Not just apologies to the relatives of the victims. “After my arrest, I experienced first hand the contrast between my inhumanity and the humanity of the representatives of the state. I thought they would kill me, but instead they let me meet my son; I received a lesson in morals that I will never be able to forget ». In the Roman prison of Rebibbia, the repentant Giovanni Brusca rattled off his life as a killer and mafia boss, the rise and fall at the court of Totò Riina. It was January 10, 2016, and with the French director Mosco Levi Boucault we listened to the material executor of the Capaci massacre retrace the descent into hell of Cosa Nostra, the operation of the killing machine that he himself drove for twenty years, until the capture occurred on May 20, 1996; and then the conversion to the laws of the State, to which he entrusted himself to start a new existence that led him to be a free man again.
“Living room murders”
As a premise Brusca wanted to ask forgiveness for the victims provoked; he had already done it in some trial and will do it again later, but on that occasion he chose to reiterate it in front of a camera: “I apologize to all the relatives of the victims, to whom I have created so much pain and so much sorrow – he scanned under the balaclava and dark glasses worn so as not to reveal anything of their face, hands covered by gloves -. I tried to give my contribution, and a minimum of explanation to the many who seek truth and justice ”. The repentant also apologized to his wife to whom he was still tied at the time and to his now grown son, “who suffered for my sake and are paying for my life choices”, but claimed his collaboration with justice, useful for “putting an end to Cosa Nostra, a factory of death, a continuous agony”. The rest was the story of a life immersed in the mafia; first as an affiliate and trusted killer of the Corleonese godfather (subject of the documentary for Franco-German TV Art) and then as a traitor. “I have breathed Cosa Nostra since birth,” he said, going back to his grandfather, the campiere arrested for a murder and then to his father Bernardo, who met Totò Riina in prison: “Once they left, he gave hospitality to Riina, Bagarella and Provenzano, who were under attack of Navarre. He also committed crimes, but he was a moderate; he did some murders but always “from the living room”, strangulations or white shotgun, he didn’t get in the car to go and shoot in the street ». In the mid-seventies Bernardo Brusca led his son Giovanni to affiliation, in front of Riina who always kept him by his side: “He managed to attract sympathy and trust, but he had the defect of not confronting people face to face to solve problems; he went straight to the final solution, like the Nazis. If one complained to Riina about another subject, he eliminated him, so the other remained in permanent debt to Riina».
Living room judges
The rise of the Corleonese chief, who exterminated the traditional Palermo mafia coincided – in the reconstruction of the repentant – with the adjustment of the trials through the “approached” judges, a game that was interrupted with the arrival at the courthouse of Rocco Chinnici and Giovanni Falcone. The first blew up on July 29, 1983, and Brusca also took part in the attack. Immediately after, Riina began to think about Falcone: “It had become almost a personal challenge, because in addition to not being corruptible, Doctor Falcone made it difficult to corrupt others, who were ashamed or afraid of being discovered.“. An obstacle to be removed at all costs, and Brusca recalled the failed attempts, starting in 1984: on the court steps, in the swimming pool frequented by the judge, with explosives in the bins of the street where he lived in Palermo, in the restaurants frequented in Rome. Until the “final solution”, the bomb on the motorway that Brusca detonated at the Capaci junction: “When Nino Gioè tells me” go “I get stuck, the second time as well, the third repeats it even louder and then I lower the lever; everyone talks about the button on the remote control, but it was the lever of a switch ».
The cruelest murder
The death machine that was Giovanni Brusca – “initially killing was annoying, then it became a normal job” – did not stop even before the innocence of Giuseppe Di Matteo, son of the repentant Santino. The boy was about to turn 15 and had been hostage to the mafia for over two years when, in January ’96, the TV announced the convictions for the murder of Ignazio Salvo, provoked precisely by the accusations of Santino Di Matteo: “I was already full of difficulties and, damn me, I had a fit of nerves. I said “let’s get out and don’t talk about it anymore”. He was killed like a normal man of honor, strangled like so many others, then dissolved in acid to make the corpse disappear … The rules are rules and I totally believed in them, I would have given my life to get a result for the affiliates; having Santino Di Matteo retracted would have been a huge success for Cosa Nostra ».
Di Matteo did not retract
But Di Matteo did not retract, four months later Brusca was arrested and after three more he made his first confession to the magistrates. Then came many more, in the new repentant life. Until the apologies to the relatives of the victims, registered in view of further benefits and an “end of sentence” arrived three days ago.
June 3, 2021 (change June 3, 2021 | 08:55)
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