This book is an account of a meeting with Gaspare Spatuzza, a “man of honour” from the Brancaccio mafia “family”. The narrative journey also features personal catharsis, social commentary and a strenuous search for a new approach to life. Spatuzza’s direct and vital testimony, collected by the author in a secret location where the man is imprisoned, unveils the story of a youth from the outskirts of Palermo who was attracted and then co-opted by Cosa Nostra. For a long time he shared its logic and ruthless cruelty, in due course becoming a local boss and playing a prominent role in the carnage of the 1990s. It is also the story of a man who, after his arrest, became a resolute witness turning state’s evidence, highlighting the political system’s complicity and casting doubt on the prosecution strategy of three important trials, thereby throwing to the wind 13 years’ of investigative and judicial efforts. Gaspare Spatuzza also underwent an uneasy religious conversion, asking forgiveness from the victims of his cruelty in a quest to atone for his sins.
Alessandra Dino studies organized crime and teaches Sociology of Law and Deviance at the University of Palermo.