Mob Boss Vito Rizzuto Continues to Solidify Power in Montreal

Vito Rizzuto apparently is a methodical, highly skilled mob
boss up in Montreal, with a loyal, powerful crew behind him.
EXPANDED: While Vito Rizzuto was serving time in a U.S. prison for his participation in the infamous three-capo slaying, a move to abort a Bonanno civil war before it could get off the ground, both of his families were under attack: His blood family and his Mafia family.

The two overlapped in major ways.

On Nov. 10, 2010, less than a year before Vito would return home, his father was eating with his family at the dinner table when he was assassinated with what had to be a high-powered scope rifle, as if by sniper.

Vito's fast-rising mobster son was also slain, his brother-in-law kidnapped and presumed dead.

It's funny how you can spend hours surfing the web for stories about how the Rizzuto clan was finished back then, in 2011 and 2012. Even documentaries on You Tube (filmed while Vito was in prison, of course) seem to have missed the mark by a long shot, with one commentator actually stating that Vito would probably pack his bags and leave Montreal, and the Mafia, once he is out of prison. He rose too far, had too many enemies.

Oh, he did. He did have enemies -- and they killed members of both his families -- which sometimes were one and the same.

And now it seems he's fucking taking them all out, one by one, slowly and carefully, isolating hits, spreading them out. Surgical strikes, keeping gunfire to a minimum.

Vito ha ottenuto la sua vendetta.

He must have one loyal crew behind him. One tough crew. They seem to be remarkably deft; the Montreal police are still hemming and hawing over whether the recent slayings are related -- never mind who is behind them.

Well, you tell me, amici.

One victim in the recent Toronto double-slaying was Salvatore (Sam) Calautti, 41, who allegedly was a suspect in the murder of Nicola (Zio Cola) Rizzuto. That would be Vito Rizzuto's father. Calautti is -- was -- also a prolific hit man for the Calabrians.

And the other "victim" was James Tusek, 35. Since his arrest for operating a $16 million marijuana operation in Ontario’s Niagara region in 2008, he had allied himself with Nicola Cortese, 49, an Ontario man who was also questioned about the elder Rizzuto’s murder. Who knows if Tusek had a more direct connection to the slaying. Or maybe his connection to Cortese was a coincidence, and he happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Calautti and Tusek were shot earlier this month, in the wee hours of the morning outside a rental hall where they had spent the evening enjoying themselves at a bachelor party. One can't help but wonder if either man had had a premonition of what was waiting for them. They probably had been partying hearty that night, maybe they were even smiling as they headed toward the car, before one of them, or both of them, perhaps, spied the gunmen. Then heard the loud cracks.

Calautti was found dead inside a BMW X6. Tusek was found lying beside the vehicle and died after being taken to a hospital.

The list of other men who have died since Vito returned home is rather long.

But here is a brief rundown of how things changed after Rizzuto went away -- and how they changed some more when he finally returned.

One watershed-type event that indicated something far beyond the norm was happening was the fatal shooting of veteran mobster Joseph Di Maulo outside his Blainville house in November 2012. Di Maulo, a well known and widely trusted Mafioso who entered the life about 50 years ago, was one of Rizzuto's key confidants for many years. But when Rizzuto was sent to jail in the U.S., Di Maulo was among several mobsters who was alleged to have been seeking to control organized crime in Montreal.

Di Maulo, who was 70 when he met his end, had also grown close to his brother-in-law Raynald Desjardins, a major organized-crime figure. Together, they reportedly formed a brief alliance in Rizzuto’s absence with mobster Salvatore Montagna -- yes, that is Sal "The Ironworker" Montagna, former Bonanno acting boss who had moved his family to Elmont before the Feds finally managed to boot him into Canada upon learning he lacked U.S. citizenship.

As can happen in these situations, Desjardins and Di Maulo had a falling-out with Montagna, and on Nov. 24, 2011, Montagna was slain near the residence of another mobster. Desjardins and three associates are currently in prison awaiting trial on charges of killing Montagna.

So Di Maulo, the third and final Mafioso known to have been part of that coalition, was executed -- about one month after Rizzuto came home. Not many are buying that this is coincidence.

Salvatore Montagna
Also worth noting, the Rizzutos run a funeral parlor popular among Mafiosi of the region; Di Maulo was not laid out there, nor was there a wide assortment of mobsters in attendance at the funeral. However, his brother-in-law Desjardins, who is in prison for the Montagna hit, sent a large flower arrangement to Di Maulo's service.

Based on this slim evidence, one can assume where the battle lines had been drawn: with Desjardins and Di Maulo on one side and Rizzuto on the other.

Di Maulo's time in the Mafia goes back to the 1970s; initially, he belonged to "the [Montreal] Mafia's Calabrian branch, which ran Montreal in the 1970s in opposition to the Mob-linked Rizzuto family. Di Maulo joined the Rizzuto family after Bonanno underboss Paolo Violi was assassinated in 1978." [The writer quoted here may be confusing the Bonanno and Rizzuto families.]

So we have an idea how the battle lines had been initially drawn up. But it is now July of 2013 and gangsters are still getting whacked up in Canada. Who is next on Vito's list?

Assuming they haven't already packed their bags and left Montreal...


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Comments

  1. Without getting into the politics of the battle, if Rizzuto is really behind the vendetta murders, he stands as a man among men. Too often today, so called mobsters would use more rhetoric than bullets against their enemies. Family, biological, is everything.

    www.SonnysMobCafe.com

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  2. I agree with you. I think when it is all said and done Vito Rizzuto will go down as one of the most cunning, powerful, and toughest mob leaders ever.

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  3. Hats Off to this gentleman...no petty words only actions, that's how it should be

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  4. I just bought The Sixth Family... am gonna bone up on the Rizzutos... it will better inform my coverage too, going forward. I think we'll be writing about this guy for some time to come...

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  5. Ed, I suggest buying Mafia Inc. instead it covers mostly the same stuff with more updated info.

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  6. The sixth family is still a great read as it gives u a lot of history of the Rizzuto's. Brings u up to when he got his sentence for the 3 capos hit.

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    Replies
    1. Mafia Inc preface notes Vito's arrest by US authorities heralds the end of Vito's power in the mafia -- a lot of books will be updated and reissued - u watch!

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  7. Some people think a prison sentence ends a persons power and ability to lead, but there are a thousand ways to send and receive info from behind bars. I know Rizzuto was in ADX in Colorado, but I'm sure he could pass info through his lawyers. If you have resources you can find ways around anything

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  8. After Massino ordered Sciascia whacked, Rizzuto and him had a falling out. Rizzuto remainded on of the Bonnanos...maybe DeFillipe, that HE was more powerful than Massino. After all this time he was right.

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  9. The mob in Montreal is more powerful than any of the New York five.They have more money more firepower and more political influence. What most people don't know, is that the structure in Montreal is not as defined...the Rizzuto's are only one of the many clans that operate here. They are a sort of overseer of the various different groups, but they are not the one and only clan. There are currently 4 groups that operate together, without stepping on each others toes and this has nothing to do with Calabrian or Sicilians. It has to do with money.

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