Cosa Nostra Not Sicily's Only Mafia

La Stidda ("star")

Bet you didn't know there are two Mafias based in Sicily.

There's Cosa Nostra, of course. Then there's La Stidda (Sicilian for "the star"), a Sicilian-based Mafia group that's a direct rival to Cosa Nostra. All members reportedly wear the same star-shaped tattoo.

La Stidda was created by "Men of Honor" (members of the Sicilian Cosa Nostra) who broke apart following the murder of Mafia-boss Giuseppe Di Cristina during a major Mafia war of the early 1980s.





In addition to the Cosa Nostra, there are two other historical Mafias in Italy: the Neapolitan Camorra and the Calabrian Ndrangheta. A fourth also is recognized, the Apulian Sacra Corona Unita, which was originally formed in the 1970s to rival the traditional Camorra. La Stidda is something like Sicily's version of the Sacra Corona Unita.

As noted in Excellent Cadavers: The Mafia and the Death of the First Italian Republic (Alexander Stille), it largely consists of "Men of Honor" who left Cosa Nostra (many of the original stiddari were followers of the murdered Mafia-boss Giuseppe Di Cristina) following the big war of the early 1980s.

It is said to be its strongest in the rural parts of southern Sicily in towns such as Agrigento, Caltanissetta and Gela.


Di Cristina was a powerful mafioso from Riesi in the province of Caltanissetta, Sicily, southern Italy. Called “la tigre’’ (the tiger), he was born into a traditional Mafia family, his father Francesco Di Cristina and his grandfather were men of honour as well.

In 1975 he became the head of Cosa Nostra in the Caltanissetta province and a member of the Regional Commission of the Mafia. Three years later he was killed by a rival Mafia faction, the Corleonesi of Totò Riina and Bernardo Provenzano. His death was a prelude to the Second Mafia War, which would start in 1981 after the Corleonesi killed Stefano Bontade, a powerful member of the Sicilian Mafia. Known as the Prince of Villagrazia − the area of Palermo he controlled − and Il Falco (The Falcon), he had links to several powerful politicians in Sicily, who in turned had links to former prime minister Giulio Andreotti.

In 1981 he was killed by the rival faction within Cosa Nostra, the Corleonesi. His death sparked a brutal Mafia War that left several hundred mafiosi dead.

Di Cristina had actually warned police of the rise of the Corleonesi shortly before his death.

"Although... less organized and less deeply rooted than Cosa Nostra, it was second to no one in violence," wrote Stille.

The Stidda rose in prominence when Cosa Nostra pentito Francesco Marino Mannoia spoke about it in 1989. Later, Mafia member Leonardo Messina spoke of it. According to their testimonies, Stidda was founded by former members of the Cosa Nostra during the Second Mafia War of the early 1980s.

The original leaders of the Stidda were Giuseppe Croce Benvenuto and Salvatore Calafato. Later Stidda boss Calogero Lauria was killed in a bomb blast, which led to another more direct war with the Mafia in the early 1990s that resulted in more than 300 deaths, including a judge.

Today, Stidda gangs operate relatively independently. They ally with each other or even the local chapter of Cosa Nostra. They have similar rituals and rules.

Comments

  1. Ava Marie D'ArcoAug 30, 2014, 7:07:00 PM

    By the way you can stick Franzese together with basciano n that fake Brian Duval Gambino 1/2 a Jew claiming to be Carlo RIP nephew when there was no marriage of interfaith in the Gambino Family they are all asswipers , never amounted to anything more

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  2. He said he did 20 years in the pen and of the 20 years 10 were for a crime he did not do, so its 20 total years

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  3. very well said !!! I agree totally

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  4. Ava Marie D'ArcoAug 30, 2014, 9:38:00 PM

    Listen up you piece of crap of the sidewalk , NOONE talks to me like that , if that 2 bit glorified lobby boy was anything special his rank would be higher , he is one step above a roach ! N fir you watch what you say to me AJ cause I never forget n I always break even

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  5. Mind your fucking business about these kids... Keep your opinions to yourself your lowlife piece of scum.. you ratted like a the scumbag you are so don't let their names even cross your lips...

