Reggio Calabria, Southern Italy—
Missing mob boss Francesco Raccosta was allegedly beaten with spades by rival gang members before he was murdered, but it’s how he was murdered that has authorities reeling. Francesco Raccosta was tossed—alive and screaming—into a sty where he was completely devoured by pigs.
The grotesque scene, reminiscent of the Hollywood movies “Hannibal” and “Snatch,” was played out before the eyes of his killers, detectives report, while Raccosta—beaten into submission—begged for mercy.
Raccosta, don of the ‘Ndrangheta crime family in Calabria, was under investigation before he disappeared in March of 2012 following the murder of rival Mazzagatti family mob boss Domenico Bonarrigo.
The Italian news source Corriere Della Sera reports that Raccosta was the most likely suspect in the Mazzagatti mob boss’s death, and the killing would likely add fuel to a war between the families that has been waged in one form or another for 60 years.
Police investigating organized crime in the region presumed that Raccosta had been murdered in retaliation for the execution by Mazzagatti hit-men but his body was never recovered.
In a report released this month by investigating officials, evidence of Raccosta’s grisly demise surfaced following an extensive undercover investigation codenamed “Operazione Erinni.” In coordinated raids police arrested 20 suspected mafia members and seized mob properties and assets totaling $95 million dollars.
Among those arrested was 24-year-old rival mafia boss Simone Pepe.
Investigators state that Pepe not only admitted that he murdered Raccosta, but was heard boasting to a friend about the chilling mafia murder during a phone call. In a call that was intercepted during a wire-tap he describes him being torn apart.
“It was satisfying to hear him scream,” Pepe says in reaction to Raccosta’s pleas for mercy.
“Mamma mia, how he squealed, but I couldn’t give a s—.”
Amazed by the pigs’ voracity, Pepe continues, “Someone said a few bits of him remained at the end of it all, but I couldn’t see anything, for me nothing remained at all. I said, wow, how a pig can eat!”
The reason for the murder, according to Pepe’s bold and unapologetic confession, was retaliation for the death of the Mazzagatti family’s boss on March 3rd, 2012. The swine-assisted slaying took place just ten days after Bonarrigo’s murder.
Simone Pepe is a suspect in at least 3 other murders, including the killing of Vincenzo Raccosta, Francesco Raccosta’s father.
The decimation of the ‘Ndrangheta family—also known as the Calabrian Mafia—by Italian authorities has been systematic and successful. The recent May surrender of acting boss Giuseppe Pesce gives Italy hope that they will be able to retake control of Southern Italy’s most contested towns, but the police are not resting on their laurels.
An Italian police spokesman stated: “This feud has been going on since the 1950s and has claimed numerous lives. Pepe was particularly brutal.”
Beating the mob boss and having him eaten was designed as a message the spokesman continued. “By feeding his victim to pigs he thought he would earn the respect of rivals as well as his own clan.”
“Operazione Erinni” is Italian word for “Operation Erinye,” named for the goddesses of vengeance in Greek Mythology.
By Matt Darjany