Nicolo Rizzuto murdered in suspected gang rivalry
By: Tyler Finigan
Pronounced dead before he reached the hospital last Wednesday, 86 year old Nicolo Rizutto was the oldest and final member at the head of the Montreal Mafia.
Police believe that a shooter was sitting in the forest behind the Rizzuto home when they fired through the window, hitting Rizzuto. Montreal Police have been combing the area for evidence.
The two women present in the home when Rizzuto was shot were later identified as his wife and daughter. The pair were brought to the hospital to be treated for shock. Their witness accounts have yet to be given. Despite the shock suffered by the two women, neighbours weren’t as surprised.
“It’s just sad, more than anything,” a grey-haired man who lived nearby and only wanted to be identified as “Paul,” said to the Gazette. “I didn’t know him personally, but I knew of him, because they attend the same church as me and vote in the same area. It’s sad. I walked down to see what was going on.”
“I’m not surprised with what happened here earlier,” Joey Alfieri, a local journalism student said to The Gazette. “You’re shocked when it’s close to your home. But actually, I’m not really surprised.” The Rizzuto family has been the unchallenged head of the mafia since 1978.
“I don’t know who killed Nicolo Rizzuto, but whoever did it wanted to remove the Rizzuto family from the Canadian underworld map,” organized crime expert Antonio Nicaso said to CTV. “He was the last godfather, the last senior member of the Rizzuto crime family alive or out of jail.”
For the past few years the Rizzuto clan has been crippled. Nicolo Rizzuto’s grandson, Nick Rizzuto was gunned down last Christmas and, in May of this year, Nicolo’s right hand man, Agostino Cuntrera, was reported kidnapped only to later be gunned down with his body guard this summer.
Police speculate that these attacks might be because of a blood feud between the Calabrese and Sicilian clan’ of Montreal, which was sparked by the assassination of Paolo Violi in 1978. Other statements declare that it can be smaller factions of the mafia, simply trying to rise their way up. According to Nicaso it is difficult to determine who’s behind the fall of the Rizzuto clan. “The victims are all on one side, so there is someone that is challenging the Rizzuto crime family, but it’s like a ghost. It’s someone without a face,” he said.
According to CTV, Rizzuto’s death is the 35th case of homicide in Montreal this year.