of Messina Denaro on Gangsters Incorporated

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Editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer. Publisher of American Mafia history website mafiahistory.us. Moderator of Mafia-related 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.