Romans aghast at a spiraling Mafia probe found new reason for outrage yesterday over the Hollywood-style funeral of a purported local crime boss: It was replete with a gilded, horse-drawn carriage, flower petals tossed from a helicopter, and the theme music from The Godfather playing outside the church. Hundreds of tearful mourners paid their final respects to Vittorio Casamonica, 65, at the San Giovanni Bosco church on Rome's outskirts. Police identified him as a leader of the Casamonica clan active in the southwest part of the capital but said he was "on the margins" of organized crime and hadn't emerged as a suspect in recent Mafia investigations.
Mayor Ignazio Marino tweeted that it was "intolerable that funerals are used by the living to send mafia messages." The funeral came just a day after a judge set Nov. 5 as the start date for the trial of some 59 people charged in a Mafia investigation in the capital, in which local criminal bosses allegedly managed to cement ties with city politicians over lucrative public contracts. The chief of the parliamentary anti-Mafia commission said it was "alarming" that a funeral for someone purportedly caught up in the mob could be "transformed into an ostentatious show of mafia power." She said it was proof that the Mafia had firmly infiltrated Rome and called for a redoubling of efforts to rout it from public administration. (Police have cracked the Mafia's farm-related code.)