Looking for an unmissable documentary? Here’s a UK premiere you can’t refuse…
Mafia Confidential, Friday 21 September, 9pm, National Geographic/HD (CH 266/268). Also available for 30 days in Catch Up > Channels > National Geographic
If you think of an iconic gangster, chances are the first person who’ll spring to mind is fictional: Tony Soprano, Don Vito Corleone, Tony Montana. But how do they compare to the real thing?
National Geographic’s Mafia Confidential delves into the story of one of the most powerful Mob bosses of all time, Salvatore “Totò” Riina. After becoming the head of the Corleonesi family in 1974, he came to dominate Italian organised crime through a ruthless campaign of violence and terror that continued even after his eventual arrest and imprisonment.
As well as orchestrating hundreds of killings within the Mafia, Riina was also responsible for the assassination of politicians, judges and police officers who stood in his way. During his time in power, he defied the Cosa Nostra’s traditions by also targeting women and children, and ordered attacks on civilian targets like train stations (it’s been suggested that he once considered targeting the Leaning Tower of Pisa).
He was finally arrested in 1993 and was convicted of more than a hundred murders, leading one newspaper to brand him “The Devil”. Featuring interviews with insiders, Mafia Confidential presents an accurate account of what was happening during one of the bloodiest eras of Mafia history and paints an intriguing, unsettling picture of the man behind the nicknames “The Boss of Bosses” and “The Beast”.
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Image credits: Mafia Confidential © National Geographic/ANSA NEWS AGENCY