Di Maulo Slaying Linked to 2011 Montagna Rubout

Canadian police investigate the slaying of Di Maulo.
REVISED: It is unclear who is behind the early November murder of long-time, respected Montreal Mafioso Joseph Di Maulo, 70, who was considered by many to be a sort of chief consiglieri during these volatile times, according to published reports, including the MontrealGazette.com.

But it is clear that this murder is somehow connected to the murder of Sal "The Iron Worker" Montagna, who had been a former acting boss of the Bonanno family before he was deported from the U.S. to Canada in 2009.

As we wrote in an earlier post, the 2011 Thanksgiving Day shooting of Montagna was not an isolated incident. Previously Montagna had formed an alliance with Di Maulo, 70, and Di Maulo's brother-in-law, Raynald Desjardins. This was part of an attempt to reach a consensus over who should act as the next leaders of the Mafia in Montreal.

But then Desjardins and Di Maulo had a falling-out with Montagna, and in September 2011 there was an attempt on Desjardins life. He apparently met the challenge, because about two months later, on Nov. 24, 2011, Montagna was slain near the residence of another mobster, his body found close to the L’Assomption River off the northeastern tip of Montreal.

Joseph Di Maulo
 Desjardins and three associates are currently in prison awaiting trial for killing Montagna.

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

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

“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.”

In the article, de Champlain warned 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, reported the MontrealGazette.com.

“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.”

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 have been drawn, at least as far as Desjardins and Di Maulo on one side; Rizzuto on the other. The key question is, will mobsters maintain their existing alliances or does Rizzuto's return serve as a game changer.

Di Maulo's time in the Mafia goes back to the 1970s; initially, according to CbcNews.com, 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.]

Police are expecting more shooting to occur in the next few months and are probably debating right now if this was the first shot of a Mafia war in Montreal as Vito takes revenge for the murder of his father and son and assumes power.