Luciano Leggio (Italian pronunciation: [luˈtʃaːno ˈlɛddʒo]; 6 January 1925 – 15 November 1993) was an Italian criminal and leading figure of the Sicilian Mafia. He was the head of the Corleonesi, the Mafia faction that originated in the town of Corleone . He is universally known with the surname Liggio, a result of a misspelling in court documents in the 1960s .As well as setting the Corleonesi on track to become the dominant Mafia clan in Sicily , he became infamous for avoiding convictions for a multitude of crimes, including homicide, before he was finally imprisoned for life in 1974.
Leggio was one of ten children raised in extreme poverty on a small farm . He turned to crime in his teens. His first conviction was when he was aged 18 for stealing corn; as soon as he completed a six- month sentence for this crime , he murdered the man who had reported him to the police . In 1945 he was recruited by the Mafia boss of Corleone , Michele Navarra, to work as an enforcer and hitman . That same year Leggio shot dead a farm - hand in order to take his job , then immediately took over the farm by demanding the owner sign it over to him at gunpoint.
While behind bars in the late 1940s he met Salvatore Riina, who was then aged 19 and starting a six-year sentence for manslaughter. The two eventually became accomplices in crime after Riina's release, as did two other young local criminals, Calogero Bagarella and Bernardo Provenzano.