Mobster of the Year: Vito Rizzuto Is Montreal's King of the Volcano

Cosa Nostra News names Vito Rizzuto as Mobster of the Year, 2013. (We did this not knowing he would die about a week shy of the year's end, but considering what he achieved in the world he chose to live in--reclaiming what was his and having his enemies chased down and killed--the man certainly fit the bill. Buona fortuna, Vito...)

Vito Rizzuto, continuing his ongoing vendetta against all his enemies, apparently sent a message as far away as Mexico last month, ending the life of Moreno Gallo while he was attempting to enjoy his retirement/exile from his homeland in a sun-baked beachside resort.

This is one of the most recent hits allegedly ordered by Rizzuto -- but authorities are certain it is not the last.

Rizzuto is back on top -- his opposition apparently wiped out. However, he is still hunting down those who turned on him, whomever they are and however far they attempt to flee. Experts say Vito is showing his Sicilian side now and likely will wait for years if necessary to hunt down and shoot on sight those on his "death list." Enabling the elderly Mafia strongman to continue his bloody purge is the younger breed of Canadian mobsters -- men in their 30s and 40s -- sons, cousins and other blood relations of Rizzuto as well as trusted members of his inner circle.

The 68-year-old Gallo -- a former top-echelon mob figure in Rizzuto's organization -- caught in the head several bullets that "retired" him permanently one Sunday night in November in an Italian restaurant in Acapulco, a sunny resort town once extremely popular among American newlyweds.

Reportedly clad in glistening white pants and an eye-catching pinkish shirt, he unknowingly presented an easy target for the hit man (clad in no-nonsense all-black attire) while relaxing with friends at Forza Italia for wine and food.

He was shot several times in the head with a 9mm handgun.

Gallo had once been considered a replacement for Rizzuto, about a decade ago, when U.S. officials arrested the Canadian John Gotti -- as Rizzuto had often been called back them. However, long stretches in prison and a government-sactioned threat to expatriate him from Canada ended any potential he may have had in his former career. He also chose the wrong side, which Rizzuto didn't forget.

Early Retirement: Moreno Gallo, slain in November in Mexico.

Rizzuto, history has shown in the brief year he's been back, does not forget anything.

Gallo, an Italian immigrant and permanent resident of Canada, originally belonged to the Calabrian clan that ran Montreal into the late 1970s; once, the Sicilian Rizzuto family shot their way to the top, they were gracious enough to accept surviving members of the other team into their borgata, Gallo among them.

War broke out after Vito's arrest by U.S. authorities -- the battle lines drawn between those loyal to an imprisoned Rizzuto and those not; among the lives claimed in the fighting were several key family members, including Rizzuto’s father and son, both named Nicolo Rizzuto.

Salvatore Montagna
By 2010, Salvatore "Sal the Ironworker" Montagna, a former Bonanno boss from New York, joined forces with popular elder statesman of the Canadian mob Joseph Di Maulo and others, including Raynald Desjardins, in a bloody move to seize control of Montreal. Gallo was among the former Rizzuto stalwarts who joined their side as well.

But a dispute among Vito's enemies led to an attempted hit on Desjardins, a relative of Di Maulo's, and it didn't take long for them to figure out who was behind it. The result -- Sal The Ironworker was killed a few weeks later. One source reportedly said of Montagna: "He thought he was a lot smarter than he was."

Gallo was deported two months later.

In the waning days of 2013, Vito is not only back and on top, but in vendetta mode.

Joseph DiMaulo was also
whacked for disloyalty.
Rizzuto's ability to command such firepower and men -- as we noted, he certainly has a loyal crew behind him -- is said to be the ruthless younger members/relatives of Rizzuto and those loyal to him, men in their 30s, 40s and even 50s, the sons and cousins of family elders, the next generation ready to assume control.

Unlike the ambitious but shallow younger Mafiosi in the U.S., these Canadian gangsters seem to be more traditional, honoring codes that have kept Cosa Nostra purring smoothly forward for centuries.