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Naples Police Investigate Slayings

July 29, 1999

NAPLES, Italy (AP) _ Police on Wednesday were trying to determine if the slaying of two convicted pedophiles in the middle of organized crime turf was the work of mob bosses.

Ciro Falanga was killed in his smoke shop Monday night, and Pasquale Sansone was slain in his auto repair shop on Tuesday. Both were shot in the head about 12 hours apart in Torre Annunziata, an impoverished, crime-ridden suburb of Naples in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius.

The two were among 17 men who were convicted in 1997 for abusing at least three local schoolchildren in what was then described as Italy’s biggest ring of pedophiles.

``Hypotheses range from a revenge by a single family to that of organized crime’s intervention,″ Carabinieri paramilitary police official Carlo Gualdi in Naples told RAI state TV.

Many Italian news reports raised the possibility that the abused youngsters might have included children of local bosses of the Camorra crime syndicate or that the mob wanted to ``teach a lesson″ to those convicted of a repugnant crime.

Worried that others convicted in the case might be in danger, investigators put the 15 others under police protection.

``I was surprised it hadn’t happened yet,″ said the Rev. Francesco Gallo, a Roman Catholic pastor in the neighborhood where the killings occurred. ``People don’t understand why men convicted for such serious crimes are free to walk around the neighborhood.″

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