Who is the World’s Most Wanted fugitive Matteo Messina Denaro?

Matteo has been on the run since 1993.

World's Most Wanted

Another true-crime series has landed on Netflix, this time looking at some of the world’s most dangerous criminals.

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World’s Most Wanted examines how five of the world’s most threatening offenders have remained at large – sometimes for more than 25 years – and why cops want to put them behind bars for good.

One of the fugitives featured is Matteo Messina Denaro.

So who exactly is he? And what’s he accused of? Here’s everything you need to know.

Who is Matteo Messina Denaro?

Also known as Diabolik, Matteo Messina Denara is a Sicilian Mafia boss.

He is thought to have connections with the murders of 50 people, including a series of car bomb attacks which killed 10 people including two prosecutors.

Denaro has been on the run since 1993, but is now said to be considered the boss of bosses in the Sicilian mob world.

He is thought to be one of the new leaders of Cosa Nostra after the arrest of Bernardo Provenzano in 2006, and the arrest of Salvatore Lo Piccolo in 2007.

Denaro comes from a very powerful and well-respected Mafia family and was born in Castelvetrano, Sicily, on April 26, 1962.

He is alleged to have learned to use a gun at 14, and committed his first murder at 18.

World's Most Wanted
Matteo Messina Denaro
Netflix

Denaro became known nationally on 12 April 2001 when the magazine L’Espresso put him on the cover with the headline: Ecco il nuovo capo della Mafia (“Here is the new head of the Mafia”, or “Here is the new Mafia boss”).

He was known for being a bit of a playboy, driving fast sports cars around and wearing designer clothes.

His daughter Lorenza Alagna was born in 1996, out of wedlock. This was quite controversial in the Mafia as they tend to adhere to conservative family values.

What is he accused of?

Matteo Messina Denaro is thought to have played a prominent role in the terrorist campaign that swept through Sicily in 1993.

The Italian police had implemented a strict prison regime and had arrested Mafia boss Salvatore Riina, and the Cosa Nostra wanted to scare the state away.

The Cosa Nostra conducted a series of bomb attacks in the Via dei Georgofili in Florence, Via Palestro in Milan, Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano and Via San Teodoro in Rome, which left 10 people dead and 93 injured.

TV journalist Maurizio Costanzo just about escaped a car-bomb attack. Costanzo often spoke out against the Mafia.

After the 1993 bombings Denaro went into hiding. On May 6, 2002, Denaro was sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment for his role in the terrorist attacks of 1993.

Where is he now?

World's Most Wanted
Matteo (on the right)
Netflix

Matteo Messina Denaro has been on the run since June 1993.

It’s believed that Denaro has a good relationship with both Provenzano and the Graviano clans, and so may be hiding with either of their families.

Matteo’s sister Patrizia Messina Denaro was arrested on suspicion of helping her brother evade capture.

An investigator said of Patrizia: “She is aggressive, determined and happy to use her surname to scare extortion victims.”

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The World’s Most Wanted is available to stream on Netflix from August 5th. Check out our lists of the best series on Netflix and the best movies on Netflix, or see what else is on with our TV Guide.