Murdered Mafia boss was a philosophy student


Belfast Telegraphista (via GFP) poimittu uutinen filosofiaa opiskelleen mafiapäällikön murhasta:

Murdered Mafia boss was a philosophy student

Belfast Telegraph
Saturday, June 16, 2007
By Peter Popham

When the man on the motorcycle pulled alongside the convicted gangster Niccolo Ingarao on a Palermo street and shot him four times in the chest and once in the head, he murdered the most studious Mafia boss of modern times.

It emerged yesterday that when Mr Ingarao, 46, was not barking orders at underlings, extorting protection money or counting the takings as the gang boss of the Porta Nuova neighbourhood, he was an avid student of philosophy.

Twenty-four hours before his execution-style killing, seen as a bloody move in the power struggle that followed the arrest of the capo di capi Bernardo Provenzano, Ingarao took an exam in the history of philosophy at Palermo University. His professor at the university, Pietro di Giovanni, said he did very well.

Ingarao was "a model student," Professor Di Giovanni told the Corriere della Sera newspaper. "He followed the lessons assiduously and was very conscientious and interested in the material. Like many mature students he was very committed.

"He had nice manners. One day he even came to the university with his wife. He said he owned a toy shop, and was interested in studying philosophy for his personal enrichment."

Well-read Sicilian gangsters are few and far between. The reading matter of Toto Riina, the bloodthirsty Corleone boss serving life in jail, is said to be restricted to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Italy's best-selling sports daily. When he was arrested, Provenzano had five copies of the Bible in his hideout, but no other reading material.

According to Ingarao's lawyer, Riccardo Russo, it was the Bible that first sparked his client's intellectual curiosity. "That's where it all started," he said. "He was particularly struck by the Book of the Wisdom of Solomon, in the Apocrypha. From the moment he read it he began to study, with ever-increasing interest."

Studying became a habit during the nine years he spent in Pagliarelli jail, from which he was freed with remission for good conduct. While serving his time, Ingarao devoured whatever reading matter he could lay his hands on. " Some time ago it was The Name of the Rose, more recently The Da Vinci Code," Mr Russo said.