Reputed Ontario Mafia Boss Dies at Age 93

Reputed Mafia boss dies at home in Burlington at age 93:

Daniel Gasbarrini married the daughter of Tony Sylvestro, one of three Mafia dons who took over loansharking, gambling and narcotics across southern Ontario after Rocco Perri disappeared and his lieutenants were murdered.

[Gasbarrini held a] lifelong relationship... with Mafia boss Johnny Papalia. The pair went to school together in the North End, their fathers had similar criminal pasts, and the two forged a friendship.



That friendship included opening an illegal gambling house, The Porcupine Miners Club, with Papalia on John Street, two blocks from police headquarters shortly after Gasbarrini was released from prison in 1955. (It lasted for two years before the police "stopped looking the other way," Gasbarrini remembered.)

Keep alive a lifelong friendship with a man convicted in the infamous French Connection heroin smuggling plot, a man known for drug smuggling, gambling rackets, extortion, and even murder, and people will talk.

And talk they did. There was the 1963 testimony at the U.S. Senate crime investigations subcommittee hearing that identified Gasbarrini as father-in-law Sylvestro's likely successor and named him a key member of Canadian organized crime.

Back in Canada, he was identified as a suspected member of organized crime at the 1964 Ontario Police Commission hearings. Six years later, he was called "a kingpin in the Mafia in this country" by Ontario MPP Mort Shulman in a speech that led to a judicial inquiry. That inquiry probed connections between Gasbarrini, Papalia, Burlington businessman Clinton Duke, and senior Ontario Provincial Police officers....

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