If there’s one thing nobody can deny, it’s that Salvatore “Toto” Riina was arguably the most ruthless wise guy ever to exist considering he reportedly ordered 800-1,000 murders before his own demise. It thus comes as no surprise this eventual chief of the Sicilian Mafia was often better known by his nicknames of La Belva (translation: the beast) or Il Capo Dei Capi (translation: the boss of bosses). So now, with Netflix’s ‘How to Become a Mob Boss’ delving deep into his background as well as methods, let’s learn a bit more about him, his career, and his overall financial standing too, shall we?
How Did Salvatore “Toto” Riina Earn His Money?
Born on November 16, 1930, in the poverty-stricken, local gang-controlled comune of Corleone in Palermo, Sicily, Italy, Salvatore ostensibly grew up surrounded by violence and death at every turn. The fact his father mistakenly set off an exploded war bomb in 1943 didn’t help either, especially as it resulted in his demise, the death of his 7-year-old son, along with severe injuries to another son. In other words, the Riina family shattered apart in the blink of an eye, leading the former down such a dark path he was arrested, convicted, and sentenced for his first murder at the tender age of 19.
Toto was actually released early in 1956, yet he ended up really stepping into the underworld instead of trying to turn over a new leaf — he became the assassin behind dozens of crucial killings. Therefore, once the murder indictments finally came along in the late 1960s, he went into hiding and remained a fugitive for 23 years, during which he did kind of take over the entire Sicilian Mafia. He ordered the execution of his rivals from other crews, made sure any journalist hoping to report on him met the same end, and even targeted innocent family members of enemies to make his point.
From competitors to informants to officials to traitors, Toto did not leave anyone behind, only for things to fall into complete mayhem as the public gradually grew afraid and the government furious. This boss was thus tried, convicted, as well as sentenced to two full life terms in absentia almost as soon as enough evidence tying him to severe organized crime came to light around the late 1980s. Then came further violence at his hand, plus claims of negotiations with local authorities; all the while he freely dealt in everything one would expect from a gangster at such an incredibly high level.
In the end, Toto was arrested from his villa in Palermo on January 15, 19 93, with officials being unaware this was just cause further chaos through art gallery attacks, car bombs, plus church sieges. Though no one has officially taken responsibility for these horrific, fatal happenings, it has been indicated the Cosa Nostra boss was behind them to delay his prison term — but again, it’s unconfirmed. There are a few other controversies regarding possible hits he ordered, yet the truth remains he was ultimately sentenced to multiple life terms against charges of mob association and many murders.
Salvatore “Toto” Riina’s Net Worth
Salvatore “Toto” was a married father of four, but he remained in nearly complete isolation after conviction, that is, until November 2017, when his family was granted special permission to say goodbye. That’s because he’d already been in a medically induced coma for two weeks following some operations, and doctors knew it was time – he died on November 17, 2017, a day following his 87th birthday. Hence, with a magistrate indicating Toto actually remained the head of Cosa Nostra until this very day, we estimate this life-long, career-criminal’s net worth was possibly an astounding $125 million.
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