In a plot stolen straight out of "Hannibal", Italian police are saying that Calabrian mobsters recently murdered a mafia don by beating the man with a spade and then throwing him into a sty, where he was eaten alive by pigs.

Francesco Raccosta, the don of the ‘Ndrangheta crime family in Calabria, disappeared last year amidst whispers that he had been responsible for the murder of a rival mob boss, Domenico Bonarrigo, of the Mazzagatti family.

Bonarrigo was shot and killed while driving his car. Eleven days later, Raccosta disappeared without a trace.

Italian police sent in an undercover officer to investigate and made the gory results public this month.

According to their investigation — codenamed “Operazione Erinni," after the Greek goddess of vengeance — 24-year-old boss Simone Pepe took responsibility for Raccosta's murder in wire-tapped phone calls.

"It was so satisfying hearing him scream ... mamma mia, he could scream!” he said, adding that there wasn't "a thing left" after the feeding frenzy.

"People say sometimes they [the pigs] leave something," he added.

"In the end there was nothing left...those pigs could certainly eat."

According to Italian police, the feud between the families has been going since the 1950s.

A spokesperson said that Pepe's methodology was designed as a message: “By feeding his victim to pigs he thought he would earn the respect of rivals as well as his own clan.”

In recent years, the warring Calabrian families have economically surpassed the Sicilian Cosa Nostra, thanks in large part to their prolific distribution of cocaine through Italy and other parts of Europe.

[image via Shutterstock]