Giorgio Barresi Killed in possible Mafia hit?

Giorgio Barresi, 42,  has been identified by Hamilton police as the man who was gunned down in his driveway on Monday night.

Barresi was a real estate agent in Stoney Creek and is survived by a wife and three children.

Reports of shots fired started coming in around 10:45 pm on Monday but despite the efforts of the first responders, Mr Barresi succumbed to his multiple gunshot wounds.

Police Investigate the Murder of Georgio Barresi

Police Investigate the Murder of Georgio Barresi

A Past that’s caught up with him?

Giorgio Barresi is a name familiar to the Mafia says Antonio Nicaso, a Mafia expert who teaches a class on organized crime at Queen’s University. Someone by that name has historic ties to the Musitano crime family.

“He was allegedly involved in illegal betting, gaming, gambling,” Mr Nicaso said.

The ongoing investigation has so far concluded that members of Barresi’s family were home at the time of the murder. It’s also reported that a four-door sedan and multiple suspects were possibly involved.

Barresi was a real estate agent with Royal LePage’s Stoney Creek branch. His broker Joe Ferrante was shocked about the killing and could offer investigators no details or useful information. Barresi’s colleagues found out about the killing on Tuesday.

Hamilton Police Investigate the murder of Giorgio Barresi

Hamilton Police Investigate the murder of Giorgio Barresi

“We’re extremely saddened by the news,” he said, “our thoughts are with Barresi’s wife and family.”

“He was a very popular agent within the office. He was admired by all his colleagues and will be sadly missed.”

Although trying to keep an open mind, police did acknowledge this targeted shooting bore similarities to recent deaths of victims with connections to organized crime who were also killed at home.

Det. Sgt. Jim Callender said he wasn’t aware at this time of any confirmed links between Mr Barresi and organized crime but it is definitely something that they will look into. He did acknowledge that Barresi was known to police, but “the interactions were limited.”

A Link to the Mafia?

A little bit of investigating on our part has produced newspaper clippings from the Hamilton Spectator who reference a 22-year-old man named Georgio Barresi who, in 1999 pleaded guilty to bookmaking along with seven others. Mafioso Pat Musitano was amongst the seven charged with the multimillion-dollar betting ring, but his charges were withdrawn.

Several attempts have been made on Pat Musitano’s life since.

Pat Musitano seen here in 1996 leaving court after being acquitted of arson charges.

Pat Musitano is seen here in 1996 leaving court after being acquitted of arson charges.

Although being gunned down in your driveway doesn’t guarantee it’s a mafia hit, the chances are pretty high. There has been an increase in mob-related murders recently in an ongoing power struggle in the criminal underworld.

The effects of the mob war that started in Montreal when the Musitanos aligned themselves with the Rizzuto’s, continues to be felt in Hamilton.

Nicaso says “I believe the strategy is to target lower-level, fringe people because they can’t, at the moment, target the bigger people. I think it’s a way to send a message to the more powerful.”