Salvatore Riina, also known as Totò Riina (born November 16, 1930, Corleone) is a member of the Sicilian Mafia who became the most powerful member of the criminal organisation in the early 1980s. Fellow mobsters nicknamed him The Beast due to his violent nature, or sometimes The Short One due to his diminutive height (La Belva and U curtu in Sicilian respectively) although apparently they never called him these nicknames to his face. During his life-long career in crime he is believed to have personally killed around forty people and to have ordered the deaths of several hundreds more.
During the 1980s and early 1990s, Riina and his Mafia faction, the Corleonesi, waged a ruthless campaign of violence against both rival mobsters and the state which culminated in the assassination of two anti-Mafia prosecutors. This caused widespread public revulsion of the Mafia and led to a major crackdown by the authorities, resulting in the capture and imprisonment of Riina and many of his associates.