List of victims of the Sicilian Mafia

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This list of victims of the Sicilian Mafia includes people who have been killed by the Sicilian Mafia while opposing its rule. It does not include people killed in internal conflicts of the Mafia itself.





  • September 15 – Pino Puglisi, the pastor of San Gaetano's Parish in the rough Palermo neighborhood of Brancaccio, the stronghold of Graviano clan, who spoke out against the Mafia.[2]
  • July 27 – The firemen Carlo La Catena, Stefano Picerno and Sergio Pasotto, the traffic policeman Alessandro Ferrari, and Driss Moussafir, a homeless Moroccan citizen, in the so-called Via Palestro massacre in Milan in a series of terrorist bomb attacks after the arrest of Mafia boss Totò Riina in January 1993.[3]
  • May 27 – Angela Fiume, Fabrizio Nencioni, Dario Capolicchio, 50-days old Caterina Nencioni and nine-year-old Nadia Nencioni in the so-called Via dei Georgofili massacre against the Uffizi Gallery in Florence in a series of terrorist bomb attacks after the arrest of Mafia boss Totò Riina in January 1993.[4]


  • September 17 – Ignazio Salvo, a wealthy businessman from the town of Salemi with strong connections with the Mafia and the Christian Democrat party, in particular with the former mayor of Palermo, Salvo Lima, and Giulio Andreotti. He was killed because they had failed to block the confirmation of the sentence of the Maxi Trial against the Mafia by the Court of Cassation (court of final appeal) in January 1992.[5]
  • July 26 – Rita Atria, a witness in a major Mafia investigation in Sicily, breaking the Omertà - code of silence. She committed suicide a week after the Mafia killed Antimafia prosecutor Paolo Borsellino.
  • July 19 – Judge Paolo Borsellino, and his escort of five policemen: Agostino Catalano, Walter Cosina, Emanuela Loi, Vincenzo Li Muli, Claudio Traina in the Via D'Amelio (Palermo), less than two months after the death of his colleague and friend Falcone, with whom he was part of the Antimafia pool.[5]
  • May 23 – Judge Giovanni Falcone, with his wife, judge Francesca Morvillo and their escort of three policemen: Rocco Di Cillo, Antonio Montinaro and Vito Schifani, by a car-bomb near Capaci. Falcone had been a member Antimafia pool of the prosecution office in Palermo that laid the groundwork for the Maxi Trial against the Sicilian Mafia.[5]
  • March 12 – Salvo Lima, a Christian Democrat politician and former mayor of Palermo, three weeks before Italy's national election of 1992. The Mafia felt betrayed by Lima and his political patron Giulio Andreotti. In their opinion they had failed to block the confirmation of the sentence of the Maxi Trial against the Mafia by the Court of Cassation (court of final appeal) in January 1992.[5]





  • September 26 – Mauro Rostagno, a former radical student of Lotta Continua and journalist who had started a drug rehabilitation centre in Trapani. He denounced Mafia drug traffickers on the local television.
  • September 25 – Judge Antonino Saetta and his disabled son Stefano as they are returning to Palermo after a weekend in the country. Saetta was a member of the Palermo Court of Appeal. He was scheduled to hear the appeal of the Maxi Trial and had shown to be incorruptible.
  • September 14 – Alberto Giacomelli, a retired judge in Trapani.[8]
  • January 12 – Giuseppe Insalaco, the former mayor of Palermo. During the brief stint as mayor in 1984 he had tried to clean up the area of city contracts.


  • August 6 – Antonino 'Ninni' Cassarà, police chief in Palermo and his bodyguard Roberto Antiochia. Cassarà drew up the 'Michele Greco + 161' report in July 1982, listing 162 Mafiosi who warranted arrest. The report was the start of an investigation that was to become the Maxi Trial, where most of the leadership of the Mafia were tried. He was massacred by a team of up to fifteen gunmen outside his home in front of his horrified wife.
  • July 28 – Giuseppe 'Beppe' Montana, a flying squad officer in Palermo in charge of the hunt for Mafia fugitives.
  • April 2 – Barbara Asta, and her little sons, the twin-brothers Salvatore and Giuseppe, by a car bomb intended to kill the magistrate Carlo Palermo in the so-called Pizzolungo massacre.


