Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • By his own count, he's killed 150 people.

  • He ordered a child dissolved in acid.

  • He launched a campaign of terror against the Italian government and police forces.

  • And today, he's a free man, and he could be living right next door to you.

  • Giovanni Brusca may be the most prolific hitman in all of human history.

  • He was the go-to triggerman for the Sicilian mafia for several decadesif you needed someone dead, you hired Brusca.

  • If you needed a lot of people dead, you also hired Brusca.

  • By his own admission, he's killed 150 peoplebut that's just an estimate.

  • He also admitted to a judge that he doesn't even remember the faces of those he's killed because there's so many.

  • Amongst his victims were several Italian prosecutors trying to bring the Mafia down in the early 90s, as well as scores of police killed and injured during the mob's war on the government.

  • But tourists weren't safe either, and he was responsible for the bombing of several of Italy's biggest tourist hot spots, killing 10, injuring 71, and severely damaging several of Italy's most important cultural treasures.

  • So how in the world was this man, sentenced guilty for 100 murders, and ordered to serve life in prison, now walking free?

  • It helps to understand exactly who Giovanni Brusca is.

  • Sporting the nickname ofthe swinefor his disgusting eating habits, or more popularlythe people-slayer”, Brusca comes from Mafia royalty, with his father, grandfather and great-grandfather being 'made men' in the Italian mafia.

  • This was back when the Mafia was first laying down roots, and largely consisted of peasant farmers banding together against rich landowners and the government.

  • It may have started with noble intentions, but things very quickly took a turn when the Mafia rapidly evolved out of farming and into felony crime.

  • Brusca's father, Bernardo Brusca, was allied with the Corleonesi family and helped set the family up for Mafia success.

  • He eventually became capomandamento, or head of the territory around San Giuseppe Jato.

  • Thanks to good old fashioned nepotism, Giovanni and his two brothers were ushered into the upper echelons of the Italian mafia.

  • When Brusca's father was sent to prison for multiple murders, he became the head of his father's old territory, cementing his position as Mafia don.

  • Brusca quickly developed a fearsome reputation, and was not shy about exercising extreme violence when necessaryor often even when not necessary.

  • Eventually he was promoted to become the trusted right-hand man of boss Toto Riina, giving him plenty of opportunities to ply his favorite tradekilling people.

  • Brusca's most famous killings include the murder of Giovanni Falcone, a superstar Italian prosecutor taking on the Italian mafia.

  • Heavily protected by bodyguards though, Falcone would not be an easy targetso Brusca decided that in lieu of a traditional hit, he'd simply get creative.

  • He had Falcone's route meticulously tracked every day until he was confident he knew Falcone's commute well enough to stage his attack.

  • Picking a spot of remote highway, Brusca had almost 1,000 lbs (400 kg) of explosives buried under the highway.

  • Then, all he had to do was simply wait.

  • Right on time, Falcone's convoy approached the killing ground, and Brusca personally pressed the button that detonated the explosives.

  • The massive explosion killed not just Falcone, but his wife and three of their bodyguards.

  • But Brusca's evil wasn't just reserved for the government or law enforcement.

  • One of his most heinous crimes was directed against one of his own.

  • In 1993 the Italian government arrested one of Brusca's fellow assassins, Santino Di Matteo.

  • Facing life imprisonment, the mafioso killer turned rat, and Brusca vowed retaliation.

  • Five months later, several police officers approached Giuseppe Di Matteo, Santino's 11 year old son.

  • They explained that they were here to take him to see his father, who was currently under police protection and in hiding.

  • But the police officers were actually Brusca's men in disguise.

  • The boy was held in a squalid shack for two years, until his death.

  • Brusca then ordered the boy's body to be dissolved in acid.

  • His father's pleas for the release of his child went ignored, and Di Matteo would get a chance to face Brusca in court years later, with police intervening as Di Matteo threatened to cut off Brusca's head and then tried to attack him.

  • The Italian government continued its anti-mafia purge however, leading to Brusca launching his deadliest campaign of violence yet.

  • Brusca would help plan and coordinate attacks on police and government officials throughout 1993 and 1994, as well as several terrorist attacks against Italian tourist spots.

  • The campaign of terror would leave another 10 people dead and 71 injured, as well as causing great damage to many of Italy's cultural treasures.

  • Brusca's violent career however would come to an end on May 20th, 1996.

  • Unaware that police were listening in on his cell phone, Brusca dined with his girlfriend and several family members in a small farm house in the Sicilian countryside.

  • The police listening on the cell phone suddenly heard the sound of a motorcycle driving by the house.

  • Serving as a scout, the plainclothes officer was scoping the area out undercover hoping to avoid detection.

  • When police heard the sound of his motorcycle through Brusca's cellphone, it allowed them to pinpoint the exact location of Brusca's homeand in minutes the police were kicking down the door of the mafia's most violent killer.

  • Brusca was rushed to a police station to avoid the Mafia launching a rescue, and as he arrived he was greeted by dozens of police officers.

  • The assembled officers began to cheer, with many even removing their masks they had become accustomed to wearing in order to protect themselves and their families from retaliation.

  • It was over, they thought, Brusca would finally rot in a cage for the rest of his life.

  • One officer even managed to land a punch directly on Brusca's face, breaking his nose.

  • But Brusca would not rot in a cell after all.

  • Brusca would be sentenced to 26 years in prison for the killing of Giovanni Falcone, and then given a life sentence for an additional murder.

  • It seemed like Brusca would never see daylight again, but the government decided that he was far too valuable as state's evidence to simply let rot.

  • They offered the mass murderer a choice: die in prison or turn rat and only serve the 26 year sentence for the murder of Falcone.

  • Brusca quickly chose to turn rat.

  • Turning traitor on the mafia was not without its benefits.

  • Incredibly, despite being responsible for over a hundred deaths, Brusca did not just enjoy the lesser 26 year prison sentence, but had additional privileges bestowed upon him for good behavior and his continued cooperation.

  • These included better accommodations in the prison, and a one week hall pass from prison every 45 days to see his family.

  • In America there's 18 year old kids who won't see the outside of a prison for 20 years just for selling dope.

  • Brusca's release has been met with a wave of outrage from the Italian people.

  • Tina Montinaro, the wife of one of Falcone's dead bodyguards, said, “The state is against usafter 29 years we still don't know the truth about the massacre and Giovanni Brusca, the man who destroyed my family, is free”.

  • Her sentiments are echoed by many Italian citizens, who have long been critical of the government's lenient laws for mafiosos who turn state's evidence.

  • Brusca is not the only killer to walk free after serving a fraction of his original sentence, or enjoying prison perks no other prisoner gets.

  • The Italian government has made a show of the arrests of several mafia hitmen and Cosa Nostra bosses, all based on evidence provided by Brusca, but the public is clamoring for a change in the laws that set free some of Italy's most dangerous killers.

  • Brusca is in his late 60s today, and has had all of his family's lands seized by the government and turned over to the public.

  • HIs family's ancestral lands are now public land, where tourists come to visit and taste test wines- with Brusca getting absolutely nothing in exchange.

  • Under intense scrutiny, it's doubtful Brusca will be returning to his old life of crime, and as a known rat, or pentito, Brusca's days may be numbered anyways.

  • Now go watch what does the mafia even do anymore, or click this other video instead... unless you want us to make you an offer you can't refuse.

By his own count, he's killed 150 people.

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B2 mafia italian police giovanni prison government

The Hitman That Mafia Hires - People Slayer

  • 1642 86
    Summer posted on 2021/09/21
Video vocabulary