'Kill or you can't wed,' Mafia says

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The Independent Online
A YOUNG Mafia killer-turned-supergrass has chilled the nation with his account of how the Mafia forbade him to marry the girl he loved unless he shot her father first.

The story told by Giuseppe 'Pino' Marchese, 29, while giving evidence in a big drug-running trial in a high-security court in Rome on Saturday, gave a glimpse of the perverted morality of the Mafia. For it had objected to the marriage because the girl's parents were separated.

Marchese was sworn in as a 'man of honour' at 17, killed his first victim for the Mafia superboss, Toto Riina, at 19 and was later condemned to life imprisonment for murder. He said he fell in love with his Rosaria when she was only 13.

'I wanted to marry her but Cosa Nostra would not allow it. Rosaria's parents were separated, her family was 'irregular'. By tradition, a marriage was impossible.' His brother Antonino, also a 'man of honour', suggested a solution. 'I could not marry the daughter of separated parents, but I could marry an orphan. I realised what I had to do: kill Rosaria's father.

'How could I have looked my wife in the face if I had killed her father?' he went on. He pretended to agree, but did nothing. Eventually his brother said: 'You are going to ruin yourself and ruin your family with this marriage. If you won't kill him, we will.'

'I immediately broke with Rosaria. I never saw her again,' he concluded. 'Rosaria was the only beautiful thing I ever had.'

His brother's destiny was quite different, although he too ended in jail. He married, and as a wedding present the Mafia sent him a gold bathtub 'which if they have not taken it away, should still be in the home of my sister-in-law'.