After spending 30 years on the lam, the 60-year-old mafia boss whose criminal gang Cosa Nostra inspired “The Godfather”, was captured by Italian police Monday. Matteo Messina Denaro had been one of Europe’s most wanted fugitives.
What is the background of this?
Denaro, also known as “the devil” and “the skinny one”, was the son Don Ciccio, a powerful Cosa Nostra boss. According to the Guardian Denaro created an illegal multibillion-euro empire in wind energy, waste and retail.
The godfather is linked to over 50 murders, such as the bombings that claimed the lives of renowned anti-mafia prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino — after whom the international airport outside of Palermo was named.
Falcone’s widow and his family’s bodyguards were also killed in the bombings. Most Italians consider Falcone to be a hero.
Denaro was also wanted in connection with the brutal strangling Giuseppe Di Matteo’s body, which the mobster disintegrated in an acid vat.
The New York Times stated that Denaro allegedly raped a pregnant lady on June 15, 1992.
Denaro fled on June 23, 1993. Although he had left Trapani as his headquarters, Denaro was still there.