January 17, 1993 |
The Mafia's boss of bosses, a long-sought fugitive named in dozens of murder warrants, made his first public appearance in more than two decades Saturday, but it was a reluctant and hurried debut. Salvatore (Toto) Riina, 62, wore manacles and a gray suit jacket tossed over his head as he was hustled from jail in Sicily into a military helicopter that swept him to Rome amid an intimidating show of police protection.
December 30, 1987 |
More than 300 police swooped down on a house near the Messina Strait today and arrested 13 Mafia suspects taking part in an organized crime "summit conference." Police said they "do not rule out" the possibility that some of the arrested gangsters were involved in the Dec. 14 murder of Francesco Gitto, 58, cousin of Matilda Cuomo, the wife of New York Gov. Mario Cuomo. Gitto and his friend, Natale Lavorini, 75, were shot and killed at Barcellona Pozzo Di Gotto, about 20 miles west of Messina.
May 6, 1996 |
A reputed top Mafia boss accused in the murder of a Communist Party official was arrested Sunday after four years in hiding. Police seized Salvatore Cucuzza, 49, in a Palermo apartment. Mob informers have identified Cucuzza as the boss of downtown Palermo, the capital of the Italian island of Sicily, the ANSA news service said. He allegedly was a member of a hit squad during the 1980s and was close to Salvatore "Toto" Riina, the now-imprisoned "boss of bosses."
December 4, 1992 |
A senior prosecuting magistrate in the government's war against the Mafia committed suicide in Palermo on Thursday, two days after learning that an informer had accused him of links with organized crime. The death of Judge Domenico Signorino, 48, stunned government officials on a day when an aggressive police campaign against organized crime notched major new arrests in both Sicily and mainland southern Italy.
January 27, 1993 |
Salvatore Riina faces his accusers with exaggerated politeness and a cloying peasant servility. Arrested this month after 23 years in hiding, Riina says he is a misunderstood old man with diabetes, a heart ailment and nothing to say. Investigating magistrates know Riina as the sanguinary boss of bosses of the Mafia, for more than a decade among the most powerful and dangerous criminals on Earth. "I am not the monster that everyone thinks," Riina told one of the judges.