Captured Mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro had my 12-year-old brother dissolved in acid – I hope he suffers a slow death
THE brother of a boy dissolved in acid on the orders of Matteo Messina Denaro said he hopes the Mafia boss dies a slow death from cancer.
Giuseppe Di Matteo was kidnapped in a bid to stop the 12-year-old's father testifying against Denaro but was eventually strangled after the blackmail plot failed.
Denaro, who fronted up the notorious Sicillian "Cosa Nostra" group, was seized by cops after 30 years as Italy's most wanted Mafia don.
Police say the 60-year-old, known as "The Boss of Bosses", was taken during a visit to a private medical clinic in Sicily's largest city Palermo where he was reportedly being treated for cancer.
Nicknamed 'the Devil' for his savage crimes, he is believed to be behind the murders of two anti-mafia prosecutors, Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino in 1992.
Denaro is also facing a life sentence for his role in bomb attacks which killed ten people in Florence, Milan, and Rome the following year.
Giuseppe was kidnapped in 1993 after his mafioso dad Santino di Matteo began cooperating with the police,
He was held for two years in captivity in a crime that shocked Italians accustomed to the brutal and sickening methods of the Mafia.
Giuseppe's brother Nicola Di Matteo said he and his mother felt "joy mixed with tears" when they learned of the arrest which "reopened a wound", reports Il Messaggero.
"I have read that he is ill. I hope he can live as long as possible to have long suffering, the same one he imposed on my brother, an innocent little boy.
"Something like this cannot be forgiven.
"It is unthinkable in the face of what happened to Giuseppe. Now he must suffer like my brother."
Denaro was sentenced in his absence in 2012 to life in prison the barbaric crime.
Astonishing video shows crowds applauding and cheering police in the streets of Palermo as a frail-looking Denaro was pictured in the back of a police car alongside an armed cop.
Cops have now released a mugshot of Denaro, also known as "U Siccu" or "The Skinny One".
In a documentary, it is claimed Denaro once bragged about having "killed enough people to fill a small cemetery".
Last September, Italy's Carabinieri police force claimed the mafia don was still in charge and issuing commands from his regional stronghold in the western Sicilian city of Trapani.
Italy's Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni gave her "warmest thanks" to the police for the capture of the country's most-wanted gangster.
Denaro has been in hiding for 30 years, with police seemingly unable to find him despite his remaining in Sicily.
Cops even released an e-fit showing what the Cosa Nostra boss might look like if he disguised himself as a woman, wearing a red wig and sunglasses to avoid detection.
Denaro's last confirmed sighting was in August 1993 when he was spotted with two friends holidaying in Forte dei Marmi in the northern Italian region of Tuscany.
The arrest comes almost 30 years to the day since police arrested Salvatore "Toto" Riina, the most powerful Sicilian mafia crime boss of the 20th century.
He died in prison in 2017 having never broken the "omerta", or fabled mafia code of silence.
Born in 1963 in Castelvetrano, Sicily, Denaro once wrote in a letter that his biggest regret was not finishing school.
In a letter written by the feared don and later discovered by police in 2015, he said: "My greatest anger stems from the fact that I was a good student, only that I was distracted by something else."
His father, Francesco, Don Ciccio, was the mafia boss of Castelvetrano and had a close alliance with the Corleones of Toto Riina.
He learned how to use a gun at the age of 14 and, aged just 20, Denaro followed his father into the mob, working with the Corleones to crush two rebellious mafia families.
He was known for his flashy lifestyle, driving a Porsche, dressing in Armani suits, and wearing a Rolex Daytona watch.
All this was despite the fact that he bragged about claiming unemployment benefits from the Italian state.
After a police commissioner in Castelvetrano, Rino Germana began investigating Denaro, he decided to have the cop killed.
He followed the inspector in his car, shooting at him and forcing him to jump into the sea to escape.
The officer survived only because the Kalashnikov of one of Denaro's henchmen jammed as he tried to fire.
Money for Denaro's crime syndicate came from running protection rackets, as well as illegal waste disposal, money laundering, and drug trafficking.
Denaro's empire of influence stretched as far as South America, and he was also reportedly the man who decided who should be killed by the mob.
He was also behind the choosing of targets in Florence, Milan and Rome which were attacked during a Cosa Nostra-led campaign of terror against the Italian state in the early 90s which left ten people dead.
Denaro planned the murder of two anti-mafia judges, killing one in his car as he drove home with up to 2,000 pounds of explosives placed below a stretch of highway in Sicily.
Other acts of horrific savagery allegedly planned by Denaro were carried out on the innocent relatives of rival mobsters.
Denaro is believed to have ordered the hit on Antonella Bonomo, the fiancée of Alcamo mafia boss Vincenzo Milazzo, who had been very critical of the Corleones.
Bonomo, who was three months pregnant at the time, drowned in the killing on July 15, 1992.
On another occasion, Denaro reportedly murdered a hotel manager who was going after the same woman as him.