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Mafia Boss Shot To Death In Reputed Settlement of Accounts

July 13, 1988

PALERMO, Sicily (AP) _ A convicted Mafia boss was ambushed and shot to death near this Sicilian capital in what police described as a settlement of accounts between rival gangs.

Pietro Messicati Vitale, 41, was hit by at least five shots of a lupara - the sawed-off shotgun traditionally used by the Mafia - as he rode a motorcycle Tuesday to his vacation villa looking out on Capo Zafferano Bay.

Messicati Vitale was arrested in 1985 and later sentenced to eight years in prison after being convicted on charges of criminal association. The prosecution described him as the boss of a drug trafficking ring.

He was released a month ago because of a procedural error in his trial and was awaiting a second trial.

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