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Heart of Palermo

Capo dei capi dead

The Gua dian

First published on Friday 17 November 2017 03.06 EST

The former “boss of bosses” Toto Riina, one of the most feared godfathers in the history of the Sicilian mafia, has died in hospital while serving multiple life sentences for masterminding a bloody strategy to murder Italian prosecutors and law enforcement officers trying to bring down the Cosa Nostra.

Riina, who is thought to have ordered more than 150 murders, had been in a medically induced coma after his health deteriorated following two operations for cancer.

He died in the prisoner wing of a hospital in Parma, in northern Italy, just before 4am local time on Friday, a day after he turned 87, according to the country’s main dailies and the Ansa news agency.

Nicknamed “the Beast” because of his cruelty, Salvatore “Toto” Riina led a reign of terror for decades after taking control of the Cosa Nostra in the 1970s.
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