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GODFATHER BIBLE CODE IS RUMBLED; He used holy book to run Mafia.

Byline: By Stephen White

A Mafia Godfather used his Bible to run his crime empire from his jail cell.

Bernardo Provenzano, 75, turned passages of scripture into coded messages and passed them to his henchmen on the outside.

But guards rumbled the plot and Provenzano has now been totally cut off from the outside world.

Provenzano, the "Boss of Bosses" of the Sicilian Mafia, also used a Bible code during the 43 years he spent on the run from police.

When he was arrested two years ago, detectives who searched his farmhouse hideaway near the town of Corleone found a Bible covered in mysterious dots, arrows and notations.

A police source revealed: "Certain words in the Bible were associated with numbers in the scheme he used in some of his most important messages."

FBI experts were brought in to crack the code. They deciphered several messages, leading to the arrest of a number of Provenzano's Mafia allies, but warned that the work could take years to complete.

Provenzano was known as The Tractor because of the way he mowed down his enemies.

He was convicted in his absence in 1992 of a string of murders, including the assassinations of two anti-Mafia judges.

After his arrest, he was sent to top-security Novara prison in northern Italy.

Guards closely vetted his letters, phone calls and visits. But human rights law forced them to allow him a Bible in his cell and Provenzano used it to get round the surveillance regime.

Prison bosses have now vowed to cut off "all communication" between the Godfather and outsiders.

CAPTION(S):

ISOLATED: Provenzano
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 14, 2008
Words:267
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