Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Life and Times of the Sicilian Robin Hood

The King of the Mountain

There were more than acts of kindness that contributed to the legend.  The entire village of Montelepre supported Giuliano, and refused to provide information to the hundreds of caribineri who occupied the town.  A few of its citizens dared to inform on him.  One, a seventeen-year-old who joined Giuliano's band on occasion, was caught listening at the door for scraps of information that he could sell to the local captain of police.  Giuliano warned the boy that he was engaged in a risky business: "Never again to do anything so dangerous without my orders; you are a baby playing with the affairs of men."   A week later, the boy once more tried to pass information to the captain.  Giuliano dragged the boy against a village wall and shot him.

Such executions of informers and traitors had an established ritual.  The condemned was forced to say his prayers before being shot.  After each execution, Giuliano pinned a note to the body of the traitor:  "So Giuliano will deal with all those who spy against him."  Sometimes the note would be in the form of a poem.


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