The DIA’s police officers of Rome and Palermo, coordinated by the Anti-Mafia District Directorate (DDA) of Palermo, started investigations into the kidnapping and killing of Giuseppe Di Matteo, son of the mafia informant Santino, strangled and dissolved in acid on 11 January 1996, when he had not even turned fifteen.
The little Giuseppe Di Matteo (Lu picciriddu) was kidnapped on November 23, 1993 by 4 mafiosi dressed as policemen, while he was at the riding stable in Villabate, where he cultivated his passion for horses.
His detention, in inhuman and degrading conditions, lasted 779 days, a part of which in an underground shelter located in the Giambascio countryside, in San Giuseppe Jato where, on 11 January 1996, he was brutally strangled and his body dissolved in acid.
Some mafia subjects, close to the Di Matteo family, were responsible for the kidnapping of the boy, stained with that innocent blood to let the boy’s father, collaborator of justice, to desist from revealing useful elements to the justice.
The investigation allowed to reconstruct the whole affair which ended with the arrest of 27 people for mafia-type criminal association, murder, kidnapping and other crimes.
Measures confirmed on appeal in 2013 with the sentence of life imprisonment, as principals, among others, of the fugitive from Trapani MESSINA DENARO Matteo, of GRAVIANO Giuseppe, BRUSCA Giovanni and BAGARELLA Leoluca, as well as the penalty of imprisonment between 20 and 30 years, of MONTICCIOLO Giuseppe, CHIODO Vincenzo and BRUSCA Enzo who carried out the barbaric murder.
In July 2018 the Civil Court of Palermo ordered a compensation of 2.2 million euros for the heirs of the little Giuseppe.