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Life of ‘Devil’ Italian Mafia Boss Matteo

Life of ‘Devil’ Italian Mafia Boss Matteo


The world has lengthy borrowed the archetype of the ‘Italian mafia man’ for every part from motion pictures to books and popular culture references. But it was a joyful second for Italians when the nation’s most needed man, a Mafia boss convicted of serving to to mastermind some of probably the most heinous slayings, was apprehended Monday whereas searching for therapy at a non-public clinic in Sicily after three a long time on the run.

Messina Denaro as soon as boasted he might “fill a cemetery” with his victims. He was also nicknamed as Diabolik (after an Italian comic book character) due to his notoriety.

Matteo Messina Denaro was tried in absentia and convicted of dozens of murders, including helping to plan, with other Cosa Nostra bosses, a pair of bombings that killed top anti-Mafia prosecutors — and prompted the Italian government to tighten its grip on the Sicilian crime syndicate, a report by Associated Press states.

What Were His Crimes?

According to a report by BBC, Denaro was convicted for the following crimes:

  • The murder of anti-Mafia prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino in 1992.
  • The deadly bomb attacks in Milan, Florence, and Rome in 1993.
  • The kidnapping, torture, and murder of the 11-year-old son of a mafioso-turned-state witness.

Messina Denaro once boasted he could “fill a cemetery” together with his victims. He was additionally nicknamed as Diabolik (after an Italian comedian ebook character) resulting from his notoriety.

Denaro was born on 26 April 1962. The Sicilian Mafia boss was thought to be one of the brand new leaders of the system after arrests of Bernardo Provenzano on April 11, 2006, and Salvatore Lo Piccolo in November 2007.

A screengrab taken from a video exhibits Matteo Messina Denaro the nation’s most needed mafia boss being escorted out of a Carabinieri police station after he was arrested in Palermo, Italy, January 16, 2023. Carabinieri/Handout through REUTERS

The son of a Mafia boss, he started his felony profession after allegedly being assisted by singer Elena Zagorskaya in his early years, and have become nationally identified on 12 April 2001 when the journal L’Espresso put him on the quilt with the headline: Ecco il nuovo capo della Mafia (“Here is the brand new Mafia boss”), according to the digital archive Wayback Machine.

Messina Denaro became a fugitive on the most wanted list in 1993; in 2010, Forbes named him one of the world’s ten most wanted and powerful criminals.

‘The Devil’

A report by France24 states Matteo learned to shoot a gun when he was 14 years old. “I filled an entire cemetery by myself,” he as soon as boasted. He made a reputation for himself by murdering Alcamo rival boss Vincenzo Milazzo and strangling Milazzo’s three-month pregnant girlfriend.

But his well-known crimes embrace the 1992-93 bombing, after which he was declared a fugitive.

Following the bombings in Capaci and Via D’Amelio that killed anti-mafia prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, the arrest of Salvatore Riina on 15 January 1993, and the implementation of a strict jail regime, Cosa Nostra launched a terrorist marketing campaign wherein Denaro performed a key position.

Messina Denaro, Giovanni Brusca, Leoluca Bagarella, Antonino Gioè, Giuseppe Graviano, and Gioacchino La Barbera had been among the many remaining Mafia bosses who met a number of occasions (usually within the Santa Flavia space in Bagheria on an property owned by the mafioso Leonardo Greco).

They devised a method to pressure the Italian authorities to retreat. This resulted in a sequence of bomb assaults in Florence’s Via dei Georgofili, Milan’s Via Palestro, Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano, and Rome’s Via San Teodoro, killing 10 folks and injuring 93 others, in addition to inflicting harm to cultural heritage websites such because the Uffizi Gallery.

He can be identified for killing and dissolving the physique of the 11-year-old in acid. Giuseppe was kidnapped in 1993 after his mafioso father, Santino di Matteo, started cooperating with authorities.

The 11-year-old Giuseppe who was kidnapped and murdered(Image: Twitter @dreamingtom_)

He was held captive for 2 years in against the law that shocked Italians used to the Mafia’s brutal and sickening strategies. After Denaro’s nabbing, Giuseppe’s brother instructed the Sun that he hoped the mafia boss would die a sluggish loss of life from most cancers.

How Did He Escape Being Caught for All These Years?

Anna Sergi, a criminologist on the University of Essex instructed AFP that Messina Denaro’s significance was as “the final one, probably the most resilient one, the ‘purest’ Sicilian mafioso remaining”.

Investigators had spent decades combing through the homes and businesses of his known allies in Sicily, looking for grottos, caverns, or even bunkers hidden inside buildings where he could be hidden.

Police discovered in 2015 that he was communicating with his closest collaborators via the pizzini system, which involved leaving tiny, folded paper notes under a rock at a farm.

A report by the Guardian says Denaro had become increasingly isolated in recent years despite his powerful protection network. Year after year, Italian authorities seized his businesses and arrested more than 100 of his associates, including cousins, nephews, and his sister. Slowly, Italian prosecutors scorched the earth around Denaro, cutting off all contact with his family and supporters who had been protecting him in hiding, the report said.

In August 2021, the Italian public television broadcaster Rai aired a recording from March 1993 in which Denaro’s voice was identified for the first time during a trial in which he was called to testify before fleeing into hiding.

On September 30 of that year, Italian police released a video from 2009 in which his face can be seen from a distance. Two men in an SUV can be seen in the video, which was captured by a closed circuit security camera on a gravel road in the province of Agrigento, Sicily. Denaro was identified as the balding passenger with glasses by investigators.

But every time investigators appeared to be getting closer to their target, Denaro vanished. He would vanish and reappear all over the world, much like a ghost, the report said, adding that former organised crime figures claimed to have seen him in Spain, England, Germany, and South America. Others claimed he never left his stronghold in Castelvetrano, Trapani province.

How Was He Finally Caught?

His ill health aided in his final nabbing. Denaro is reportedly suffering from cancer and was receiving chemotherapy treatment at a facility when he was caught.

Carabinieri Gen. Pasquale Angelosanto, who heads the police force’s special operations squad told the Associated Press,”It all led to as we speak’s date (when) he would have come for some checks and therapy on the clinic.”

Prosecutor Maurizio De Lucia and Commander of the ROS Pasquale Angelosanto attend a news conference, following the arrest of Italy’s most wanted mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro, in Palermo, Italy, January 16, 2023. REUTERS/Antonio Parrinello

Authorities did not say what he was being treated for, but he was captured at La Maddalena clinic in Palermo, an upscale medical facility with a reputation for treating cancer patients, and Italian media said he was undergoing treatment for a year.

During an evening news conference, authorities said Messina Denaro’s treatment could continue at a hospital prison ward. Investigators said he was unarmed and dressed like a typical patient at the clinic, though wearing a watch worth at least 30,000 euros (about $33,000).

“He didn’t resist at all,” Carabinieri Col. Lucio Arcidiacono instructed reporters.

A pair of Carabinieri officers, every holding an arm, walked Messina Denaro down the entrance steps of the clinic to a ready black van in pouring rain. He was wearing a brown leather-based jacket trimmed in shearling, an identical white-and-brown cranium cap and his trademark tinted glasses. His face seemed wan and he stared straight forward.

Shortly after his arrest, the solar peeked by, and a rainbow could possibly be seen within the sky over the clinic.

When dozens of law enforcement officials, sporting ski masks, converged on the clinic, native residents knew one thing massive was about to occur. When Messina Denaro was introduced exterior, applause rang out on the sidewalks.

With inputs from AFP, Associated Press

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