Referred to as the Sicilian Robin Hood, Salvatore Giuliano became the most famous bandit in Italian history because of his swagger, generosity, and a keen p.r. campaign. The dashing, handsome Giuliano led a reported army of 600 followers who robbed rich landlords, gave to the poor, then disappeared into the mountains. They killed more than a hundred police officers and 40 civilians and collected more than $1 million from 30 kidnappings. When his name dropped out of the headlines, Giuliano wrote letters to newspapers challenging government officials to mortal combat and declaring war on Italy. In 1949, a 2,000-man task force scoured Sicily searching for the elusive outlaw, finally gunning him down at point-blank range with a machine gun in 1950. After his death, TIME wrote that for seven years, Giuliano "had been the king of bandits in a land where every bandit is looked upon as a king."
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