Notorious mobster takes deadly secrets to the grave as he dies from cancer

A notorious mafia boss has died in hospital a decade after his capture in Sicily following decades of hiding in the countryside. Bernardo Provenzano, who was nicknamed The Tractor because he mowed down his opponents, was suffering from bladder cancer and Parkinson’s disease and had spent the last two years under guard on a Milan hospital ward. The 83-year-old, for decades the undisputed head of the Sicilian Cosa Nostra Mafia, went to his grave linked to countless unresolved crimes which prosecutors were unable to investigate because of his declining health.

He had the brains of a chicken but shoots like an angel

Mobster Luciano Liggio

For more than four decades Provenzano became a legendary outlaw and fugitive. Investigators believe he was in Sicily, probably often within sight of his home town, protected by a network of local contacts. He was arrested at his farmhouse hideaway in 2006 after 43 years as a fugitive having been convicted in absentia of ordering or carrying out multiple murders. He ran his empire like a business, abandoning the brutality of his early years and earning the new nickname of The Accountant, by sending out tiny coded messages called pizzini on paper folded many times.