Giueseppe Russo

Giuseppe Genco Russo (Mussomeli, January 26, 1893 – Mussomeli, March 18, 1976) was an Italian mafioso, the boss of Mussomeli in the Province of Caltanissetta, Sicily.

Genco Russo, also known as "Zi Peppi Jencu", was an uncouth, sly, semi-literate thug with excellent political connections. A vulgar man – he used to spit on the floor no matter who was present – he was often photographed with bishops, bankers, civil servants and politicians. As such he was considered to be the arbiter of Mafia politics, and regarded as the successor of Calogero Vizzini who had died in 1954.

Although by then a wealthy landowner and politician (as a member of DC, Democrazia Cristiana, Italian Christian Democrat) he still kept his mule in the house and the toilet outside, which was little more than a hole in the ground with a stone for a seat and no walls or door, according to Mafia turncoat Tommaso Buscetta.

Traditional mafiosi, like Genco Russo and Calogero Vizzini, Mafia bosses of in the years between the two world wars until the 1950s and 1960s, were the archetypes of the "man of honour" of a bygone age, as a social intermediary and a man standing for order and peace. Although they used violence to establish their position in the first phase of their careers, in the second stage they limited recourse to violence, turned to primarily legal sources of gain, and exercised their power in an open and legitimate fashion and became "man of order".

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