PI-Philly Invites. The Legacy of Judge Falcone; 20 Years After his Death
Italian Professionals in Philadelphia (PI-Philly) presents “The Fate of an Excellent Cadaver: The Legacy of Judge Falcone; 20 years after his death.” Columbia University’s Alexander Stille is giving his lecture celebrating the life and death of an iconic member of Italy’s Anti-Mafia pool, Giovanni Falcone. Philadelphia’s Italian Consul General, Luigi Scotto, is opening the lecture with an introduction.
Falcone dedicated most of his career to prosecuting Mafia members in Palermo, Sicily. The height of Falcone’s successful was his presence in the famous Maxi Trials in the 1980s. These trials led to the conviction of many criminals involved in Mafia activity. The convictions were for hundreds of crimes including murder, drug trafficking, and extortion.
Salvatore Riina, a power Sicilian mafioso, ordered Falcone’s assassination on May 23, 1992 by car bomb in retaliation for his conviction of multiple mobsters. His wife and two bodyguards were also taken in the blast. Falcone’s funeral was broadcast live on telvision while regular programming was suspended and the day was declared a national day of mourning.
Borsellino was also a member of the Anti-Mafia Pool and a judge who convicted many criminals during the Maxi Trials. He dedicated most of his work to researching the political and economic powers in both Sicily and Italy and the Mafia’s influence on them. Riina had Borsellino assasinated by car bomb just months after Falcone.
Stille is an established journalist, author, and professor of International Journalism at Columbia. His studies and publications focus on Italian culture but emphasizes Italian politics and the Mafia. Stille has been published in several periodicals such as The Boston Globe, The New York Times, The New Yorker.
Several books Stille has written include, Benevolence and Betrayal: Five Italian Jewish Families Under Fascism, for which he won the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and Excellent Cadavers: The Mafia and the Death of the First Italian Republic, investigating the Sicilian Mafia. It was dedicated to both Falcone and Borsellino for their prominence in the anti-Mafia movement.
PI-Philly is an organization of entrepreneurs, researchers, and other professionals in the Greater Philadelphia area who promote social and professional interactions, organize cultural events, and foster the Italian heritage. PI-Philly encourages Italian Americans in the Greater Philadelphia, as well as anyone interested in Italian culture, the Mafia, and the valiant efforts to fight the Mafia’s influence in Italy, to attend this event.
The event is in University of Pennsylvania’s Class of ‘49 Auditorium, Houston Hall on Wednesday. Houston Hall is located at 34th and Spruce Streets and will begin promptly at 6 p.m. Refreshments will follow.