Mehmood Junior, famed Bollywood actor known for roles in Caravan and Mera Naam Joker, passes away at 67 after battling stage four cancer. A cinematic icon remembered for his contribution to Indian cinema.
Matteo Messina Denaro, the infamous Italian Mafia boss, has passed away at the age of 61 due to colon cancer. This significant event has reverberated across the globe, prompting a reflection on the man he was.
Matteo Messina Denaro rose to prominence as one of the emerging leaders of the Sicilian mafia following the arrests of key figures like Bernardo Provenzano. His notoriety expanded nationally in 2001 when he graced the cover of L’Espresso magazine with the headline “Here is the new Mafia boss,” a title that would stick with him.
Following the natural demise of his father, Francesco Messina Denaro, in November 1998, Matteo assumed the role of capo mandamento in the region encompassing Castelvetrano and neighboring cities. It was during this period that he went underground, earning a spot on Forbes’ list of the ten most wanted and powerful criminals in the world.
As the Mafia landscape saw the deaths of Bernardo Provenzano in 2016 and Salvatore Riina in 2017, Matteo Messina Denaro emerged as the uncontested boss of all bosses within the criminal organization.
Investigations revealed that between 1994 and 1996, Messina Denaro concealed himself in a hideout located between Aspra and Bagheria, often in the company of his lover Maria Mesi. They even ventured to Greece for vacations, using the alias “Matteo Cracolici” to avoid detection.
The law caught up with Maria Mesi in 2000, leading to her arrest when police uncovered love letters exchanged between her and Messina Denaro.
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In 2002, Messina Denaro was sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment for his involvement in the bombings of 1993, a crime that left a dark stain on Italy’s history.
However, after nearly three decades on the run, Matteo Messina Denaro’s time as a fugitive came to an end on January 16, 2023, when Italian police finally apprehended him in Sicily. His arrest, which coincidentally occurred almost exactly 30 years after that of Riina, took place at a private clinic where he was undergoing colon cancer treatment, concealed under a false identity for chemotherapy sessions.
Over 100 members of the armed forces played a role in the arrest, taking him into custody just before 10:00 (CET). At the time, Messina Denaro’s assets were of at least €4 billion.
Following his capture, authorities transferred him via a secret military flight to the prison of L’Aquila. This prison featured an oncology ward and was the closest location to Rome where Italian magistrates could interrogate him.
On September 24, 2023, Matteo Messina Denaro slipped into an irreversible coma, and in the early hours of September 25, 2023, he passed away.