Infamous Sicilian Mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro was arrested this week in Palermo, ending his 30-year reign of terror in Italy.
60-year-old Messina Denaro – who proclaimed that "with all the people I've killed, I could make a cemetery" – was arrested at a clinic where he was being treated for colon cancer under the pseudonym Andrea Bonafede.
Messina Denaro went into hiding in 1993 after making Italy's most wanted list and was later considered to be one of the top ten most wanted and powerful criminals in the world.
During the course of the effort to track down the infamous crime boss – who was cut off even from his own family, such was his effort to remain undetected – investigators pieced together countless letters and notes, some of which were related to his love of video games.
In a letter sent by his lover Maria Mesi, Messina Denaro's love of gaming becomes apparent:
I love you and will love you for life. From the bottom of my heart I love you, I send you many kisses. Yours forever. I really want to give you a gift. You know, I've read that the Donkey Kong 3 tape is out and I can't wait for it to be on the market to buy it for you. The Secret of Mana 2 one hasn't arrived yet…
(Note that Google offers the translation 'tape' here, but one can safely assume Messina Denaro means 'cartridge'.)
We can assume he's talking about Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!, given that he also mentions 'Secret of Mana 2' – the Square sequel which was mooted in the 1990s but never saw release on the SNES in the west. It would eventually be localised as part of the Collection of Mana in 2019.
According to the Italian news site qds.it, Messina Denaro developed an "intense passion for video games", and they became part of his daily routine while he was hiding from the authorities.