The Capaci massacre was a terrorist-mafia attack carried out by the Cosa Nostra on 23 May 1992 near Capaci on the territory of Isola delle Femmine with a TNT charge to kill the anti-mafia magistrate Giovanni Falcone. The attackers blew up a section of the A29 motorway at 5:57 pm, while the on-board escort procession passed over it with the judge Falcone, his wife and police officers on board three armored Fiat Croma automobiles. In addition to the judge, four other people died: his wife Francesca Morvillo, also a magistrate, and the escort agents Vito Schifani, Rocco Dicillo and Antonio Montinaro. There were 23 injured, including officers Paolo Capuzza, Angelo Corbo, Gaspare Cervello and the judicial driver Giuseppe Costanza.
Falcone’s killing was decided at meetings of the Sicilian Mafia Commission between September and December 1991, and orchestrated by boss Salvatore Riina, in which other targets were also identified. Following the judgment of the Supreme Court of Cassation confirming the claims of the Maxi Trial (30 January 1992), the Sicilian Mafia decided to start the attacks on political figures.
Thousands gathered at the Church of Saint Dominic for the funerals which were broadcast live on national TV. All regular television programs were suspended. Parliament declared a day of mourning. Falcone’s colleague Paolo Borsellino was killed 57 days later, along with five police officers: Agostino Catalano, Walter Cosina, Emanuela Loi, Vincenzo Li Muli, and Claudio Traina, in the Via D’Amelio bombing.
Every year, on May 23, a long series of activities is held in Palermo and Capaci, in commemoration of the deaths of the magistrate Giovanni Falcone and Francesca Morvillo.