Friday, September 20, 2019

Our Godfather

Tommaso Buscetta was a man who was simultaneously the most important, most endangered, and most wanted man in criminal history. Buscetta did something no man had ever dared to before: he betrayed the Cosa Nostra, the notorious Sicilian Mafia, where he once held a position of power and respect.

He provided testimony at the Maxi Trial, which remains the largest anti-mafia trial in history and which saw 475 mafioso jailed, many for life. Buscetta fled Italy to get away from the Second Mafia War that had been instigated by Toto Riina in 1980s.
Buscetta died in 2000. His past followed him to Brazil, where he was asked to helm a drug-trafficking operation. Buscetta politely refused, and whatever Riina was told infuriated him. Riina never had any ideals, and in a bid to send a message to Buscetta, targeted his family.

Buscetta's sons were the first to go. They were tortured, killed, and dissolved in acid. Riina targeted and killed his brother, his nephew, his son-in-law, his brother-in-law, and four grandchildren. The only way out for him and his family was to broker a deal. He provided evidence and testified, and in exchange, he was sent to the US under a new identity in the Witness Protection Program.
Buscetta's story is the subject of documentary 'Our Godfather,' which premiered on Netflix on September 18.