Sicilian mafia’s ‘boss of bosses’ dies at 87   

Sicilian mafia’s ‘boss of bosses’ dies at 87   

ROME - Agence France-Presse
Sicilian mafia’s ‘boss of bosses’ dies at 87

Former “boss of bosses” Toto Riina, one of the most feared Godfathers in the history of the Sicilian Mafia, died early on Nov. 17 after battling cancer, Italian media reported.

Riina, who had been serving 26 life sentences and is thought to have ordered more than 150 murders, had been in a medically-induced coma after his health deteriorated following two operations.

The mobster, who turned 87 on Nov. 16, died in the prisoners’ wing of a hospital in Parma in northern Italy just before 4 a.m. (0300 GMT), according to the country’s main dailies.

The hospital would not immediately confirm his death.Nicknamed “The Beast” because of his cruelty, Salvatore “Toto” Riina led a reign of terror for decades after taking control of the island’s powerful organised crime group Cosa Nostra in the 1970s.

The most high-profile murders he ordered were those in 1992 of anti-mafia judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, who had worked fearlessly to bring more than 300 mobsters to trial in 1987.

He also famously ordered the brutal murder of a 13-year old boy who was kidnapped in a bid to stop his father from spilling Mafia secrets. “God have mercy on him, as we won’t,” an association for victims told the Fatto Quotidiano daily.