Corleone is a town of about 12,000
inhabitants in the Palermo
Sicily. It’s also the surname given to the Mafia family in the
Mario Puzo novel and Francis Ford Coppola film The
Godfather. And it’s where the Italian
police caught the real thing
last Tuesday when he stuck his arm out to grab some fresh laundry sent by his
Bernardo Provenzano, 73, the
real life Don Corleone of La Cosa Nostra (literally “this thing of ours”) was very pi*sed
off when nicked because he had successfully spent 43 years on the lam and had
a nice little business. Along with the ‘Ndrangheta in
Calabria, La Camorra in Naples and La Sarda in Sardinia, the Sicilian Mafia is one of four major
organised crime branches in Italy. It has nothing to do with the Russian Mafia
or the Carlton Crew (in Melbourne, Australia) – although they play by the same
It is not the intention of the Kooka Brothers to
mythologise on the homicidal vileness of mobsters but to put their business
strategies in an historical and cultural context and to analyse any flow-on to
the local gangland wars. At every
funeral we have attended, life no longer imitates art – it is becoming almost
indistinguishable. Mario Puzo’s novel was total fiction
but Melbourne gangsters really seem
to believe they are in an episode of The Sopranos.
Bernie the Tractor was not a very nice person. He got
his sobriquet “the tractor” for the way he ploughed through people. He has been
convicted in absentia for more than a dozen vicious murders and will now serve
three life sentences. Legend has it he has directly killed over a hundred men
with bullets, bombs and his bare hands.
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