Sicilian Industrialist Killed In Ambush
Feb. 23, 1985
PALERMO, Sicily (AP) _ At least five men firing automatic weapons from speeding cars killed a leading Sicilian industrialist and his driver Saturday in what police described as a typical Mafia ambush.
Investigators said Roberto Parisi, the 54-year-old director of a electricity equipment factory died of multiple bullet wounds at a hospital. His driver, Giuseppe Mangano, 38, was killed on the spot.
Parisi was head of ICEM, a leading firm that makes materials used in electricity production and distribution; vice president of Sicily's Industrialists Association, and head of Palermo's professional soccer club.
Palermo, the capital of Sicily, is the headquarters of the Mafia, Italy's worldwide underworld. Police said Parisi's killing had ''all the characteristics'' of a Mafia attack.
Police said Parisi was driving to his office when five or six men in two cars sped up on both sides and fired submachine guns and pistols.Parisi's car crashed against a tree. Two men leaped from the attackers' cars, pumped pistol shots through the car's windows and then ran back to the cars, which sped off, police said.
Police later found the cars, but no trace of the killers.
Parisi's ICEM concern manages electricity production in and around Palermo under a contract with the city, where underworld figures have the headquarters of their international illegal drug trade.
ICEM had come under investigation in an anti-Mafia probe for about a year amid reports of contract irregularities, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.
But Parisi enjoyed a reputation as community leader and anti-drug advocate.
''I believe in sports as the only true antidote for illegal drugs,'' he said in a television interview last week, in talking about his role as the head the Palermo soccer team.
Parisi's first wife and a 5-year-old daughter perished in the mysterious crash of a Palermo-bound DC-9 jetliner that killed 81 people in June 1980. ANSA said that Parisi, who remarried, donated a wing of the Palermo City Hospital in memory of the daughter, Alessandra.