Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

What you have here is an old guy. In education for 30 years, started teaching elementary, ended as library and media director of community college. I've enjoyed mountain climbing, sports car rallying, was pipe major of a bagpipe band, played guitar and sang during the folk revival, walking and hiking later in life. Now fairly sedentary. Enjoy reading, esp. mysteries and fantasy, but my reading is pretty eclectic. Enjoy movies, giving Netflix a workout.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Mafia Arrest

I’ve been following an amazing story for the last couple of days. The arrest of the head of the Mafia, Bernardo Provenzano. The Italian police have been trying to find him for forty years. Forty years! They finally found him in a farmhouse in Sicily. Apparently he directed the operation of the Mafia from there, although he couldn’t have lived there for the last forty years. Apparently he used what the Italians call ‘pizzini,’ little notes to direct his subordinates. They were written on an Olivetti typewriter, I suppose much like the one that I used to produce many fanzines during the 70s and early 80s. Not very high tech. And it is said that he used a code that Julius Caesar used in ancient Roman times, a simple +3 code. Thus A become 4, B is 5, C is 6, etc. Apparently the Italian alphabet only has 31 letters, or so the article said. The pizzini were found after one of the Mafia subordinates was captured. The code was simple to read and other Mafia members have been arrested, and there are more arrests to come as associates are identified. It’s all very interesting, at least to me. Eventually there must be a book revealing all. I’ll be first in line.


Blogger Bill said...

You mean 21 letters?

5:01 AM  
Blogger Andy J said...

Knowing how the Italian legal system works (or rather doesn't work), I'll bet he gets a book (and movie) deal out of this. Maybe he'll even run for office after that.

9:34 AM  

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