|Palermo|  Rosario Riccobono

Born:  February 10, 1929 - Palermo

Dead:  November 30, 1982 - Palermo

Rosario Riccobono was the boss of Partanna Mondello, a suburb of Palermo, and a member of the Copula, the Sicilian Mafia Commission. The picture above was taken in 1971. He and another 5 bosses of the Mafia, dubbed 'the Six Roses' were placed on house arrest on an island near Sicily. In 1979 he was brought in connection with the murder of a 20 year old police lieutenant named Gaetano Cappiello, but wasn't jailed for the crime. He was involved in heroin drug trafficking throughout the 1970s and went on the run at the end of that decade after he came under suspicion of running an operation to smuggle heroin from Turkey through Sicily and on to the USA. His right hand man was the future pentito Gaspare Mutolo, who organized massive shipments of heroin.

He sided with the Corleonesi at the outset of the Second Mafia War that broke out in 1981. He lured a number of Stefano Bontade's friends to their deaths on behalf of Salvatore Riina. In early 1982 he lured a number of men, including Emanuele D'Agostino, to a supposed peace meeting with the Corleonesi. Those that went along were never seen again. One man he tried to lure to his death was Salvatore Contorno, but Contorno was suspcious and fled into hiding. He subsequently went on to become a pentito, cooperating with the government. At one point, Riccobono was believed to have been in the possession of the Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence, one of the most famous stolen pieces of artwork.

Riccobono and eight of his men vanished without trace at the end of November 1982. Three of his associates were gunned down a few days later and his brother, Vito Riccobono, was found decapitated in his car. For a while the Italian media blamed Tommaso Buscetta as being responsible for wiping out the Riccobono Family, as revenge for the recent slayings of Buscetta's two sons. In fact Buscetta had nothing to do with the wiping out of Riccobono and his Family; he was presently hiding out in Brazil. In fact, Salvatore Riina, Riccobono's supposed friend, had ordered the slaughter of Riccobono and his Mafia Family because they were no longer of any use by the time the Mafia War was ending with the victory of Riina and the Corleonesi.

A number of informants have said that Pino Greco was the man who personally garrotted Riccobono and subsequently orchestrated the murders of a dozen of Riccobono's associates and relatives. Rosiario Riccobono was given an in absentia life sentence at the Maxi Trial even though he was dead by then. Rumours of his death emerged in the mid-1980s but were not confirmed until the end of that decade through an informant.

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