The son of a mafia boss’ is facing life in jail for gunning down his best friend who simply ‘liked’ a Facebook picture of his girlfriend.
His killer has been named in Italian media as 15-year-old Alex Pititto, the son of ‘Ndrangheta mafia boss Salvatore Pititto, known as ‘El Tio’, or the Uncle.
Pititto saw the Facebook ‘like’ as a “lack of respect”, according to local media reports.
He is reported to have turned himself into police and led them to the olive grove where he had left his friend’s body.
Local media reports that the teenage mobster had long suspected his friend had feelings for his girlfriend.
But when he saw that Francesco had ticked the ‘like’ button for a new picture on her Facebook profile he called his friend to a meeting in a remote field and gunned him down, reports said.
Ironically, he had recently posted a picture of him and his friend online, captioned: “Friendship is something in the mouth of everybody, but in the heart of not too many people.”
Victim Francesco’s family left a message on his Facebook page saying: “You were so perfect that angels wanted you with them. We miss you a lot. Travel well, prince.”
Pititto’s family is one of the lynchpins of Italian organised crime.
His father, Salvatore, 49, his mother, Maria Antonia Messiano, his brother and his cousin were arrested in January in a police anti-mafia operation called Stammer.
Italian mafia experts say that a new, young, and deadly generation of teenage ‘baby bosses’ are making organised crime even more lethal.
Mafia author Roberto Saviano said the new generation have no fear of being caught and are quicker to kill than the old crime clans.
He said: “They are young and have their whole lives ahead of them. For them, it’s the same.”