The Sodder Family Tragedy: 75 Years Later

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Which applied to mafia members. And those who dealt with them. The fact that george never talked about his past suggests he might have been bound by a similar restriction. The mafia were very active in sicily in the late eighteen hundreds and early nineteen hundreds. And it's possible that george ran across them when he was a boy. If so that in encounter might have led him to fleeing to the united states. It could also have been why rafael felt like he had to return to their home country. Whatever secrets is childhood held. George spent the nineteen twenties thirties and forties raising his family in fayetteville west virginia but apparently he couldn't escape his past. George frequently argued with the other members of the towns italian-american community usually about a benito mussolini george despise the man and this put him in conflict with other immigrants who supported the fascist prime minister. It's possible that one of georgia's friends or neighbors belong to the american mafia after all by the nineteen twenty s. Many italian mobsters had immigrated to the united states so when george debated italian politics with the locals he could have made a very dangerous enemy without realizing it in nineteen forty-five five maybe the organization felt like they'd had enough of georgia's anti mussalini statements and retaliated by taking his children. Well it's true that the mafia didn't usually perform kidnappings it wasn't totally unheard of one of the most famous examples was the nineteen seventy-three abduction of oil fortune heir. John paul getty the third in the nineteen seventies. The getty family was as famous for their oil well as they were for their infighting. The patriarch j paul. Getty was a notoriously. Difficult man frugal. To the point of pathology. He had payphones installed in his english manor home. So his staff wouldn't add to his phone bill understandably. He didn't get along very well with his grandson john. Paul getty the third who went by paul. Abo- hime ian teenager who being kicked out of his italian prep school for clarity. From huron will refer to j paul getty as getty and his grandson will be paul. Paul kept a low profile to avoid his grandfather's vitriol but that all changed when he suddenly disappeared in rome soon after his worried family received a series of letters and a phone call from the kidnappers. They said they were members of the mafia and they demanded a ransom of seventeen million dollars for polls safe return but getty said that he had fourteen grandchildren besides john and if he gave them a sent it would only encourage similar opportunists to go after them for that reason. Getty refused to pay in response. The mafia cutoff polls ear and mailed it to a newspaper with their demands. Eventually the family paid the mafia three million dollars though getty himself only paid two point two million the maximum amount that he could write off as a loss for tax purposes. And by the end of nineteen seventy-three. Paul was back within the family. Fold though much the worse for wear. This wasn't the only time. The mafia used kidnapping as tactic in rome. In nineteen seventy five. The criminal organization kidnapped gianni bulgari a famous italian. Who was forty years old at the time. His affluent family quickly paid two million dollars for his return and he emerged relatively unscathed by the ordeal. However the solders were decidedly not wealthy. So it seems unlikely that the mob would have kidnapped their children for money. What's more george and jenny never received a ransom note. That said it is possible that the criminal society could have murdered the solder children in retaliation for something. George did the mafia's. Arcane codes supposedly protect women and young children but they don't always abide by these values take for example the case of giuseppe di matteo in one thousand nine hundred ninety three santino di matteo a former member of the sicilian. Mafia was preparing to testify against them in court in a bid to silence him. The mob kidnapped his twelve year. Old son giuseppi.

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