Francesco Matrone, with the alias “A’ belva” or “The beast”, was born on 15 July 1947 and met his demise on 5 October 2023. He was a prominent figure in the underworld of Italy, associated with the criminal organization, the Camorra. His criminal activities earned him a spot on the “most wanted list” of the Italian Ministry of the Interior in 2007, primarily for charges related to murder and other facets of organized crime. However, the authorities managed to apprehend him on August 17, 2012, in Battipaglia, Campania.
During the 1980s, Matrone was a significant ally and right-hand to Carmine Alfieri, who was then the godfather of the Nuova Famiglia. After the dissolution of the Nuova Famiglia, Matrone rose to power, leading one of the most dominant clans situated in the Province of Salerno.
His criminal involvements led him to receive two life sentences, notably for a double homicide. Matrone spearheaded the Loreto-Matrone clan of the Camorra, collaborating closely with Pasquale Loreto, who later became a turncoat or “pentito”. Matrone’s criminal enterprises extended to money laundering, using restaurants and bars across various regions of Salerno as fronts.
Beyond his criminal persona, he was known for his affection towards animals, particularly dogs. During his arrest in a rural residence in Acerno, he made a personal request to the police, asking them to let his son care for the dogs he had in his hideout.
The influence and dominance of his clan saw a decline, especially when juxtaposed with its peak in the 1990s when it held significant control over Scafati and its neighboring regions.
In a controversial incident in 2019, his son, Michele Matrone, stirred the waters by posting a photograph with Matteo Salvini, captioned “A coffee with my dear friend Matteo”. This post, before its removal from Matrone’s social media, garnered several “likes”, intriguingly even from the current city councilors of Scafati. Media reports suggest that Michele has since relocated and resides in Emilia Romagna.
Francesco Matrone’s life journey concluded in Milan on 5 October 2023 when he passed away at the age of 76.