Born on April 26, 1962, in Castelvetrano in southwest Sicily, Messina Denaro grew up in the heart of organised crime.

His father, Don Ciccio, was the head of the local clan, and his godfather, who attended his baptism, was also a member of the mob.

He was accused of murdering Nicola Consales, a hotel owner who complained to an employee of always having “these little mafiosos under our feet”. Unfortunately, the employee was his mistress.

In 1992, he was part of a mob group sent to Rome to try to kill anti-Mafia judge Giovanni Falcone. Messina Denaro himself was ruthless throughout his career.

In July 1992, after allegedly taking part in the murder of Vincenzo Milazzo, the head of the rival Alcamo clan, he is accused of strangling his partner, who was three months’ pregnant.

As head of the Castelvetrano clan, he was allied with the Corleonesi clan, which was immortalised in the The Godfather films.

Messina Denaro continued his strategy of all-out brutality, providing logistical support for bombings in Florence, Milan and Rome that year that killed 10 people and wounded about 100.

A court found that in November 1993, he was one of the organisers of the kidnapping of Giuseppe Di Matteo, then 12, whose father had given testimony about the murder of Falcone.