Mastermind of mafia’s child murder caught

The presumed mastermind of a mafia killing in which a three-year-old boy was murdered has been arrested, a year after the toddler was targeted in a drive-by shooting.

Mastermind of mafia's child murder caught
Police on Monday arrested the man believed to be behind the triple murder last year. Police photo: Shutterstock

Giovanni Di Napoli, 60, was arrested on Monday over the triple murder in Italy’s southern Puglia region, Ansa reported.

He is thought to have orchestrated the drive-by shooting on March 17th 2014, in the Palagiano area, in which toddler Domenico was killed.

The boy’s mother Carla Fornari was also murdered, along with her partner Mimmo Orlando.

The woman’s two other children, aged six and eight, reportedly survived by playing dead. The children’s biological father was murdered in 2011, Ansa said.

Di Napoli, who has in the past been convicted for mafia association and murder, is accused of ordered the family’s slaying to settle a personal dispute with Orlando.

When he was killed Orlando was being accompanied by Fornari back to prison, under the terms of a custodial sentence.

The killings shocked Italy and led to renewed debate over the mafia’s so-called “code of honour”, described as a myth in the wake of the toddler’s murder.

SEE ALSO: Child killing shows mafia 'code of conduct' is myth

The Puglia killings came just two months after another toddler was killed by the mafia in the Calabria region. The charred skeleton of Nicolino Campolongo was found in a burnt-out car along with the bodies of his grandfather, a convicted drug trafficker, and the man’s partner.

A 50 cent coin was left on the car bonnet, thought to be a symbolic move to show the value the killer put on their victims’ lives.

READ MORE: Mafia-linked killers put 50 cent price on child's life

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 Italian police arrest mafia member after three women killed in Rome

Italian police on Saturday arrested a mafia member suspected of killing two alleged Chinese prostitutes and a Colombian sex worker in Rome, local media reported.

 Italian police arrest mafia member after three women killed in Rome

The bodies of the two Chinese women were discovered in a residential building in the upmarket Prati district on Thursday morning, while the body of the South American was found in an apartment in the same neighbourhood an hour later.

All three victims were stabbed, according to Italian media reports.

According to the Corriere della Sera newspaper, footage from surveillance cameras allowed police to identify 51-year-old Giandavide De Pau, who had been prosecuted in the past for drug trafficking and sexual assault.

The suspect is reportedly a member of a mafia clan headed by Michele Senese, who is currently serving a life sentence. De Pau is believed to have been one of Senese’s closest collaborators, acting as his personal driver and handyman.

In 2008 and 2011, the suspect had also spent time in a psychiatric hospital.

It is unknown whether the suspected killer was carrying out a mafia hit or acting alone, possibly under the influence of drugs, which were found at the home of some family members where he is believed to have sought refuge after the police manhunt got underway, Corriere della Sera reported.

Several newspapers had warned of a possible “serial killer” in the Italian capital.

The body of one of the Chinese victims was spotted by a neighbour where it lay, naked on a landing. The woman, believed to be in her 40s, had suffered head and stomach injuries, the newspaper said.

When police entered her apartment, they found the body of the second Chinese woman.

Nobody in the building appeared to have heard the murders take place, according to residents.

“Everybody knew there was a house of ill repute here, I’d see people arriving at 2:00 am, 3:00 am,” a woman who lived in the building told reporters.

The body of the Colombian, who was 65, was found by a friend, Corriere della Sera said.