Lupara bianca

Lupara bianca (Italian pronunciation: [luˈpaːra ˈbjaŋka]; "white lupara") is a journalistic term to indicate a Mafia slaying done in such a way that the victim's body is never found.[1][2]

Typical ways to carry out a lupara bianca include burying a victim in the open countryside or in remote places in which it would be difficult to find it, or burying the victim in the concrete found in construction sites, or dissolving the body in acid and throwing the remains in the sea: this latter method was widely used by the Corleonesi faction during the Second Mafia War.[3] Other methods included dissolving a body in a wet lye pit, feeding remains to hogs, or pitching the victim (dead or alive) into a steel mill's molten metal. The lupara bianca prevents the family of the victim from holding a proper funeral in absence of a body, and it also destroys evidence that might point to the killers' identities. The term comes from the lupara, a weapon typically associated with the Sicilian Mafia.

Real-life incidentsEdit

It is speculated Hamilton, Ontario, bootlegger Rocco Perri was murdered by being fitted with cement shoes and thrown into Hamilton Harbour when he disappeared on April 23, 1944.[4]

Italian investigative journalist Mauro De Mauro was kidnapped on the evening of 16 September 1970, while coming back home from work, in the via delle Magnolie in Palermo. Thousands of police and carabinieri with helicopters and dogs combed Sicily in vain in search of the reporter.[5] De Mauro's body has never been found.[6]

On 11 September 1982, Sicilian Mafia member Tommaso Buscetta's two sons, Benedetto and Antonio, from his first wife, disappeared, never to be found again, which later prompted his collaboration with Italian authorities.[7]

On July 28, 1980, John Favara was abducted and disappeared after he accidentally ran over and killed mobster John Gotti's middle son, 12-year-old Frank Gotti, while he rode a family friend's minibike several months earlier.[8] There were several witnesses to the abduction and accounts ranged from him being beaten with a baseball bat, shot with a silenced .22 caliber pistol, or both. Accounts differed on what was done with Favara's body. One account said that while Favara was alive, he was dismembered with a chainsaw, stuffed into a barrel filled with concrete and dumped in the ocean, or buried somewhere on the lot of a chop shop.[9] In January 2009, Brooklyn federal court papers filed by federal prosecutors contained allegations that mob hitman Charles Carneglia killed Favara and disposed of his body in acid.[8]

Sicilian Mafia member Santino Di Matteo's son Giuseppe's body was dissolved in acid in 1996, after 779 days of being held hostage.[10][11][12]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Lupara". Vocabolario Treccani online (in Italian).
  2. ^ "Lupara bianca". Sito ufficiale della Casa Editrice Edizioni Simone, dizionario online (in Italian).
  3. ^ "Cadavere sciolto nell'acido, stile corleonese per la 'ndrangheta che comanda a Milano". il Fatto Quotidiano (in Italian).
  4. ^ "April 23, 1944: Hamilton mobster Rocco Perri disappears". 23 September 2016. Retrieved 5 December 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Investigator of the Mafia Is Kidnapped on Sicily, The New York Times, September 22, 1970
  6. ^ Woodhull & Snyder, Journalists in peril, p. 101
  7. ^ "L'11 settembre della mafia palermitana: la tragica fine dei figli di Buscetta" (in Italian). 11 September 2019.
  8. ^ a b "John Gotti Neighbor Was Dissolved in Acid, Court Papers Reveal". Fox News. Associated Press. January 9, 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-01-11. Retrieved February 25, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ Goldberg, Jeffrey. The Don Is Done, The New York Times, January 31, 1999. Accessed August 29, 2008.
  10. ^ Jamieson, The Antimafia, p. 217
  11. ^ (in Italian) "Uccisero il piccolo Giuseppe Di Matteo", La Repubblica, January 16, 2012
  12. ^ (in Italian) La madre del bimbo sciolto nell'acido: «Giuseppe ha vinto, la mafia ha perso», Corriere della Sera, November 10, 2008