Fugitive mobster Matteo Messina Denaro had a poster of the classic movie The Godfather on the wall of his secret bunker.
Denaro, 60, who was arrested earlier this week after more than 30 years on the run from police, is said to idolize the Oscar-winning blockbuster which starred Marlon Brando as the boss of an Italian-American crime family, based on Denaro’s Cosa Nostra Mafia.
The 1972 movie hit depicts how a Sicilian migrant, played by Brando, traveled to New York City at the start of the 20th century and became one of the Mafia’s biggest bosses – just like Denaro did in his rising to the top of the Sicilian mafia.
Officials found the poster in the first of three bunkers Denaro used as shelters in the village of Campobello di Mazara, 70 miles from the city of Palermo, where he was arrested on his way to a clinic in chemotherapy.
Fugitive mafia gangster Matteo Messina Denaro (pictured being arrested by police on Monday) had a poster of the classic film The Godfather on the wall of his secret bunker
Denaro, 60, who was arrested earlier this week after more than 30 years on the run from police, is said to idolize the Oscar-winning blockbuster starring Marlon Brando as the boss of an Italian-American crime family (pictured), based on Denaro’s Cosa Nostra Mafia
Along with the giant poster of the Francis Ford Coppola-directed film – which showed Brando in the classic brooding pose, dressed in a tuxedo and with a red button-up, police also found a poster of the Joker – Batman’s nemesis.
This isn’t the first time real life has imitated Hollywood as several months ago Naples police raided the villa of a local organized crime boss, designed to look like Tony Montana’s. from the blockbuster Scarface.
Inside were framed movie posters of Pacino remembered for a memorable scene where he pulverizes his enemies with a machine gun as his villa comes under attack.
In the three bunkers used by Denaro, Sicilian police also found Viagra, condoms, expensive designer suits and aftershave as well as crates of cash and receipts for expensive meals – as well as a diary and notes which he hopes will explain how he managed to evade capture. for so long.
A source said: ‘The Godfather poster was on a wall behind a desk in the first bunker, it epitomizes the mob conceit of how Hollywood has portrayed organized crime.’ We know Denaro admired Brando’s portrayal of a mob boss and how he rose from humble roots to become a ruthless boss – much the same way he did.
The Godfather was adapted from the best-selling novel of the same name by Mario Puzo, a novelist who grew up in Hell’s Kitchen in New York.
Controversy surrounded the film from the start and shortly after Paramount Pictures announced its production, the Italian-American Civil Rights League held a rally in Madison Square Garden, claiming the film would amount to a slur against the Italians. -Americans.
The uproar only increased publicity for the film, which Paramount expected to become a big hit after the success of Puzo’s novel.
While the words “Mafia” and “Cosa Nostra” appear throughout the novel, published in 1969, the film’s producer – at the request of the Italian-American Civil Rights League – agreed to eliminate all such references from the script.
Pictured: A Carabinieri officer takes photos of Italian mob boss Matteo Messina Denaro’s home in Palermo, his home island of Sicily, after 30 years on the run. Italian anti-Mafia police arrested the Sicilian godfather on January 16, 2023
Italian newspapers reporting the arrest of fugitive Matteo Messina Denaro on January 17, 2023 in Bari, Italy
Judge Maria Carmela Giannazzo speaks outside the Caltanissetta court on the day of the start of a trial against Italy’s most wanted mafia boss, Matteo Messina Denaro, in Caltanissetta, Italy January 19, 2023
People wave blank sheets during an anti-mafia protest in the Sicilian town of Castelvetrano, where Italy’s most wanted mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro was born, wishing for a new story to fill those sheets, in Castelvetrano, Italy, on January 19, 2023
Denaro wielded enormous power and coordinated decades of terror that resulted in the deaths of more than 50 people, although he was never seen in public after fleeing in the early 1990s.
The mobster, who once boasted he could “fill a cemetery with his victims”, was forced into hiding after ordering a series of deadly attacks, including the murders of anti-Mafia prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, as well as a series of car bombings in Florence, Milan and Rome that left 10 dead and 93 injured in 1993.
In the same year, Messina Denaro helped organize the kidnapping of a 12-year-old boy, Giuseppe Di Matteo, in an attempt to dissuade his father from testifying against the mafia, according to prosecutors. The boy was held captive for two years before being brutally strangled to death and his body dissolved in a vat of acid.
The Italian No. 1 fugitive was finally arrested by police earlier this week.
The 60-year-old was taken from Palermo’s ‘La Maddalena’ hospital by two uniformed police and loaded into a black van – potentially closing the door to a long chapter of blood and violence perpetrated by the crime boss .
Nicknamed ‘Diabolik’ and ‘U Siccu’ (The Skinny One), Messina Denaro had been sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment for his role in the 1992 murders of anti-Mafia prosecutors Falcone and Borsellino.
Messina Denaro was sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment for his role in the 1992 murders of anti-Mafia prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino. Pictured: Falcone’s murder scene in Palermo, Sicily, in 1992
The mafia boss, from the small town of Castelvetrano in Sicily, also faces life in prison for his role in the Florence, Rome and Milan bombings that left ten people dead the following year.
In 1993 Messina Denaro helped organize the kidnapping of a 12-year-old boy, Giuseppe Di Matteo (pictured), in an attempt to blackmail his father into not testifying against the Mafia. The boy was killed after two years in captivity and his body was dissolved in acid
Gruesome murders were a trademark for the feared criminal. They shocked the nation and unleashed a crackdown on Cosa Nostra.
On Wednesday, a doctor at the clinic where the fugitive was captured said the convicted killer was seriously ill with cancer.
‘He is seriously ill. The disease has accelerated in recent months,” Vittorio Gebbia, head of the oncology department at the Maddalena clinic in Palermo, told the Repubblica daily.
Police continue to search for clues as to how Messina Denaro managed to evade capture for three decades.
Denaro underwent surgery for colon cancer in 2020 and 2022 under a false name, according to leaked medical records published in Italian media.
He was arrested on Monday after detectives discovered through tapped conversations with family members that he was ill and searched Italy for possible suspects of the correct gender and age with the same type of cancer.
Law enforcement checked with Gebbia if Messina Denaro needed urgent treatment.
“The police asked me if it mattered if the cycle of chemotherapy he was due to receive was delayed for a few days, and I signed it because such a small delay will have no effect,” Gebbia said.
Messina Denaro was transferred shortly after his arrest in Palermo to a high security prison in L’Aquila in the Abruzzo region, where he was held in solitary confinement.
He was to be taken for chemotherapy treatment to the San Salvatore hospital in L’Aquila, which has a special unit reserved for this type of inmate, according to the daily Corriere della Sera.