Mob Sent Secret Notes Via Texts Aired in TV Ticker

Scrolled messages kept godfathers up to date
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2010 2:21 AM CDT
Mob Sends Secret Notes Via TV Soccer
What's up, Paolo?   (?kait jarbeau is in love with you)

Mafia gangsters have been sending secret missives to imprisoned godfathers via text messages scrolled along the bottom of a popular Italian soccer program, a judge has revealed. The notes, which kept mob bosses informed of nefarious ventures, were tucked among innocent messages from fans that ran constantly throughout the program Quelli Che il Calcio. TV officials said they were unaware of what was going on, and have yanked the feature from the program. "The show has always had universal appeal, from the young to the old, and now, I discover, mob bosses and their families, too," said a program announcer.

One politician was stunned that incarcerated killers had access to the program. "I do not understand why people held under such conditions can watch programs in which the TV audience can participate," he told the Guardian. It's hardly the first time mobsters have managed to dodge communication restrictions. Authorities discovered in 1998 that ostensibly warm greetings sent by mob bosses to family members were actually coded orders to murder foes. (More Mafia stories.)

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