Friday, February 25, 2022

Maria Licciardi, Camorra Boss: Serial Killer by Proxy -- Naples, 2001

EXCERPTS from Wikipedia:
Maria Licciardi (born 24 March 1951) is an Italian criminal affiliated with the Camorra, head of the Licciardi clan, and one of the bosses of the Secondigliano Alliance. She was one of the most powerful bosses of the Camorra in the city of Naples from 1993 until her arrest in 2001.
Licciardi was referred to as La Madrina ("The Godmother") by fellow Camorristi and earned the nickname La Piccolina ("The Little Girl") early on in her criminal career, due to her diminutive height. Among Camorra women she is known respectfully as La Principessa ("The Princess"), due to her good standing.
~ Downfall ~
The reign of Maria Licciardi ran smoothly for many years, until a disagreement arose over a consignment of pure, unrefined heroin. In the spring of 1999, a large consignment of heroin arrived from Istanbul, Turkey. Licciardi decreed it should not be sold, as it was too pure and strong for the average user, and would thus kill those who purchased it, harming the alliance's large customer base of drug users. However, the Lo Russo clan, who had always chafed under her leadership, disagreed and packaged the shipment for sale on the street. The sale of the packets of unrefined heroin resulted in the deaths of many drug addicts across Naples, eleven of whom died in April 1999 alone. This caused great public outrage and resulted in massive police crackdowns on the Camorra clans. Many Camorristi were arrested and subsequently imprisoned.
The Lo Russo clan eventually split from the alliance, leading to disintegration and a bloody gang war, including the use of car bombs and bazooka attacks. Clans began fighting over turf, and attempted to destroy or take other clan's business. When four clan members were murdered in her stronghold of Secondigliano, Licciardi was forced to retaliate. She mobilised her foot-soldiers for an all-out counterattack. The deadly gang wars resulted in nearly 120 deaths in Naples and the surrounding region. It was around this time that investigators became aware of Licciardi's existence.
~ Fugitive ~
Licciardi was added on the "30 most wanted Italians" list and went into hiding. Thanks to a sophisticated network of protection set up by her clan, Licciardi was able to evade capture for two years and, despite having changed her refuge several times, never left the Masseria Cardone district. While on the lam, she continued as the undisputed boss of the Licciardi clan and ordered several murders of rival mobsters. She went to war with the Giuliano clan of Forcella, which was headed by another female Camorra boss Erminia Giuliano, who took control after the arrest of her brother, Luigi Giuliano.
~ 2001 arrest and imprisonment ~
On 14 June 2001, Licciardi was arrested by the Naples police while traveling with a married couple on board a car around Melito, near Naples. She did not resist arrest, and was ultimately sentenced to prison. The man accused of aiding her was arrested as well, whereas his wife was released due to her being a mother of a child. After her arrest, police noticed she looked just like the popular mugshot of her that was released years earlier. After her arrest, her brother Vincenzo Licciardi took over as the head of the clan. Vincenzo was himself eventually arrested on 7 February 2008, after having been included on the list of most wanted fugitives in Italy since 2004.



[573-4/2/22; 2254-7/17/22; 2349-7/21/22]

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