Selected Works

Nonfiction
A look at life in little-known mountain towns of the Sicilian hinterlands.
A true account of the last years of an ancient Sicilian giant bluefin tuna trap.






Tags

Out of Palermo

Palermo police reveal secret symbols used by thieves to mak houses

November 14, 2017

Tags: thief, lexicon, symbols, police, publish

Palermo police warn of an uptick in house break-ins, with the elderly being targets.
They published a lexicon of symbols thieves use to mark prospective houses for a hit.

Meanings of symbols, top to bottom, left column first:
Good target
Very good house to rob
Don't touch, house of friends
Dog in house
Dog
Police active
Danger or Always at Home
Night is the best time to strike here.
Rich people here.
Women willing to give money
House just hit
No use trying
Not interesting
Public official
Avoid this town
Here they give work (Company or home not to be touched)
Sunday is the best day
Morning is the best time
House with alarms.

Tough job

April 29, 2016

Tags: palermo, crime, cops, police, crowd, encircle, prevent, capture, burglars, escape, shots, fired, air, gun, tough, job, support, mafia

From this morning's La Repubblica.

Residents of La Kalsa, the ancient Arab-founded neighborhood of old Palermo and several businessmen helped a burglar pursued by police to escape. The police were encircled by the crowd and the thief got away with 10,000 euros he and three others had just robbed from a market (more…)

Blitz mafia bust; 64 arrested

March 16, 2016

Tags: police, blitz, mafia bust, cosa nostra, reorganization

Police overnight made 64 arrests from Villagrazia, the easternmost neighborhood of Palermo to S. Giuseppe Jato, a mafia stronghold in the hills behind Palermo. Turns out the mafia has been reorganizing under the guidance of two elders, one in his seventies, one in his eighties. These are old-style mafiosi who were henchmen of Toto Riina, the now jailed mafia kingpin known as The Beast.

6 major mafia arrests this morning

December 11, 2015

Tags: mafia, vote, boss, crime, arrest, police, murder, kiss, forehead, election, Santa Maria del Gesu`

Chilling headlines in La Repubblica today.
Through spy cameras and microphones hidden all over the city, Sicilian police learned that the oldest mafia clan in Palermo, of Santa Maria del Gesu` on the city's east side, had just elected a new boss. The brief, intense election season was a sign to police that the (more…)

Police video of extortionist at work

October 31, 2015

Tags: pizzo, protection money, clan, mob, mafia, payment, thug, police, spy, microphone, caught on tape, arrests, carabinieri, greengrocer, palermo, sicily, sicilia, italy, crime, collaborator, danger



The mafia charges monthly protection money even from traveling street vendors, like this guy who sells produce from his three-wheeled (more…)

Stealing light

March 14, 2015

Tags: palermo, theft, hacking, stealing, theft, electricity, light, police, investigation

From today's La Repubblica Palermo edition:

Hundreds of people reduced their electric bill to zero with a single jack in a distribution box and people lined up out the door of a hacker nicknamed the Magician of the Computer to pay 300 euros to have their meter's software modified so as not to register usage. (more…)

Quick Links