Fugitive Italian Killer Finally Meets His Match in Google Maps

Who would have thunk it. Google, the sleuth that captures an Italian killer wanted for twenty years! Police nabbed him thanks to Google Maps, walking down a street in Spain where he had blended in as a chef in a local restaurant. 

The point here is that he probably thought off himself as the person who proves that the phrase, “What Goes Around Comes Around,” was nothing more than wishful thinking for fools and dreamers! Physics? A law of nature? Ridiculous!!! Look at him for example!



Fugitive Italian Killer Finally Meets His Match: Google Maps

Investigators had tracked the man to a town in Spain, and an image found online confirmed that the police were on the right track.


An image taken from Google Street View was used to track down the Sicilian gangster Gioacchino Gammino.
Credit…Google Street View

ROME — Ever since he broke out of Rome’s Rebibbia prison 20 years ago where he was facing murder charges, Gioacchino Gammino had managed to evade capture. He fled to Spain, changed his name and cut off ties with his family, creating a new life for himself, at one point working as a chef in an Italian restaurant.

But last month, Italian investigators finally tracked down Mr. Gammino, 61, in a town northwest of Madrid, thanks in part to an unlikely tool: Google Maps.

“They say that fortune favors the bold,” said General Nicola Altiero, deputy director of Italy’s Antimafia Investigation Department, which carried out the operation with prosecutors in Palermo, explaining how investigators used Google Maps and Street View to help them track down Mr. Gammino, a Sicilian who was on Italy’s most dangerous fugitives list.

Investigators in Palermo declined to say how they had traced Mr. Gammino to Galapagar, a town near Madrid, saying that aspects of the case were still part of an ongoing inquiry.

But General Altiero was more forthcoming, explaining how investigators had used the Google tools to look up a fruit and vegetable store — “El Huerto de Manu” — that they believed could have ties to the fugitive, and happened upon an image of a man standing in front of the store.

The man in the image had the same size and build as Mr. Gammino, General Altiero said, and investigators noticed that the store shared the same telephone number as a nearby restaurant — “La Cocina de Manu” — that had closed some years ago.

But its social media pages remained online, including one with a photograph of the restaurant’s chef standing next to a wood-burning pizza oven.

Investigators applied age-progression technology to an old photo of Mr. Gammino to get a sense of what the fugitive would have looked like after 20 years, and identified the chef as the wanted man, General Altiero said.

Italian investigators contacted the Spanish police unit that hunts fugitives, and on Dec. 17, Mr. Gammino was arrested while he was walking on the street. General Altiero said there had been other breaks in the two-decade investigation, but that the discovery using the Google tools had been key to the rapid arrest of Mr. Gammino.

“Seeing the image on Google Maps was a bit of luck, but in any case we had other evidence that would have eventually led us to him,” General Altiero said. “Google Maps got us there faster.”

Mr. Gammino first fell afoul of the law in the 1980s when he was investigated for drug trafficking. Investigators believe he was a member of a “stidda” clan based in Campobello di Licata, a town east of Agrigento, Sicily. The stidda, which means star in Sicilian, drew from the ranks of mobsters that in the 1980s began rebelling against the leaders of the Sicilian Mafia, the Cosa Nostra. A turf war between the stidda and Cosa Nostra in the 1990s left some 200 people dead, according to a statement issued by the Antimafia Investigation Department announcing Mr. Gammino’s arrest in Spain.

Mr. Gammino was then arrested in 1999 on charges of murder. He was awaiting trial in Rebibbia prison in Rome when, on June 26, 2002, he is believed to have walked out the prison’s front door, taking advantage of the bustle created by film crews during the shooting of a scene for a TV series. During his years on the run, he was convicted of murder in absentia and a European arrest warrant was issued for him in 2014.

A prosecutor in Palermo declined to say whether Mr. Gammino was involved in illegal activities in Spain.

Mr. Gammino is expected to be extradited to Italy in the next few weeks to serve a life sentence, investigators said.

Kirkus Reviews, the gold-standard for independent & accurate reviews, has this to say about

What Goes Around Comes Around:

A stable, positive, non preachy, objective voice makes the book stand apart from others in the genre. A successful guide that uses anecdotes to reveal powerful truths about life.

~ Kirkus Reviews

“The author gives readers not just points or principles to ponder, but real human experiences that demonstrate them!
Kirkus Reviews
Buy What Goes Around at Amazon

“I’ve read a number of books that focus on sharing a similar message, including “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne, “The Answer” by John Assaraf & Murray Smith, “The Celestine Prophecy” by James Redfield, “Think and Grow Rich,” by Napoleon Hill, and I must say that I find Rob’s to be my favorite. – Sheryl Woodhouse, founder of Livelihood Matters LLC

Fugitive Italian Killer Finally Meets His Match in Google Maps

Fugitive Italian Killer Finally Meets His Match in Google Maps

So, Chapter Two of the Jeffrey Epstein saga comes almost to a close. Almost, because we won’t know the final ending until we hear the sentencing, which is likely to be a doozie!

Sure, there will be an appeal and there have been shockers in the past, think R. Kelly in 2008. But this is not likely to be one of those.

So Ghislaine, was it worth it? The ride you had with your buddy Jeff, that is? Did the two of you simply mock the concept of Karma, Cause & Effect, What Goes Around Comes Around, different ways to say the same thing? Did you just buy his line that you were  “Teflon Twins” and they’d never get you. What?

Please tell us, explain so there’s some way to think something good and worthwhile about at least you, cause its sure hard to find in this wreckage!

