by Bluto Ray
Sutera, an isolated town in Sicily’s hinterland, is a captivating hodgepodge of adobe dwellings and baroque churches decaying quietly off the beaten tourist path. The picturesque locale, dominated by the jutting Mount San Paulino, was sufficiently antique for filmmaker Michael Cimino; he used it to stand in for Salvatore Giuliano’s village in The Sicilian. Like the legendary bandit, Sutera’s favorite son eventually came home in a wooden box—minus the paparazzi and headlines.
Calogero Zucchetto couldn’t wait to become a cop. He left sleepy Sutera at a young age for the excitement of the big city. Before his twentieth birthday, he was on the team of bodyguards escorting anti-Mafia Judge Giovanni Falcone through the streets of Palermo. But the earnest and gangling “Lillo,” as his friends called him, was anxious to step out into the field as an agent—deadly work in the early 1980s, the hunting season of the Cosa Nostra.
As soon as Zucchetto made the ranks of Palermo’s Mobile Squad, he insinuated himself into many unsavory environments foreign to sleepy little Sutera: the bordellos, betting rooms and produce markets of the city where he was sure to rub shoulders with with the Mafia.