Notorious Mafia boss dies months after arrest

Written by Henrik Rothen

Sep.25 - 2023 11:19 AM CET

Photo: Wikipedia Commons
Photo: Wikipedia Commons
Notorious Mafia boss dies months after arrest.

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The mayor of the Italian town where Matteo Messina Denaro was imprisoned has confirmed the death of one of Italy's most infamous mafia bosses. Arrested in January after evading capture for three decades, the 61-year-old Sicilian, also known as Diabolik and The Thin One, succumbed to colon cancer.

Earlier this year, Denaro sought medical treatment at a clinic in Palermo, which led to his arrest. Last month, his condition worsened, prompting a transfer to a hospital where he eventually died, according to Pierluigi Biondi, the mayor of L'Aquila.

Biondi expressed that Denaro's death "closes a chapter of violence and bloodshed." He also commended the prison and hospital staff for their "professionalism and humanity."

Denaro was a ruthless leader in Cosa Nostra, the Sicilian mafia organization that inspired the iconic "Godfather" films. He was convicted for his role in the 1992 murder of anti-mafia judge Giovanni Falcone. Additionally, he was found guilty of orchestrating a series of deadly bombings in Rome, Florence, and Milan in 1993. His criminal record includes six life sentences, one of which is for the kidnapping and murder of a 12-year-old boy whose parent testified in the Falcone case.

Before his arrest, Denaro had been a fugitive. He was captured while receiving treatment at a Palermo clinic, as revealed by Pasquale Angelosanto, the police chief for special operations.

The only known photograph of Denaro dates back to the early 1990s. To aid in their hunt for him, police created a computer-generated image. In 2015, it was discovered that he communicated with his closest allies using the so-called pizzini system—small folded paper messages hidden under a stone on a Sicilian farm.

Denaro once bragged that he could fill an entire cemetery with the people he had killed.

You can watch his arrest in the video below

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