America’s Gambino crime family sent an explosives expert to Italy to help the mob blow up an anti-mafia investigator, a supergrass has claimed.
Judge Giovanni Falcone was assassinated 27 years ago today after a one-tonne bomb exploded on a motorway in Capaci as his three-car motorcade passed. His wife and three bodyguards also died.
Two months later, Falcone’s friend and high-profile prosecuting magistrate Paolo Borsellino was also killed by a mafia car bomb in Palermo.
Now Maurizio Avola, a convicted mafia killer who became a turncoat in 1994, has claimed John Gotti, the head of the Gambino crime family, sent an expert to help the Sicilian mafia Cosa Nostra with their plans.
Convicted mafia killer Maurizio Avola has claimed that America’s Gambino crime family sent an explosives expert to help with the car bombing of Judge Giovanni Falcone, and magistrate Paolo Borsellino in separate attacks. Pictured: the remains of the car bomb that killed Borsellino
Falcone and Borsellino, pictured, were killed for their involvement in jailing 475 mafia members during the Maxi Trial
La Repubblica reports that Avola told prosecutors: ‘I met [the expert] in a house in Catania and was later told “today you’ve met someone really important”. I was told that the foreigner collaborated in the attack.’
Falcone and Borsellino were killed by the Corleonesi clan inside the Sicilian mafia because they were part of the antimafia pool.
They worked together for several years, culminating in the Maxi Trial, which saw 475 people convicted for crimes linked to the mafia between 1986 and 1992.
Although American and Italian mobs have been linked for years, this is the first time it has been claimed they helped in these specific killings, reports the Telegraph.
University College London professor John Dickie, who wrote the book Mafia Republic – Italy’s Criminal Curse, told the Telegraph: ‘Certainly there is nothing unusual in the traffic of personnel and ideas across the Atlantic – it dates back to the early 20th century. They were cousin organisations.’
Pictured: students waving Italian flags during a commemoration ceremony for Falcone earlier today
THE GAMBINO CRIME FAMILY
The Gambino crime family is one of what is widely referred to as ‘The Five Families’ of Italian organized crime operations in New York City and other parts of the United States.
The Gambinos’ rise to become one of the most powerful mafia families in America started in 1957, when the family’s namesake, Carlos Gambino – an Italian immigrant – orchestrated the murder of Albert Anastasia, who had organized a collection of Italian gangs into what now would be considered a ‘crime family.’
Gambino headed the organization until 1976, when he handed power over to his brother-in-law Paul Castellano.
Pictured: John Gotti arriving at the Supreme Court in New York in 1990. He orchestrated the murder of Castellano to become the most publicized boss of the family
Like other mafia families, the Gambinos took their methods from the crime families in Italy – La Cosa Nostra – and were involved in illegal activities like loan-sharking, extortion, prostitution, gambling and money laundering – as well as the frequent assaults and murders associated with those types of business ventures.
In 1985, Gambino ‘capo’ John Gotti orchestrated the murder of Castellano to become the most publicized boss of the family.
Gotti’s reign came to an end when his underboss, Sammy ‘The Bull’ Gravano agreed to testify against him and other members of the family in a 1992 RICO trial.
Since Gotti’s downfall, the Gambinos – and other mafia families – have lost much of the power they once had over politicians, judges and labor unions.
The family was headed by Domenico Cefalu until 2015, when Frank Cali took over as capo.