Search

Entries in Nino Rotolo (2)

Sunday
Apr062014

Last Days of the Lo Piccolos, part 1

The rise and fall of a father-and-son Mafia team

by Carl Russo

[This two-part article is a prequel to the chapters about the Lo Piccolo crime family in my book, The Sicilian Mafia: A True Crime Travel Guide.

Salvatore Lo PiccoloGASPARE PULIZZI WAS DIGGING at a plate of tortellini with sea bass when a car pulled up to his house. Inside the vehicle were two men, one freshly killed, and Pulizzi was told he’d been assigned to bury the corpse by the bosses responsible for the murder: Salvatore Lo Piccolo and his son Sandro.

The dead man was racketeer Giovanni Bonanno, the son of tough Palermo gangster Armando Bonanno, who had disappeared when Giovanni was just a teen. Now it was Giovanni's turn to vanish, into the soil of a makeshift Mafia graveyard by the freeway a few miles west of Palermo. Pulizzi, following orders, stepped into the car.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Dec182010

The Boy King

by Bluto Ray

Gianni NicchiWith the arrests of some sixty-three mafiosi this week, police forces in Palermo claim victory over the extortion operation in the city’s northern half. The roundup is a sequel of sorts to an earlier raid that caught the most-wanted leader of that racket, Salvatore Lo Piccolo, along with his son Sandro, in late 2007.

A similar victory was trumpeted one year ago in the southern half of the city, when the boss of the rival racket, Gianni Nicchi, was apprehended. With that action, the police likely averted a full-scale Mafia war. From hours of surveillance tapes it was learned, among other revelations, that Lo Piccolo and Nicchi each wanted the other dead.

Nicchi’s crime career was meteoric as he rose from neighborhood barista to Italy’s second-most-wanted mafioso by the age of twenty-seven. Devoted service to his honorary godfather, capomafia Nino Rotolo, included a diplomatic mission to New York. There, Nicchi met with the American Gambino family that had hoped to reconnect lines from the glory days of the “Pizza Connection,” a US-Sicilian heroin operation busted up in the 1980s.

Click to read more ...