Di Maulo Murder: Revenge for Montagna?

Raynald Desjardins, at his arrest, is awaiting trial for the 2011
killing of Salvatore Montagna, former Bonanno boss.

The below article from the MontrealGazette.com adds some more details regarding the recent murder of Joseph Di Maulo -- basically suggesting that fragmenting alliances aimed at filling a mob power vacuum in Montreal are heading toward a shooting war following the return of Vito Rizzuto.

But whether Rizzuto was behind Di Maulo's murder, or affiliates of Sal "The Ironworker" Montagna seeking revenge -- or even if these two groups are one and the same -- is still an open question. 

Montagna, after all, was once the boss of the Bonanno family, and his killing had to be a slap in the face to members of the American Cosa Nostra, which has close ties with Rizzuto, who just got out of a U.S. prison for helping former Bonanno boss/now turncoat Joe Massino stop an insurrection within the Bonanno family launched by three capos.

But figuring out who is with who is the big question for police.

About the only thing you can bank on right now is that mobsters in Montreal are certainly walking around "heavy."

MontrealGazette.comThe fatal shooting of veteran mobster Joseph Di Maulo outside his Blainville house Sunday suggests that associates of reputed Montreal godfather Vito Rizzuto — released from a U.S. prison just last month — might already be exacting vengeance, say experts in organized crime.

Di Maulo, whose body was found face-down in his driveway, got his start in the Mafia more than 50 years ago, and for many years was a confidant of Rizzuto.

But when Rizzuto was sent to jail in the U.S. five years ago for his role in the 1981 triple murder of three Mafia captains in Brooklyn, Di Maulo was among several mobsters who sought to assert control of organized crime in Montreal, experts say.

During Rizzuto’s absence, his son Nick Jr. was gunned down in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce in 2009, and on Nov. 10, 2010, Rizzuto’s father, Nicolo Sr., was shot dead by a sniper while he was inside his Cartierville house.

Di Maulo, who was 70, became the right-hand man of Raynald Desjardins, a major organized-crime figure. Together, they formed a brief alliance in Rizzuto’s absence with mobster Salvatore Montagna.

However, 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.

“The murder of Joseph Di Maulo is a significant event, as important as the murder of Nicolo Rizzuto Sr. in 2010,” said Pierre de Champlain, a retired RCMP intelligence analyst and an expert in Italian organized crime.

“Does this have something to do with the return of Vito Rizzuto to Canada? Perhaps. But for the moment, I don’t have enough information to draw a conclusion.”

However, de Champlain warned that he “wouldn’t be surprised if there are responses to this murder.”

Antonio Nicaso, the author of several books on the Mafia, suggested that Di Maulo’s death might be an act of vengeance.

“The indications here are that somebody is trying to retaliate for the murder of Salvatore Montagna,” Nicaso told The Gazette. “Unable to kill Desjardins (who is in prison), they killed the person that is closest to him on the outside.

“Many people say that (Di Maulo) was no longer on the same side with Rizzuto, because Raynald Desjardins was putting together the resources to replace Rizzuto.”

Nicaso, too, predicted more bloodshed to come.

“Montreal is a powder keg,” he added. “Anything can happen. There are symptoms of a substantial power struggle in the Montreal underworld because there is no longer a single group in charge, but many groups chomping at the bit. We should expect more violence.”

Julian Sher, a Toronto Star investigative journalist and co-author of two books on the Hells Angels and organized crime, cautioned that one shouldn’t jump to conclusions about who might be behind the latest Mafia hit.

“The Mafia chessboard is very complicated, and people like Di Maulo were associated with Rizzuto for many, many years, but also with potential rivals,” Sher said. “Was Di Maulo killed because he was (still) close to Rizzuto or was he killed because he went against Rizzuto? We just don’t know.”

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Revenge+hypothesis+looms+large+Joseph+Maulo+case/7501928/story.html#ixzz2BTr1e0GH