Press "Enter" to skip to content

Fugitive Italian Killer Lastly Meets His Match: Google Maps

ROME — Ever since he broke out of Rome’s Rebibbia jail 20 years in the past the place he was dealing with homicide fees, Gioacchino Gammino had managed to evade seize. He fled to Spain, modified his identify and minimize off ties along with his household, creating a brand new life for himself, at one level working as a chef in an Italian restaurant.

However final month, Italian investigators lastly tracked down Mr. Gammino, 61, in a city northwest of Madrid, thanks partly to an unlikely instrument: Google Maps.

“They are saying that fortune favors the daring,” mentioned Normal Nicola Altiero, deputy director of Italy’s Antimafia Investigation Department, which carried out the operation with prosecutors in Palermo, explaining how investigators used Google Maps and Road View to assist them monitor down Mr. Gammino, a Sicilian who was on Italy’s most harmful fugitives record.

Investigators in Palermo declined to say how that they had traced Mr. Gammino to Galapagar, a city close to Madrid, saying that features of the case had been nonetheless a part of an ongoing inquiry.

However Normal Altiero was extra forthcoming, explaining how investigators had used the Google instruments to search for a fruit and vegetable retailer — “El Huerto de Manu” — that they believed might have ties to the fugitive, and occurred upon an image of a person standing in entrance of the shop.

The person within the picture had the identical dimension and construct as Mr. Gammino, Normal Altiero mentioned, and investigators seen that the shop shared the identical phone quantity as a close-by restaurant — “La Cocina de Manu” — that had closed some years in the past.

However its social media pages remained on-line, together with one with {a photograph} of the restaurant’s chef standing subsequent to a wood-burning pizza oven.

Investigators utilized age-progression expertise to an previous picture of Mr. Gammino to get a way of what the fugitive would have appeared like after 20 years, and recognized the chef because the needed man, Normal Altiero mentioned.

Italian investigators contacted the Spanish police unit that hunts fugitives, and on Dec. 17, Mr. Gammino was arrested whereas he was strolling on the road. Normal Altiero mentioned there had been different breaks within the two-decade investigation, however that the invention utilizing the Google instruments had been key to the speedy arrest of Mr. Gammino.

“Seeing the picture on Google Maps was a little bit of luck, however in any case we had different proof that may have finally led us to him,” Normal Altiero mentioned. “Google Maps obtained us there quicker.”

Mr. Gammino first fell afoul of the regulation within the Eighties when he was investigated for drug trafficking. Investigators imagine he was a member of a “stidda” clan primarily based in Campobello di Licata, a city east of Agrigento, Sicily. The stidda, which implies star in Sicilian, drew from the ranks of mobsters that within the Eighties started rebelling towards the leaders of the Sicilian Mafia, the Cosa Nostra. A turf battle between the stidda and Cosa Nostra within the Nineties left some 200 folks lifeless, based on an announcement issued by the Antimafia Investigation Division asserting Mr. Gammino’s arrest in Spain.

Mr. Gammino was then arrested in 1999 on fees of homicide. He was awaiting trial in Rebibbia jail in Rome when, on June 26, 2002, he’s believed to have walked out the jail’s entrance door, benefiting from the bustle created by movie crews throughout the capturing of a scene for a TV sequence. Throughout his years on the run, he was convicted of homicide in absentia and a European arrest warrant was issued for him in 2014.

A prosecutor in Palermo declined to say whether or not Mr. Gammino was concerned in unlawful actions in Spain.

Mr. Gammino is anticipated to be extradited to Italy within the subsequent few weeks to serve a life sentence, investigators mentioned.

Source link

Comments are closed.