Victim In Hamilton Hit Identified, Was Killed In Alleged "Mafia Retaliation"

While the man gunned down in Hamilton wasn't a mob boss (his job description was entrepreneur), sources tell organized crime investigators that the shooting was "Mafia retaliation" for the unsolved 2017 murder of gangland boss Angelo Musitano.

Albert Iavarone
Albert Iavarone 

Albert Iavarone was a Hamilton entrepreneur and real estate agent, and someone hid in his bushes last night and shot him dead as he walked toward his Ancaster home.

Iavarone had links to associates in organized crime.

"The killer hid in bushes and lay in wait for Albert Iavarone to return home Thursday night," Det. Sgt. Peter Thom told The Hamilton Spectator today.

The 50-year-old was shot around 10 p.m. as he walked from his car, which was parked outside 32 Sunflower Cres. in Ancaster's quiet Scenic Woods neighbourhood.

Surveillance footage revealed that a male suspect arrived in a silver vehicle, parked and hid in bushes for an “extended period of time” until Iavarone returned home. Then the suspect “left his hiding spot, approached Iavarone and shot him." Iavarone collapsed near his front door with a gunshot wound to his upper body and was pronounced dead on the scene by paramedics.

Det. Sgt. Peter Thom said that Iavarone did not have a criminal record but was known to police “as he is associated to individuals involved in traditional organized crime in the Hamilton area.”

A former Hamilton organized crime cop told the Star that the targeted murder is Mafia retaliation for an unsolved 2017 killing.

September 1998, Pat Musitano, left, with brother Angelo.

“This is not finished,” tweeted Paul Manning, a former Hamilton undercover cop who worked on organized crime cases.

Sources told him the murder was “Mafia retaliation” for the murder of Angelo Musitano in May 2017, Manning tweeted.

“It’s our belief that there is something going on in the underworld, maybe a power struggle,” Thom said.

“I’m not sure that this particular case factors into that, but that’s certainly something that we’re alive to,” Thom said.

Stephen Metelsky, a criminology professor at Mohawk College who spent more than 20 years as a police officer specializing in organized crime, told a Canadian newspaper that "Iavarone is believed to be connected to the Musitanos."

Iavarone did not have a criminal record, and police have not explained his alleged organized crime ties.

But Metelsky thinks "the similarities" between the murders of Musitano and Iavarone are "more than coincidence."

Meteskly said the public shooting was no accident — the killing served a purpose.

"It's very telling when that person is waiting in the bushes to shoot him right near his front door, probably fully knowing he has a wife and two kids," he said.

"It's a huge sign of disrespect and says that this person's life and family are worthless to the underworld."

Angelo Musitano, 39, was shot at close range several times while in his truck outside his home in the Hamilton suburb of Waterdown sixteen months ago.

Two weeks after Angelo Musitano’s murder, the St. Clair Boulevard home of his older brother, Pasquale (Pat) Musitano, 51, was sprayed with bullets. No one was injured, but the shooting was seen as a warning.

In January, York Region Police said they believe the same hitman who gunned down Musitano also killed veterinary technician Mila Barberi, 28, who was in “the wrong place at the wrong time” two months earlier in Woodbridge.

“We’re confident that there was a link between these two,” Det.-Sgt. Jim Kilby of York Region police said at the time.

Last winter, homicide investigators with York Regional Police and the Hamilton Police Service launched a joint-forces investigation and are seeking public assistance to identify two suspects and two vehicles which have been linked to two homicides, one in the City of Vaughan and the other in the City of Hamilton.

There’s no known motive for the murders, police said.

Barberi wasn’t believed to be the hitman’s intended target, Kilby said.

Her 40-year-old boyfriend sat beside her on March 14, 2017 in a BMW SUV when she was shot in a parking lot of an industrial park on Caster Ave. near Weston Rd. and Highway 7 in Woodbridge.

“I think it’s a classic case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Kilby said.

Her boyfriend was treated with minor hand injuries.

Barberi had no criminal record.

Musitano, a father of three, claimed to have found God and inner peace shortly before he was shot dead in the driveway of his suburban home in May 2017, sources said.

There were security cameras at the Ancaster victim’s home and the home of Musitano.

An autopsy was scheduled for Iavarone today.

Johnny Pops

Musitano’s family has convictions for extortions and bombings in the 1970s, the 1983 gangland hit of Toronto mobster Domenic Racco, and the murders of mobsters John (Pops) Papalia and Carmen Barillaro in 1997.

Several theories were given by police and other sources about the Musitano murder. One police source said some key players in illegal gambling in Niagara Falls have been arrested, creating a turf war to replace them.

As per other sources, Musitano was connected to the late Vito Rizzuto, a Montreal mob boss, who has long-standing bitter enemies in Hamilton and Toronto.


The Musitano brothers were charged with first-degree murder in the May 1997 contract killing of Papalia, a Hamilton mob boss.

Papalia, 73, was gunned down by hit man Kenny Murdock in daylight as he walked through a downtown parking lot.

Angelo Musitano was 21 at the time, while Pat Musitano was 31.

A deal allowed the brothers to plead guilty to the lesser offence of conspiracy to commit murder in the 1997 shooting death of Barillaro.

Barillaro was considered by police to be Papalia’s second-in-command.