Who are the most infamous mobsters and gangsters?
Italy's most-wanted Mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro arrested in Sicily after 30 years on the run
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In the annals of organized crime, the gangsters and mobsters that operated in the United States throughout the early and mid-20th century stand out as some of the most violent and ruthless of recent history. The criminal syndicate known as the Sicilian Mafia, or Cosa Nostra, was especially active during the 1920s, '30s, '40s, and '50s, and enjoyed near legendary status among law enforcement agencies and the public alike. But the era also produced a slew of hardened criminals who took it upon themselves to rob, kill, and intimidate their way across the nation and into perpetual infamy. But who do you think are the most infamous of them all?
Matteo Messina Denaro is certainly one of them. Italy's most wanted man, a boss of the Cosa Nostra Mafia in Sicily, was arrested by police in a private health clinic in Palermo on January 16 after being a fugitive since 1993. “It is a victory for all the police forces that have worked together over these long years to bring the dangerous fugitive to justice,” Italy’s chief of police, Lamberto Giannini, said in a statement, per CNN.
Anti-mafia security forces have been closing in on Messina Denaro’s circle for years now. He's believed to have ordered dozens of murders, including the murders of anti-Mafia prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, and has been given several life sentences in absentia for his crimes, which also include fatal bombings in Milan, Florence, and Rome in the late 1990s, and torturing and murdering the 11-year-old son of someone who gave evidence against Cosa Nostra.
Click through this gallery of mobsters and gangsters, all of whom thought crime would pay.
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