Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Camorra Never Sleeps

I saw this article about the modern day Mafia and thought I would share. Donward and the Volturi are La Camorra.  I always try to insert some realism into this story.

The thing about being murdered, it usually comes as a surprise. Even in Naples, where the criminal clans known collectively as the Camorra are again struggling violently for control of the streets, no victim wakes up expecting on that given day to die. He shaves carefully, dresses in his beloved clothes, slips on an expensive watch, and maybe squeezes his wife before heading out to meet with his friends. If he suspected his fate, he might at least kiss his wife good-bye. But the neighborhood has been home for generations to everyone he knows who counts. He deals there in extortion, protection, narcotics, and counterfeit goods. He abides by alternative rules. For this he is respected. He rarely carries a gun. His experience until now has been that murder happens only to others. Then someone comes along and kills him.

It is a strangely final event. There may be a moment of recognition at the end, but by then the man can no longer stay alive. Recently, in a northern district called Secondigliano, it was obvious that the victim knew his fate for about seven seconds before he died. Secondigliano is an old farming town that has been swallowed by the city. It has evolved into one of Europe’s largest open-air drug markets and a working-class stronghold for the Camorra. The victim was a mid-ranking member of one of its clans involved in a typically convoluted struggle, and not known to the police before. He was in his mid-30s and beginning to bald. He was immaculately dressed and groomed. As was his habit, he had come to a small street-front gambling shop to play a bit of one-armed bandit. Surveillance cameras there captured his demise. It was broad daylight. As a cautionary measure he had placed three guards outside, one of whom was burly, but none of whom was armed. The gambling shop was narrow and had space for only six machines against one wall. In the back was a closed door. The victim was alone in the room. He sat on a stool to gamble.

A street camera caught the killers’ arrival. There were two of them. They pulled up fast on a motor scooter, both in full-face helmets with the visors down. From the certainty of their movements, they seemed sure that the victim was inside. It is not known who had informed them. The clerk who normally tended to the shop was nowhere in sight. As soon as the scooter came to a stop, the man on the back hopped off and, with a 9-mm. pistol in hand, strode purposefully toward the front door. The guards fled before him. Two of them, including the burly one, tumbled into the room to raise the alarm. The camera inside showed them bursting in, followed closely by the gunman—a slender figure looking bug-like in his full-face armor. The victim reacted immediately. He leapt from his stool, dashed to the back door, and tugged on it, only to find that it was locked. His heart must have been racing. He turned and tried to escape through the front. This took him to within point-blank range of the gunman, who had stopped about halfway into the room. With two pistol kicks, the gunman shot him in the back as he passed. The victim fell facedown. The gunman took two steps forward, leaned over, and finished him with a single shot to the head.


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