  • January 5 – Giuseppe Fava, an investigative journalist and founder of the I Siciliani monthly magazine in Catania. The magazine investigated Cosa Nostra and its tentacles in politics and business, in particular those of Sicily's biggest Catania-based construction firms.[9]


  • July 29 – Judge Rocco Chinnici, two of his police escorts, Mario Trapassi and Salvatore Bartolotta, and the concierge of his apartment block, Stefano Li Sacchi. Chinnici had created the Antimafia Pool, a group of investigating magistrates who closely worked together investigating the Mafia.


  • September 3 – General Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa, his wife Emanuela Setti Carraro and police officer Domenico Russo. Dalla Chiesa, at the time prefect of Palermo, was killed after being appointed three months earlier to fight the Mafia in the midst of the bloody Second Mafia War.[10]
  • April 30 – Pio La Torre, regional secretary of the Italian Communist Party (Partito Comunista Italiano, PCI) and his driver Rosario Di Salvo. La Torre was killed after he initiated a law that introduced a new crime in the Italian legal system, mafia conspiracy, and the possibility for the courts to seize and to confiscate the assets of the persons belonging to the mafia conspiracy.


  • August 6 – Judge Gaetano Costa, Chief Prosecutor of Palermo, after he signed the 53 arrest warrants against the heroin-trafficking network of the Spatola-Inzerillo-Gambino clan in May 1980.
  • May 4 – Emanuele Basile, a captain of the Carabinieri and a collaborator of Judge Paolo Borsellino in anti-Mafia investigations.
  • January 6 – Piersanti Mattarella, President of the Regional Government of Sicily wanting to clean up the government’s public contracts racket that benefitted Cosa Nostra, passing a law enforcing the same building standards used in the rest of Italy, thereby making the Mafia's building schemes illegal.



  • September 25 – Judge Cesare Terranova and his driver, policeman Lenin Mancuso. Terranova had been the examining magistrate at the Palermo prosecuting office and a former member of the Italian Antimafia Commission. He was one of the first to seriously investigate the Mafia and the financial operations of Cosa Nostra. He had just been appointed as the chief examining magistrate at the Court in Palermo.
  • July 21 – Boris Giuliano, a police chief from Palermo and head of Palermo's Flying Squad (Squadra mobile), while investigating heroin trafficking by the Mafia.
  • January 26 – Mario Francese, an investigative journalist with the Giornale di Sicilia.[11]



  • August 20 – Giuseppe Russo, Lieutenant-Colonel of the Carabinieri, and Prof. Filippo Costa.[13] Russo was a confident of Mafia boss Giuseppe Di Cristina who warned against the growing power of the Corleonesi faction, who killed Russo.


  • October 27 – Giovanni Spampinato, journalist L'Ora who was killed while looking into the activities of neo-fascism in Sicily and Mafia smuggling activities along the east coast of Sicily.[14]



  • September 16 – Mauro De Mauro, journalist for L'Ora in Palermo. He disappeared following his investigations on the mysterious death of Enrico Mattei and on the Golpe Borghese, a right wing coup attempt. De Mauro was allegedly murdered by the Mafia to cover up these events and possible political connections.[16]








  • March 10 – Placido Rizzotto, a socialist trade union leader from Corleone, a stronghold of Mafia boss Michele Navarra and Luciano Leggio who killed Rizzotto. Giuseppe Letizia, 11-year-old eye-witness to the murder, killed by injection in the care of Dr. Navara.



