Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011

Salvatore Riina

"Gentleman, you are making a big mistake," is what Sicilian mobster Salvatore Riina told police when he was apprehended in January 1993 for his dark deeds over more than 20 years as a fugitive and operative in the Sicilian Mafia. He was wanted for his connection to more than 100 killings perpetrated during his climb to the top of the organized-crime gang. Riina, also known as "Toto," was said to have started his career as a hit man. He went into hiding in 1969 after being acquitted of triple homicide. But that didn't stop him from allegedly orchestrating the bloody Mafia wars in 1980s Sicily, which claimed dozens of lives and sealed his post at the top of the organization. In October 1993, despite his attempt to claim a case of mistaken identity, Riina was sentenced to life in prison, the harshest punishment allowed in Italy.