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Toto Riina, Mafia 'boss of bosses', dies in jail aged 87

Notorious Sicilian Mafia "boss of all bosses" Salvatore "Toto" Riina has died from cancer in jail, aged 87.

Riina was serving 26 life sentences and is believed to have ordered more than 150 murders.

The head of the feared Cosa Nostra spent nearly a quarter of a century on the run before being jailed in 1993. He ordered more murders from jail.

As well as kidney cancer, he was said to have been suffering from a heart condition and Parkinson's disease.

Riina had been in a medically induced coma and his family had been given special permission to visit him in the prisoners' wing of the hospital in Parma, northern Italy.

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Riina was born in 1930 to poor farmers in Corleone, Sicily - the birthplace of Don Corleone, the fictional Godfather in Francis Ford Coppola's film trilogy.

His father was killed when he was 13 and at 19 he joined the local Mafia, committing his first murder to gain entry.

Riina seized control of the Cosa Nostra crime group in the 1970s. His reputation for cruelty earned him the nickname "The Beast".

He spent 24 years as a fugitive, remaining all the while on the island of Sicily.

[Source: BBC, London, 17Nov17]

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Corruption and Organized Crime
small logoThis document has been published on 20Nov17 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.