  • December 5 – Giuseppe Puntarello, a socialist trade union leader from Ventimiglia di Sicilia.[20]
  • September 13 – Liborio Ansalone, chief of the municipal police of Corleone.[21]
  • March 28 – Calogero Comaianni, rural guard in Corleone after arresting Luciano Leggio for stealing wheat.[22]


With fascism rule in the 1930s, the mob seemed to disappear for the repressive state action.[23]






  • September 22 – Giuseppe Rumore, secretary of the Lega di miglioramento (League of improvement) in Prizzi.[25]


  • November 15 – Bernardino Verro, a Sicilian sindicalist and politician, involved in the Fasci Siciliani (Sicilian Leagues) a popular movement of democratic and socialist inspiration in 1891-1894, and the first socialist mayor of Corleone.





  • March 12 – Joseph Petrosino, a New York City police officer on a mission in Palermo to gather information from local police files to help deport Italian gangsters from New York as illegal immigrants.



  • February 1 – Emanuele Notarbartolo, former mayor of Palermo (1873-1876) and director of the Banco di Sicilia. He wanted to “clean” the management of the bank, damaging the Mafia political power. Raffaele Palizzolo, a powerful politician at the time with links to the Mafia, ordered his death.


  1. ^ Jamieson, The Antimafia, p. 217
  2. ^ 5 Held in Killing of Priest, New York Times, June 23, 1994
  3. ^ (Italian) «La strage mafiosa di via Palestro non ha fermato il rinnovamento», Corriere della Sera, July 28, 2003
  4. ^ (Italian) Associazione tra i familiari delle vittime di Via dei Georgofili
  5. ^ a b c d All The Prime Minister's Men, by Alexander Stille, The Independent on Sunday, September 24, 1995
  6. ^ A Bullet For a Businessman, Business Week, November 4, 1991
  7. ^ Italian parliament looks to the future, The Independent, April 22, 1993
  8. ^ (Italian) Quel giudice in pensione assassinato da Toto' Riina, La Repubblica, September 10, 2009
  9. ^ Anti-Mafia Campaigner Is Found Slain in Sicily, Associated Press, January 7, 1984
  10. ^ Shock Therapy Time Magazine, September 20, 1982
  11. ^ (Italian) Biografia di Mario Francese, Fondazione Francese
  12. ^ Giuseppe Impastato: his actions, his murder, the investigation and the cover up, by Tom Behan, Centro Siciliano di Documentazione "Giuseppe Impastato"
  13. ^ (Italian) 32 anni dall'eccidio del Ten.Col. Giuseppe Russo e del Prof. Filippo Costa, Antimafia Duemila, August 20, 2009
  14. ^ (Italian) Era L'Ora della mafia in prima pagina, La Stampa, June 18, 2012
  15. ^ (Italian) Scaglione, un delitto impunito, La Sicilia, July 23, 2006
  16. ^ Revealed: how story of Mafia plot to launch coup cost reporter his life, The Independent on Sunday, June 19, 2005
  17. ^ (Italian) Strage Ciaculli: Lumia, "tenere attenzione sempre alta", ANSA, June 30, 2009
  18. ^ (Italian) Un cronista scomodo nelle terre della mafia, La Repubblica, May 5, 2012
  19. ^ (Italian) Una strage con troppi misteri, La Sicilia, May 1, 2011
  20. ^ (Italian) Ucciso Giuseppe Puntarello, segretario della locale sezione comunista,
  21. ^ (Italian) Delitto Ansalone, mistero irrisolto, La Sicilia, April 5, 2009
  22. ^ (Italian) Comaianni, un eroe normale, La Sicilia, April 5, 2009
  23. ^ Arrigo Petacco (2004). Mondadori, ed. Il prefetto di ferro. L'uomo di Mussolini che mise in ginocchio la mafia (in Italian). ISBN 978-88-04-53275-0. 
  24. ^ (Italian) Intransigente contro la mafia, La Sicilia, February 7, 2010
  25. ^ a b c (Italian) Disperata giustizia proletaria, La Sicilia, March 7, 2010
  26. ^ (Italian) Il coraggio di Mariano Barbato, La Sicilia, January 17, 2010
  27. ^ (Italian) Panepinto, nemico del feudo, La Sicilia, May 17, 2009

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