|Palermo|  Giuseppe Greco

Born:  January 4, 1952

Dead:  September 1985

Giuseppe "Pino" Greco was a hitman and member of the Sicilian Mafia. A number of sources refer to him exclusively as Pino Greco although Giuseppe was his Christian name; "Pino" is a frequent abbreviation of the name Giuseppe.

Not a great deal of information is available about his early life except that he came from a long line of Mafiosi. His family, the Greco Mafia family, were prominent Mafiosi (he was a distant relative of Salvatore Greco) and he is believed to have joined the Mafia sometime in the late 1970s. His father was also a Mafiosi nicknamed Scarpa, Sicilian for "Shoe", hence Giuseppe's nickname of Scarpuzzedda; "Little Old Shoe".

Criminal career

Giuseppe Greco was a member of the Ciaculli Mafia cosca based in Palermo in the neighbourhood of the same name. The boss of the entire family was his uncle, Michele Greco. Giuseppe Greco and the Ciaculli cosca were closely allied with the Corleonesi, and specifically with their boss, Salvatore Riina.

During the Second Mafia War from 1981 until 1983, orchestrated by the Corleonesi, Giuseppe Greco carried out dozens of murders, often with his favourite weapon, an AK-47. He was eventually convicted in absentia of fifty-eight murders but it is believed he committed at least eighty murders in total and possibly as many as three-hundred. Amongst those he gunned down are Stefano Bontade, Salvatore Inzerillo and Carabinieri General Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa. He even murdered Inzerillo's fifteen-year-old son after the youth vowed to avenge his dead father. Greco is rumoured to have chopped the boy's arm off before killing him. In order to kill magistrate Rocco Chinnici he employed a car bomb.

He was part of a "death squad" including Mario Prestifilippo, Filippo Marchese, Vincenzo Puccio, Gianbattista Pullarà, Giuseppe Lucchese, Giuseppe Giacomo Gambino and Nino Madonia. Greco was close friends with Filippo Marchese, the boss of the Corso de Mille neighbourhood in Palermo and another close ally of the Corleonesi. Marchese ran the so-called "Room of Death", a squalid Palermo apartment, where victims were tortured and murdered before being thrown into barrel of acid or dismembered then dumped out in the Mediterranean. According to pentito Vincenzo Sinagra, Greco helped Marchese carry out many killings there and apparently he and Marchese would garotte victims together, looping a length of rope round the victim's neck and each of them pulling on one end. Sinagra said it was usually his duty to hold the victim's kicking feet.

A number of informants have said that he personally garrotted Rosario Riccobono, a Palermo boss. In late 1982, Greco murdered Marchese on the orders of Riina. The Mafia War was dying down and Riina had decided Marchese was no longer of any use. By then, Greco was believed to be the underboss of the Ciaculli family. In the mid 1980s he sat on the Sicilian Mafia Commission.


Towards the end of 1985, Giuseppe Greco vanished. For a while it was suspected he had gone to the United States but this was just a rumour started by Riina. Scarpuzzedda was, in fact, murdered on the orders of Riina, who thought Greco was getting a bit too ambitious for his own good. Riina was apparently threatened by the way a significant following of younger mobsters looked up to Greco and saw him as a potential future boss. Additionally, it is thought that Riina believed Ciaculli Mafia family had entirely outlived their usefulness, especially with its boss, Michele Greco, behind bars after he was captured in 1986. Riina apparently felt the need to reduce the strength of the Ciaculli Family by eliminating its most prominent killers. Giuseppe's murder was the start of a string of killings by the Corleonesi of the Ciaculli Family's top killers, such as Mario Prestifilippo.

In order to weaken Greco’s position, Riina ordered the massacre of Piazza Scaffa, when eight people were killed in the Ciaculli mandamento a few months before Greco’s murder. Greco was not informed as part of a deliberate strategy to show his lack of effective power over the territory under his jurisdiction. Greco was murdered in his home, shot to death by his two fellow Mafiosi and supposed friends, Vincenzo Puccio and Giuseppe Lucchese. Puccio was captured the following year for an unrelated murder and was himself killed in his cell in 1989. Lucchese was captured in 1990 and imprisoned for other unrelated murders.

Giuseppe Greco picked up an in absentia life sentence at the Maxi Trial of 1986-1987 after being found guilty of fifty-eight counts of murder, even though he was dead by then. His body was never found as a strategy to delay and weaken the reactions of Greco’s followers. Rumours of his death only surfaced in 1988 and these were only confirmed by an informant, Francesco Marino Mannoia, the following year. Francesco's brother, Agostino Marino Mannoia, was present at Greco's murder although only as a witness; he told his brother, Francesco, he did not know the killing was due to take place. Agostino said that, sometime in September 1985, he was downstairs in Greco's house with another Mafiosi whilst their host was upstairs talking with Puccio and Lucchese. After hearing shots, Agostino ran upstairs to see Greco lying dead and Puccio and Lucchese standing over him, the latter holding a smoking gun and subsequently explaining that he and Puccio had taken care of a problem on behalf of Riina. Agostino explained all this to his brother Francesco, and it was Agostino's murder in early 1989 that prompted Francesco to become an informant.

No accounts of Greco's life mention whether he was married or had children. It is not known what happened to his body. It may have been dissolved in acid or fed to pigs, both of which were common methods of body disposal by Greco and fellow killer Marchese during the Second Mafia War.

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