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Archive for the ‘Mafia’ Category

On Sunday, March 22, 2011, a Mass was held at Holy Rosary Church in Washington DC, to commemorate the 19th anniversary of the assassination by the Mafia of Giovanni Falcone, his wife Francesca Morvillo, and security agents Rocco Di Cillo, Antonio Montinari, and Vito Schifani. Among those present were Ambassador Giulio Terzi, members of the Italian community in Washington, Supreme Court justices Samuel Alito

Giovanni Falcone

and Antonin Scalia, Italian judge and Falcone’s student, Giannicola Sinisi, senior counselor at the Embassy of Italy, and agents from the FBI with which Falcone worked closely in the fight against Cosa Nostra and its ramifications in the United States. More . . .

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Fathe Lydio Tomasi, Monsignor Marco Sprizzi, Minister Sebastiani Cardi

Mass at Holy Rosary Church in Washington DC

Italian magistrate Giovanni  Falcone, who was assassinated in Sicily in 1992, was  remembered by the Italian American community  in Washington, DC at a solemn mass held at Holy Rosary Church in Washington, DC.  The event was organized by Giannicola Sinisi, Justice Attache at the Italian Embassy in Washington, who was a colleague of Falcone.  Monsignor Marco Sprizzi of the Papal Nunciature and Father Lydio Tomasi, Pastor of Holy Rosary Church, celebrated the mass.  Minister Sebastiano Cardi, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Italian Embassy spoke about Falcone’s contributions to law enforcement, not just in Italy but also in the United States through his collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Also speaking at the event was Carmine Russo, a retired Special Agent of the FBI, who recounted his meeting and subsequent collaboration with Giovanni Falcone.

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The legacy and contributions of Italian Magistrate Giovanni Falcone, who built bridges across the Atlantic in his quest to destroy the Mafia, were recalled today (Oct. 29) at a seminar held at the U.S. Supreme Court.  Judge Falcone was killed on May 23, 1992, together with his wife and three of his bodyguards, by a bomb that blew up a section of a highway near Palermo’s airport just as his car was passing. He was 53 years old. His assassination and that of his colleague Paolo Borsellino two months later, became a turning point in Italy’s fight against the mafia.

Read full story in Ciao America.

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The legacy and contributions of Italian Magistrate Giovanni Falcone, who built bridges across the Atlantic in his quest to destroy the Mafia, were recalled today (Oct. 29) at a seminar held at the U.S. Supreme Court.  Judge Falcone was killed on May 23, 1992, together with his wife and three of his bodyguards, by a bomb that blew up a section of a highway near Palermo’s airport just as his car was passing. He was 53 years old. His assassination and that of his colleague Paolo Borsellino two months later, became a turning point in Italy’s fight against the mafia.

Read full story in Ciao America.

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Bravo! to John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City for organizing a seminar on “A TRIBUTE TO CRIME FIGHTER GIUSEPPE “JOE” PETROSINO, 1860 – 1909.”  Giuseppe Petrosino is an Italian American hero and for those of  us  in the law enforcement community he is a hero sitting on the same stage with Giovanni Falcone.  Both men worked across the Atlantic figthing organized crime — whether we call it Mafia or Mano petrosino_john_jayNera is not material — they are all criminals! Lt. Petrosino, was an Italian immigrant who, in the early 1900’s became one of NYC’s most well-known detectives. From 1894-1909 Petrosino headed the Italian Squad, a special unit of NYPD responsible for investigating crime in the Italian communities of New York City. He was assassinated in Sicily while investigating organized crime’s across the Atlantic.  

(Pictured from L to R are Chief Greg Andres, George Grasso (First Deputy Police Commissioner NYPD), Dr. Pietro Grasso (Italian National Anti-Mafia Attorney), Joseph Guccione (U.S. Marshall, U.S. Department of Justice SDNY) (Photo by Vito Catalano)

  Read the program of the Petrosino seminar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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petrosino_0999_5200On October 8, 2009, a wreath-laying ceremony commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the assassination in Sicily of Joseph Petrosino, a New York police lieutenant, was held at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C.  Participating in the event were Craig W. Floyd, the chairman and chief executive of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial fund and Robert Leonardi, director general for international affairs for the Region of Sicily. Italian Embassy officials, deputy chief of mission Sebastiano Cardi and justice attache Giannicola Sinisi presented the wreath, which was donated by the Region of Sicily.  Master Sergeant Antonio Giuliano sang the American and Italian national anthems; the invocation was given by Monsignor Salvatore Crisculo, chaplain of the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department. Also attending were representatives of the Sons of Italy, the National Italian American Foundation, and the Friends of Charles Bonaparte.

Theodore Roosevelt, in his capacity as N.Y. Police Commissioner, personally promoted Petrosino to Sergeant of Detectives on July 20, 1895, making him the first Italian American to lead the department’s homicide division.  In December 1908, Petrosino was promoted to Lieutenant and given command of the Italian Squad whose mission was to curtail the criminal activities of the Mafia and the Mano Nera.  In 1909, Petrosino traveled to Italy to identify criminals who had immigrated to the United States.  He was shot and killed in Palermo on March 12, 1909.  More than a quarter-million people attended his funeral in Queens, N.Y.  He remains the only N.Y. police officer to die in the line of duty outside of the United States.  Petrosino’s name is engraved at the National Law Enforcement Officers’ memorial on Panel 56-E.

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The title of Mike Dash’s book, The First Family: Terror, Extortion, Revenge, Murder, and the Birth of the American Mafia, says it all.  Anyone GiuseppeMorellowith an interest in learning more about the history of organized crime in the U.S., in particular  the history of the Mafia and its nexus to  Italian Americans, may want to read this book. According to Dash, the story of Giuseppe Morello, a Sicilian immigrant who became the American Mafia’s “boss of bosses,” proves that the American Mafia was not created by Prohibition-era bootlegging, nor by Sicilian Mafia bosses who dispatched members to New York but by individuals like Morello.  At the same time, Joe Petrosino, the Sicilian-born NYPD detective, gave his life trying to prevent men like Morello from “ruining the reputation of Italians in general,” according to the Washington Post. Read the book and share your views.

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