Mob Boss Dies Just Months After Capture

( – Italian mobster Matteo Messina Denaro died on September 24 in Italy’s central city of L’Aquila, after a long illness. The demise of the so-called “last godfather” and one of the main bosses of the Sicilian Mafia came a couple of months after being captured by Italian authorities, following three decades on the run.

L’Aquila’s Mayor Pierluigi Biondi confirmed during a press conference that Messina Denaro died in the city’s main hospital. He also told reporters that the mobster’s death puts “an end” to a story of “blood and violence.” He also thanked hospital staffers and prison guards for their humanity and professionalism; and pointed out that Messina Denaro’s demise was the “epilogue” of one of the most “painful chapters” in Italy’s modern history.

Back in January, Italian police apprehended him in a clinic located in the Sicilian city of Palermo, where he was being treated for colon cancer under the false name of Andrea Bonafede. Authorities said they discovered he had been hiding in this city since 1993, after the capture of the so-called “Capo dei Capi” Salvatore Riina, who was known for being one of the most powerful mobsters in Italy’s history.

While a fugitive, Messina Denaro was convicted of dozens of homicides, including being one of the masterminds behind the 1992 bombings that killed anti-Mafia prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino. Their deaths were considered one of the main turning points in the Italian state’s war against the Sicilian Mafia.

According to the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Messina Denaro will be buried by the end of the week in L’Aquila’s family tomb, alongside his father and Mafia boss Don Ciccio. This newspaper also noted that the mobster was sentenced to life in prison and always refused to cooperate with the Italian police.

Until his capture, he kept up a luxurious lifestyle because of many bankrollers who worked for him. The Italian police said these included famous businessmen and even some powerful politicians.

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