In a stunning turn of events that marks the end of an era in the world of organized crime, Matteo Messina Denaro, infamously known as ‘Diabolik,’ has passed away while in custody. After evading law enforcement for nearly three decades, his arrest earlier this year marked the beginning of the end for the elusive Mafia boss. In this article, we delve into the life, crimes, and the ultimate demise of Matteo Messina Denaro.
The Elusive Fugitive
Matteo Messina Denaro‘s story is one of intrigue and criminal prowess. For almost 30 years, he managed to stay one step ahead of the law. Before his capture in January, he had been on the run since 1993, making him one of the most wanted men in Europe according to Europol.
A Life of Crime
Throughout his criminal career, Messina Denaro was linked to numerous Mafia-related murders, allegedly ordering hits for the notorious Cosa Nostra crime group. In 1992, he was notably involved in the murders of anti-Mafia prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, for which he received multiple life sentences in absentia.
Reign of Terror
In 2020, Messina Denaro was sentenced to life once again, this time for fatal bombings in Milan, Florence, and Rome during the late 1990s. Shockingly, he was also implicated in the murder and torture of an 11-year-old boy, Giuseppe Di Matteo, who had given evidence against the Cosa Nostra.
Before his death, legal proceedings were underway for the murders of Falcone, Borsellino, and young Giuseppe Di Matteo. These cases were poised to be brought before higher courts, but with Messina Denaro’s demise, many of his dark secrets may remain buried forever.
Matteo Messina Denaro breathed his last at the San Salvatore hospital in L’Aquila, central Italy, where he was receiving treatment for colon cancer. Despite being in a coma since Friday, the exact time of his passing remains undisclosed. The L’Aquila prosecutors’ office, along with prosecutors in Palermo, Sicily, has requested an autopsy, although his serious illness was widely known.
Prosecutors had hoped that Messina Denaro would cooperate and reveal crucial Cosa Nostra secrets, but he remained tight-lipped even after his capture. With his demise, the Mafia’s darkest secrets may have perished with him.
Life Behind Bars
Following his arrest, Messina Denaro was serving multiple life sentences in a high-security prison in L’Aquila, all while battling colon cancer. Despite undergoing surgeries and deteriorating health, he was eventually moved to the prison ward of the hospital, where he breathed his last.
Messina Denaro’s silent defiance mirrors the actions of the Mafia’s other top boss, Bernardo Provenzano, who spent an astonishing 37 years in hiding before his capture in 2006. While Provenzano’s capture shifted the state’s focus to Messina Denaro, the elusive boss continued to evade arrest.
In the years leading up to his arrest, anti-Mafia forces were closing in on Messina Denaro’s associates, seizing approximately €3 billion ($3.25 billion) in assets belonging to those who supported his life in hiding. Despite this, it appeared that Messina Denaro had lost much of his former power.
The Heir to the Throne
Matteo Messina Denaro, often referred to as ‘Diabolik,’ was considered one of the successors to Bernardo Provenzano. Born into a Mafia family on April 26, 1962, he followed in the footsteps of his criminal predecessors. Notably, his brother, Salvatore Messina Denaro, was among those arrested during the 2009-2010 crackdown but remained silent about his brother’s whereabouts
Messina Denaro worked closely under Provenzano, eventually ascending to the position of the top boss after Provenzano’s death in 2016. His capture marked the end of a significant chapter in the history of the Sicilian Mafia.
In conclusion, the death of Matteo Messina Denaro, the elusive Mafia boss, has brought an end to an era of criminality and secrecy. Despite his capture, he took his secrets to the grave, leaving many questions unanswered about the Cosa Nostra’s inner workings.