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  6. Pot call kettle black and why did feds cut you a break after all the violence you committed on the street killing people also you are just as crazed and unstable mental moron.

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  7. wow you must be a loser just like this rat

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  8. You need to get your facts straight my dear... you have no idea what you are talking about. So, undisclosed individuals, wow so that makes them right. All stupid morons to even think Vinny was a glorified lobby boy. Your diluting yourself everyone else knows Vinny's status.Sorry to disappoint you !! Do more of your homework before you shoot your mouth off.

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  9. good story....you are a walking mob book

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  10. Excellent article, I'd forgot about the Stidda of S.E Sicily. Bernardo Provenzano waged a war against them in the early 90s

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  11. You are jealous cause you wish you had the jewels n money that comes only from made men , my dad was underboss of NY Luchesse crime family so get your facts straight you piece of lowlife wanna bees , n our book has us rolling in the dough you graziata bitches , kiss my golden ass

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  12. Wow u have a Rats family actually proud of their name, u should b hiding under the bed w disgrace.

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  13. Sitting here reading all your crazy arguments I cant help but think that the informers, especially so called made guys, are on the loosing side here.. The only admirable quality is there will to survive which im sure no one can dispute but on the whole..... Well.... These made guys, take oaths, kill, setup etc but as soon as they themselves become the target of any set up they are on the phone to the FBI.. Now,guys doing it for their kids because they dont want there own to grow up like that, what about the kids of your victims? Man the fuck uo, you took the money, power, respect but as soon as you had to fight it then your concrete balls turned to dust... Really dont get it so thats why I think guys that took a oath, set up, killed, money, power, respect then arrested, indicted, convicted and they take it because of their oath then surely that deserves respect...
    As for informers familys, why mock the family's of the guys who could give AND take the hits as opposed to your fathers who could only give the hits...

    Just a thought. ?

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  14. All I'm going to say here is that I found this story -- and the journalist in me told me it's news, something that needs to be out there. That's the case with every single story on this blog.

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  15. Graziata n screwballs are what all of you are

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  16. Pretty sure you dad never was Underboss Gaspipe was, he put d arco from capo to acting boss to control him remotely

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  17. And what a piece it is, Ed..

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  18. I have heard Stidda was initially formed by men thrown out of Cosa Nostra....

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  19. Your are an idiot? try this you MORON... You're are an idiot, the pot calling the kettle black.

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  20. The grammar and spelling above reminds me of the women in that life. They don't have educations and end up with these guys. Their children...well, it's self-explanatory. This is a perfect example. It's almost "entertaining" to read, for those purposes only. When I see these bumble-heads depicted in television jokes or cartoons, I find it funny because it's true. What exactly is a "piece of lowlife wanna bee" anyway? I Google'd it but came up empty. It's a good thing they had writers to pen their book.

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  21. I like that one

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  22. Ava Marie D'ArcoSep 2, 2014, 10:42:00 PM

    This message is for Anon , I almost spelled Anus , haha

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  23. Your father is an anus. He is a cowardly POS that couldn't look Vic Amuso in the eye. He was also terrified of Casso. And he didn't rat because his family was threatened. he whacked because he is a stoolie.

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  24. Her father is a pussy.

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  25. Again, this girl is funny. It's funny she changed the username after she'd already had it on for everybody to read now it's "guest"..ok, "Guest" (snicker, snicker)


    This comment above just screams: "I'm Uneducated! They only passed me in school because they were afraid of my worthless father!" Oh and, uh... by the way...your last few words in your post above? You "always break even" Well, the term "break even" refers to profit and loss..as in...you know....finance! You probably meant to say...and I only say this because I have no doubt that you're educated (snicker-snicker)...you probably meant to say that you "always break even?" LOL (She's probably screaming, cursing and carving up her walls with a knife now...) LOL Sorry Ed, I couldn't resist...

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