3

I'd long been puzzled by the fact that Clemenza and Rocco just left the cadaver behind on an open road after shooting Paulie in The Godfather. But if the Corleones wanted the death of the traitor to send a message to the other families, it makes sense that they would want his body to be found with the bullet in the head, so as to remove any ambiguity.

Naturally, they'd want the other families to know but not the civil authorities. So how did they rig things so that the car would not be traced back to them by the police? I don't recall this being explained in the film (and unless I missed something, the book doesn't explain it, either, a fact I found very odd since the book details Clemenza cogitating over and over about how to pull off the execution just perfectly and not arouse his turncoat protégé's suspicions).

4

So how did they rig things so that the car would not be traced back to them by the police?

It wasn't necessary.

In the novel, it's apparent that the car belongs to Paulie so even when the police investigate (if they do being that they are corruptible) then the car traces back to the owner who was dead in the driver's seat.

Clemenza’s wife knocked on the door of the den to tell them that Paulie Gatto had arrived. He was parked in the driveway. Clemenza led the way through the garage and Lampone followed him. When Clemenza got into the front seat with Gatto he merely grunted in greeting, an exasperated look on his face.

The Godfather - Mario Puzo

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