A Loyal Doc Sometimes Tops a Good Lawyer

"Italian mobsters feeling the heat know that it's not a good lawyer they need to call when facing justice, but a pliant doctor," according to an article on the U.K.'s The Independent site.

A new book by Corrado de Rosa shows how some of Italy's most notorious gangsters have faked everything from mental illness to blindness with the help of bent medics.

Mob doctors have trained their clients to mimic illnesses and even given them drugs to create the right symptoms. The book tells how physicians supply jailed mobsters with appetite suppressants to help convince judges they are suffering from depression or even anorexia.

One Naples mobster, Ettore Russo, was allowed out of prison for special treatment after it was claimed he had depression. He exploited the reduced security by popping out between treatment sessions to assassinate someone.

Perhaps the most shocking case concerns the brutal Camorra boss Giuseppe Setola, who, while on trial accused of being the Casalesi clan's killing machine, received a dubious diagnosis of macular degeneration blindness. In 2008, while attending an eye clinic in Pavia, Setola, who featured in Gomorrah, the best-selling Mob exposé by Roberto Saviano, promptly fled to Campania to lead a killing spree that saw 18 perish, including innocent bystanders caught in the cross-fire. The eye specialist who diagnosed his condition had declared that Setola was "little less than blind".

This article specifies organized-crime rings based in Italy, but it's not much of a leap to believe that this same stuff goes on in the U.S. of A.



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