Showing posts with label Metastis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Metastis. Show all posts

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Versace Mafia Claims & The Australian Link

The story is so hot in Italy that the media there has gone into meltdown. On December 2nd  respected investigative journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi published his new book Metastis; A Chronicle of 'Blood & Money".

Gianluigi Nuzzi
In Metastis Mafia godfather Giuseppe di Bella, now a police supergrass says that fashion designer Gianni Versace was murdered by the notorious Calabrian Mafia  N’drangheta, a little known but feared group with close ties to South American drug lords.
di Bella says that he and his fellow mobsters laundered billions of dollars for the South Americans by filtering it through legitimate businesses and one of them was the Versace fashion empire to the tune of $200M a year. 

He claims that Gianni Versace was taking so much money out of his fashion business and taking so much cocaine he was beginning to believe the money belonged to him. di Bella says a hit was ordered on Versace to teach others a lesson.

And he says the reported killer of Versace, Andrew Cunanan was a patsy and was himself murdered by the Mafia.

Giancarlo Capaldo, of the Rome based anti Mafia department, said: 'We have opened a file into what Di Bella says - he is an informer and his information in the past has always proved correct.'
In a statement the Versace family said: 'The declarations from the informer are false and shameful.

Gianni Versace, whose celebrity friends included Diana, Princess of Wales, Elton John,  Madonna and Naomi Campbell was shot at close range in the back of the head on the steps of his Miami mansion on July 15, 1997 in what detectives at the time speculated had the hallmarks of a mob hit.

Cunanan was found dead  several days later on a Miami houseboat. It was claimed to be a suicide.

Donatella
But the Versace Mafia claims are not new.
                                                                               
Ten years ago Santo and Donatello Versace took Australian private eye Frank Monte to court in Sydney after he published a book, The Spying Game in which he detailed the very same claims. The Versaces won their case and the book was pulped.
Frank Monte

While few questions were asked at the time about why the Versaces  bothered coming all the way to the Sydney Supreme Court to take on Monte something quite different was happening in Italy.

Numerous Italian publications said that  it was common knowledge that Gianni Versace and the Mafia were ln bed together.

While Monte was on the receiving end of criticism in the Australian media, the opposite was happening in Italy. He was being hailed as a hero for exposing the Versace empire as a fashion fairy tale just too good to be true. They treated him as the underdog in the Sydney trial. Meanwhile Italian newspapers published photographs of Gianni leaving by boat from his lavish villa on Lake Como accompanied by known Mafia members. 

The local Australian media has all but ignored the di Bello story but in Italy, the UK and the USA the story is gaining traction. At least 2 major British newspapers are to shortly publish new details about the Versace empire and both have contacted Monte.

Now the Shuttle has seen a copy of a manuscript written not long after the Versace shooting-The Miami Jigsaw. The author received several credible death threats at the time and decided not to publish. The manuscript contains  never before published details of the Versace and Cunanan deaths in Miami, much of it sourced from detectives who worked on the case.

There are details that possibly didn't seem that important at the time but with  the Gianluigi Nuzzi book now become very pertinent.

Such as the fact that ownership of the houseboat on which Andrew Cunanan's body was found , linked back to a known Mafia member and was a base for mob members. Despite the well publicised details of Cunanan's trip across the USA from California to Miami on a serial murder spree, no publication at the time mentioned  his stay in Las Vegas before the trip began.

In FBI records there are details of Cunanan receiving large sums of money  in Vegas despite having no job or income with photos of him meeting with mob members. In police reports the pathologist who examined Cunanan's body said that the claim that he had died 8 days after Versace was dubious and that he may have in fact, died before Versace.

Witnesses say the man who shot Versace yelled a known Mafia curse in Italian. Cunanan did not speak the language. Nor did any of those witnesses identify Cunanan as the shooter. Beside Gianni's bod lay a dead pigeon, a known Mafia symbol.

In The Miami Jigsaw it's clear that Miami police held little faith in the Cunanan murder theory, particularly as Versace had been killed in a classic Mafia style hit in broad daylight.   Added to this was the manner in which Cunanan had killed all his other victims-shooting them front on while facing them or torturing them first.

The book has  FBI records to show the federal agency thought similarly.

Last night Santo Versace confronted  Giuseppe di Bella on Italian television and poured scorn on di Bella's claims. But when di Bella said that he had met Santo on a number of occasions which Santo denied, he revealed intimate details of Santo's home. Today talk back radio in Rome was running hot with callers on the side of Giuseppe di Bella.

Journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi talks on Italian TV about the N’drangheta and the Versace murder.