Monday, January 8, 2007
UK press tracks Mafia "godmother"
Quite a bit has been written in the U.K. press over the past few days regarding the British wife of jailed Mafia boss Antonio Rinzivillo.
An Italian arrest warrant was issued last month for the woman, Ann Hathaway, 44, according to a report in the Edinburgh Evening News. Police suspect her of managing a Rinzivillo Family underworld empire valued in the millions of dollars. Hathaway has lived in Sicily and in mainland Italy. She reportedly moved recently to the Manchester region in her native Britain.
The Sunday Mirror claimed it caught up with Hathaway at her small home in Manchester, where she "hardly lives up to the image of a Mafia Godmother." She has family in the area, and is believed to be living with her two daughters, aged 18 and 4, according to the Sunday Herald.
Italian authorities believe Rinzivillo of Gela, Sicily, was once the second most powerful boss - under Bernardo Provenzano - in the Sicilian Mafia. He was jailed five years ago for the murder of an Italian lawyer and for drug trafficking. He was sentenced to 30 years.
Italian police last month seized Rinzivillo assets worth the equivalent of $25 million. The assets included a supermarket, a pizzeria and two construction companies. More than 80 members of the Rinzivillo organization have been arrested. Hathaway is one of 10 women charged with involvement in the crime family.
Rocco Ligouri, Italian prosecutor, told the Mirror, "We believe [Hathaway] was acting as the messenger between her husband in prison and other jailed members of the gang and people on the outside. We believe that she was involved in money laundering through pizzerias and building contractors."
An article in the Evening Standard said Hathaway met her husband after moving to Italy as a teenager to begin a dancing career. Other sources indicate that she worked as a teacher of English. Hathaway and Rinzivillo married almost 20 years ago.
The extradition of Hathaway to Italy could be difficult because the British government does not recognize Mafia association - the offense with which she has been charged in Italy - as a crime.
- 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.