Sicilian mafia boss was ‘dissolved in acid’

In a scenario reminiscent of a Hollywood film, a Sicilian mobster who went missing in 2002 is thought to have been dissolved in acid, after being strangled with a seat belt by his enemies, police said this week.

Sicilian mafia boss was 'dissolved in acid'
The victim's body is thought to have been dissolved in acid in a Sicilian warehouse. Warehouse photo: Shutterstock

Andrea Cottone went missing on November 13th 2002 while on his way to lunch at a mini golf restaurant in Ficarazzi, a town outside of the Sicilian capital Palermo.

More than 11 years later, police this week arrested three men – Ignazio Fontana, Onofrio Morreale and Michele Rubino – thought to be responsible for his murder, Palermo Today reported.

Morreale is thought to have lured his victim, a local mafia boss, to the restaurant under the guise of discussing the robberies Cottone had carried out in the area.

But rather than talking about lucrative business interests, Cottone was reportedly strangled to death by Morreale and his henchmen.

His body was then said to have been taken to a marble warehouse in the nearby town of Bagheria, where it was dissolved in acid, Palermo Today reported. Cottone’s belongings were cast into the sea, leaving no trace of the murder.

Italian mafia groups are no strangers to creative cruelty in their crimes. In November, police discovered that a man in the southern Calabria region, who disappeared in March 2012, was fed alive to pigs.

“It was satisfying to hear his screams. Mamma mia how he screamed!” one of his killers reportedly said, recorded by police boasting about the murder.

READ MORE: Mafia boss was 'fed alive to pigs'

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Femicide increases in Italy, official data shows

Murders of women in Italy increased by nearly 16 percent over the past year, interior ministry data showed Monday, with nearly two-thirds of crimes committed by a partner or ex-partner.

Femicide increases in Italy, official data shows

In the period from August 1, 2021 to July 31, 2022, 125 women in Italy were killed versus 108 in the year-earlier period, according to the annual report by the interior ministry.

Of that number, the vast majority of murders — 108 — were committed within the family sphere or an emotional context, while 68 murders, or 63 percent of the total, were committed by the victim’s partner or ex-partner, data showed.

There were a total of 319 murders in Italy in the period.

The numbers show that, on average, a woman is killed every three days in Italy.

According to a November report by the European Institute for Gender Equality, Italy came in ninth out of 15 EU member states for the number of murders of women by intimate partners, based on 2018 data.

It came in tenth when looking at homicide committed by family members and relatives.

Femicide commonly refers to the killing of a girl or woman by a partner or family member.