The scene was the Basilica of Regina Pacis at the border of Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst.
In the late 1930s, longshoreman and union activist Pete Panto stood up to organized crime thugs, who kidnapped and murdered him. His grave has no headstone, but now efforts are underway to correct that.
The Pontifical Academy has promoted a conference to officially launch the Department of Analysis and Study of Criminal and Mafia Phenomena. The scope of the interdisciplinary body is to stop the influence of the underworld on religious events and places dedicated to the Virgin, including the “detours” taken by some Marian processions in southern Italy to salute mafia bosses under house arrest.