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