The passing of Montreal Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto is thought by many to make the end of an era in the Montreal underworld. Vito was by all accounts an old school mob boss who had build the crime family previously run by his father into an international power. He was known for being a man who could solve problems and for being a master mediator which gained him respect from various crime families around the world. The Rizzuto crime family under Vito developed very strong political connections and financial strengths in Canada and elsewhere. We will take a quick look back at road to power for Vito Rizzuto from his move to Canada as a kid to his death as the most powerful bosses in Mafia history.
Vito Rizzuto was born in Cattolica Eraclea, Sicily. Then in January of 1954 Nicolo Rizzuto Sr along with his family and young 8 years old Vito move to Canada.
In January of 1978 the then head of the Calabrian Mafia Paolo Violi is murdered in Montreal. The era of the Rizzuto family led by Nicolo Rizzuto begins.
In the early 1980’s the Rizzuto crime family begins to form many alliances with other Montreal organized crime groups and Italian families. The Rizzuto crime family is now the powerful force in the Montreal underworld.
“Vito Rizzuo w/ one of his many mafia associates”
In 1981 as an internal dispute is happening inside the Bonanno crime family of New York Mafia three mob captains are murdered. Alphonse Indelicato, Dominick Trinchera, and Philip Giaccone are all murdered in cold blood at a hangout in Brooklyn New York. The Rizzuto family takeover in Montreal was believed to have been backed by the Bonanno family in New York and Vito is believed to be one of the shooters.
“Philip “Phil Lucky” Giaccone, Dominick “Big Trin” Trinchera, and Alphonse “Sonny Red” Indelicato”
In 1990 turncoat Bonanno family mobster Salvatore Vitale fingers Vito Rizzuto as one of the shooters in the 1981hit on the three Bonanno capos. The facing a possible death sentence Bonanno family boss Joseph Massino turns rat and testifies against Vito Rizzuto.
Vito Rizzuto is indicted in 2003 on racketeering charges which include his role in the murder of the three Bonanno capos from 81.
“Vito Rizzuto Indicted in U.S.”
Vito Rizzuto is extradited from Canada to the United States in 2006 to stand trial and now faces up to 20 years in prison.
In May of 2007 Vito Rizzuto admits to being present at the murder scene of the three Bonanno family capos and is sentenced to 10 years in prison.
“Rizzuto trial sketch”
While Vito is in prison in the U.S. a large Mafia sweep called Project Colisee happens in Montreal and 19 Mafiosi including high ranking Rizzuto family members are arrested. Nicolo Rizzuto is taken in custody at his home in Montreal. The “untouchability” of the Rizzuto crime family begins to come into question as both Vito and Nicolo spend time in prison.
“Nicolo Rizzuto arrested”
In December of 2009 Vito Rizzuto’s son Nick Rizzuto Jr is shot and killed execution style in broad daylight in Montreal. An assault on the Rizzuto crime family has begun.
“Nick Rizzuto Jr assassinated”
In June of 2010 the Rizzuto crime family consigliere Paolo Renda is believed to have been kidnapped. Renda is Nicolo Rizzuto’s right hand man and a major money man for the Rizzuto family. His car is found abandoned and he believed to have been murdered.
Then same month Agostino Cuntrera who many believed was in line to take over control of the Rizzuto family while Vito was in prison was shot and killed in Montreal.
“Cuntrera murder scene”
In November of 2010 Nicolo Rizzuto is assassinated at his home by a sniper. The elder Rizzuto was shot in the neck by a single bullet through a plate glass window in back of his Montreal home.
“Nick Sr assassinated”
The attempt by rival faction responsible for attacks on the Rizzuto family falls apart leading to the murder of one time Bonanno family boss Salvatore “Sal the Ironworker” Montagna who was believed to have allied with Raynald Desjardins among others. A struggle for who would take control developed and Desjardins was targeted in a hit that he survived and then struck back ordering the murder of Montanga. Desjardins is charged with murder of Montagna and taken into custody.
Vito Rizzuto is released from U.S. prison in October of 2012 and returns to Montreal. It is believed that he once again takes over the reigns of the Montreal Mafia and begins to strike back against his enemies for the attack on his crime family and deaths of his father and son.
“Vito is relased from prison”
December 23, 2013 Vito Rizzuto dies at a hospital in Montreal. Reports are that he passes away of natural causes due to health complications at the age of 67.