Matteo Messina Denaro, a SICILIAN mafia don who spent 30 years on the run until being apprehended in January, has died.
The 61-year-old “boss of bosses,” who was responsible for horrible acts that shocked Italy and the globe, was dying of cancer.Messina Denaro’s health had deteriorated in recent weeks, so he was taken from his maximum-security jail to the hospital, where he died.
The mafia’s “last godfather,” who led the famed Sicilian Cosa Nostra organization, famously boasted of killing “enough people to fill a cemetery.”
In the list of the world’s ten most wanted fugitives, he joined El Chapo and the successor to Osama Bin Laden.
And his homicidal dynasty had earlier inspired The Godfather, an epic 1969 crime novel and blockbuster 1972 film.
Following his reign of terror, he was sentenced to life in prison in absentia for his involvement in multiple killings, bombings, and attacks on rival mobsters, their innocent relatives, and civilians.
The “boss of bosses” was found guilty of murdering two anti-mafia prosecutors, Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, in 1992.
The next year, he was responsible for a series of heinous explosions that killed ten people and injured 93 others in Florence, Milan, and Rome.
His vicious savagery earned him the moniker “The Devil.”
Messina Denaro also authorized the kidnapping and murder of Giuseppe Di Matteo, a 12-year-old mobster’s son who was about to testify against the mafia.
In an act of unspeakable savagery, the youngster was held captive for two years before being strangled to death and his body dissolved in acid.
Messina Denaro was apprehended on January 16 after decades on the run following a police raid.
He was apprehended while visiting a private medical center in Palermo, Sicily’s largest city, where he was apparently undergoing cancer treatment.
According to Italian media, he had already undergone colon cancer surgery under a fictitious name in 2020 and 2022.
Crowds applauded and cheered the police in the streets as Italy’s most wanted mobster, now sickly, was carried away in handcuffs.
The last documented sighting of the vicious killer before his disappearance was in August 1993, when he was seen with two pals vacationing in Forte dei Marmi in the northern Italian area of Tuscany.
He went into hiding after an increasing number of informants furnished authorities with information about his lengthy criminal background.
The Catturandi, an elite team of Mafia hunters who have apprehended some of Italy’s most powerful crime leaders, was hot on Denaro’s tail.
In 2017, 200 officers searched caverns and bunkers around Castelvetrano, assuming he was enjoying a Bin Laden-style underground fugitive lifestyle.
Despite every manhunt, he stayed undiscovered until last January.
Investigators now suspect he never left his native Sicily’s mountainous hills, continued to interact with his pals via secret letters, and was only a short drive from his mother’s house.
Denaro was born into the Italian mafia underground in 1962, the son of a legendary Sicilian mafioso, Francesco Don Ciccio.
By the age of 15, he was carrying a revolver and followed his father into a life of crime in Castelvetrano.
Cops believe he committed his first murder at the age of 18 and promptly joined up with the Corleonesi mafia to smash two rebellious mafia families.
His 78-year-old father was discovered dead in a riverbed in 1998, the victim of a mafia rivalry.The Cosa Nostra “godfather” was then his ruthless son.
He was known for his showy playboy lifestyle, constantly dressed in Armani suits and Rolex watches, and is said to have had a harem of lovers as well as a series of illegitimate offspring.