Colombo Family Crime Boss and 12 Others Are Arrested, Prosecutors Say

An indictment unsealed on Tuesday accuses the organization of orchestrating a two-decade scheme to extort a labor union.

Credit…Jesse Ward


For two decades, the leadership of the Colombo crime family extorted a Queens labor union, federal prosecutors said — an effort that continued unabated even as members of the mob clan cycled through prison, the family’s notorious longtime boss died, and as federal law enforcement closed in.

Over time, what began as a Colombo captain’s shakedown of a union leader, complete with expletive-laced threats of violence, expanded into a cottage industry, prosecutors said, as the Colombo organization assumed control of contracting and union business, with side operations in phony construction certificates, marijuana trafficking and loan-sharking.

On Tuesday, 11 reputed members and associates of the Colombo crime family, including the mob clan’s entire leadership, were charged in a labor racketeering case brought by the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn.

All but two of the men were arrested Tuesday morning across New York and New Jersey, prosecutors said. Another was surrendered to the authorities on Tuesday; another defendant, identified as the family consigliere, remained at large, prosecutors said.

The indictment accuses the Colombo family of orchestrating a two-decade scheme to extort an unnamed labor union that represented construction workers, using threats of violence to secure payments and arrange contracts that would benefit the crime family.

The charges are an ambitious effort by the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to take down one of the city’s five Mafia families. In addition to the union extortion scheme, which is the heart of the racketeering charge, the indictment charges several misdeeds often associated with the mob, including drug trafficking, money laundering, loan-sharking and falsifying federal labor safety paperwork.

Detention hearings for the defendants in Brooklyn federal court continued into the evening Tuesday, as they entered not-guilty pleas to the charges; prosecutors had asked the court to keep 10 of the defendants in custody.

“Everything we allege in this investigation proves history does indeed repeat itself,” Michael J. Driscoll, F.B.I. assistant director-in-charge, said in a statement. “The underbelly of the crime families in New York City is alive and well.”

Around 2001, prosecutors said, Vincent Ricciardo — a reported captain in the family, also known as “Vinny Unions” — began to demand a portion of a senior labor union official’s salary. When Mr. Ricciardo was convicted and imprisoned on federal racketeering charges in the mid-2000s, prosecutors said, his cousin continued to collect those payments.

Starting in late 2019, prosecutors said, the senior leadership of the Colombo family became directly involved in the shakedown, which extended to broader efforts to siphon money from the union: for example, manipulating the selection of union health fund vendors to contract with entities connected to the family, and diverting more than $10,000 each month from the fund to the family.

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Andrew Russo, 87, who prosecutors describe as the family boss, is accused of taking part in those efforts, as well as a money-laundering scheme to send the proceeds of the union extortion through intermediaries to Colombo associates. He was among nine defendants charged with racketeering.

Mr. Russo appeared in court virtually from the hospital Tuesday; he is set to be detained upon his release, pending a future bail hearing.

The family’s infamous longtime boss, Carmine J. Persico, died in federal custody in North Carolina in March 2019.

Federal law enforcement learned of the extortion scheme about a year ago, prosecutors wrote in a court filing Tuesday; investigators gathered thousands of hours of wiretapped calls and conversations recorded by a confidential witness, wrote the prosecutors, who also described law-enforcement surveillance of meetings among the accused conspirators.

The authorities said they repeatedly captured Mr. Ricciardo and his associates threatening to kill the union official. “I’ll put him in the ground right in front of his wife and kids,” Mr. Ricciardo was recorded saying in June.

On another occasion cited by prosecutors in the memo seeking his detention, Mr. Ricciardo directed the union official to hire a consultant selected by the Colombo family, saying: “It’s my union and that’s it.” Prosecutors said his activities were overseen by a Colombo soldier and the consigliere who remains at large.

Much of the activity outlined in the indictment took place while the defendants were either in prison or on supervised release for prior federal mob-related convictions. Theodore Persico Jr., described as a family captain and soldier, was released from federal prison in 2020 and, despite a directive not to associate with members of organized crime, “directed much of the labor racketeering scheme,” prosecutors said.

Mr. Persico, 58, is set to inherit the role of boss after Mr. Russo, prosecutors wrote.

Several of the defendants were named in what prosecutors described as a fraudulent safety training scheme, in which they falsified state and federal paperwork that is required for construction workers to show they have completed safety training courses.

One of the defendants, John Ragano — whom prosecutors say is a soldier in the Bonanno crime family — is accused of setting up phony occupational safety training schools in New York, which prosecutors said were “mills” that provided fraudulent safety training certificates to hundreds of people.

In October 2020, prosecutors said, an undercover law enforcement officer visited one of the schools in Ozone Park, Queens, and received, from Mr. Ricciardo’s cousin, a blank test form and an answer sheet; weeks later, the agent returned to pick up his federal safety card and paid $500.

The purported schools were also used for meetings with members of La Cosa Nostra — the group of crime families commonly known as the Mafia — and to store illegal drugs and fireworks, according to the indictment.

Mr. Ragano wasn’t charged on the racketeering count, although prosecutors also sought his detention pending trial. In addition to the racketeering count, several defendants, including Mr. Ricciardo and his cousin, were charged with extortion, conspiracy, fraud and conspiracy to make false statements.

William K. Rashbaum contributed reporting.


An earlier version of this article misstated the number of people identified in an indictment as members of the Colombo crime family. It is 11, not more than a dozen.