EPISODE 35 The Magliana Gang (Part 2)

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“There was money that wasn’t coming back and the choice was between leaving some cardinal dead on the street or to strike someone close to the Pope. We chose the second path.” — Antonio Mancini 

“We of the Magliana gang were street bandits. We loved robberies, without asking anyone’s permission, without compromises. I wanted a Ferrari? One hit and i’d buy it. Cops would take it from me? Another robbery and i’d buy it again. I enjoyed all my money. De Pedis instead would buy night clubs, restaurants, houses. He was the boss of Campo dei Fiori.” — Antonio Mancini

“Of course you realize, this means war!” — Bugs Bunny

This series is about the rise of a street gang that took over Rome in the 1970s and 1980s. The Magliana gang was not just one of many criminal organisations who operated in Italy. Among their business partners, they counted Italy’s most important politicians, bankers, secret services, and possibly the Vatican itself. The gang left an indelible mark on Italian history. The story of their rise to power and of the heyday of their rule truly is stranger than fiction. It’s the kind of story that makes you think that the Godfather 3 perhaps was a documentary after all. There are lots of books and documentaries about this story but they are nearly all in Italian, so it looks like I’m your man if you wanna hear this story in English—or whatever approximation of English I speak. In this episode:

  • Some disturbing glimpses at how power operates away from the spotlight
  • Corrado Carnevale “The Sentence Slayer”—the Supreme Court Justice most loved by the Mafia 
  • Fascist psychiatrist Aldo Semerari loses his head (in more ways than one)
  • How the killing of journalist Mino Pecorelli was probably connected to one of Italy’s most powerful politicians
  • The death of Franco Giuseppucci and the revenge war it ignited 
  • If life is a box of chocolates, Nicolino Selis got a very bad chocolate 
  • Abbruciati and the Banco Ambrosiano shootout just 1/3 of a mile from where I grew up 
  • Why banking for the Vatican is not good for your health: Michele Sindona and Roberto Calvi 
  • The Vatican Bank, money laundering for the Mafia, anti-communism and missing money 
  • The split in the gang: Testaccini vs. Magliana
  • The Emanuela Orlandi kidnapping 
  • The Magliana internal war: Toscano, De Pedis, and informants 
  • Cooperative vs. competitive systems 

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Today’s episode is supported by DECONSTRUCTED, a new political podcast by journalist Mehdi Hasan. DECONSTRUCTED is out every Friday. You can listen and subscribe at theintercept.com/deconstructed or on any podcast platform.

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