Italian mobster 'killed rival by feeding him ALIVE to the pigs'
- Francesco Raccosta was 'beaten with iron bars before being fed to animals'
- Police released tapes of wire taps as part of investigation into crime family
- Simone Pepe was allegedly responsible for the death of Mr Raccosta
- He can reportedly be heard boasting of the killing on one of the tapes
A mobster was killed by being fed alive to pigs by rival gangsters, Italian police said yesterday.
Francesco Raccosta was beaten with iron bars before being thrown screaming into a sty where he was swiftly eaten by the hungry animals.
His horrifying death was the latest bloody instalment in a 60-year feud between warring members of an Italian crime syndicate, detectives say.
The murder was carried out by Simone Pepe, a member of the ’Ndrangheta crime family which holds a fierce grip on the southern Italian region of Calabria.
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Gangster: Simone Pepe, pictured left, allegedly killed Francesco Raccosta by feeding him alive to pigs
Yesterday police released tapes of intercepted phone calls in which Pepe is heard saying of Raccosta: ‘It was so satisfying hearing him scream... mamma mia, he could scream.
‘I didn’t see a ******* thing left. People say sometimes they [pigs] leave something... in the end there was nothing left... those pigs could certainly eat.’
The killing has echoes of the film Snatch, made in 2000 by British director Guy Ritchie, in which a gang lord called Brick Top is seen describing how 16 pigs can get through a body weighing 200lb in only eight minutes, hence the expression ‘greedy as a pig’.
Police said that Raccosta had begged Pepe for his life but he was ignored.
Crime patch: The murder was carried out by Simone Pepe, a member of the 'Ndrangheta crime family which holds a fierce grip on the southern Italian region of Calabria, pictured
Officers also believe Pepe was responsible for at least three other murders within the same 24-hour period.
The ’Ndrangheta crime family is said to be more powerful, more ruthless and wealthier than the Mafia on the neighbouring island of Sicily.
According to the tapped phone calls, Pepe was boss of the Mazzagatti clan in Oppido Mamertina, near Reggio Calabria.
He was one of 20 people arrested this week in an operation which also resulted in police confiscating millions of euros and property in the area and in Rome.
Raccosta disappeared in March 2012 along with fellow mobster Carmine Putrino, who police believe was murdered at the same time and possibly also fed to pigs because no body has ever been discovered.
Pepe has confessed to police his involvement in the murders, which he said were carried out in revenge for the killing of his mafia boss, or godfather, Domenico Bonarrigo.
Detectives codenamed the operation Erinni, who in Greek mythology were the goddesses of vengeance.
A police spokesman said: ‘This feud has been going on since the 1950s and has claimed numerous lives, among them a nine-year-old girl shot as she sat in her grandfather’s car.
‘Pepe was particularly brutal and by feeding his victim to pigs he thought he would earn the respect of other rivals as well as crime figures within his own clan.’
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