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The Death of Vito Rizzuto

Vito Rizzuto, one of the most powerful mobsters in Canada, died Monday morning, December 23rd, at Sacre-Coeur Hospital in Montreal of natural causes. Rizzuto, 67, suddenly became ill and had to be taken to hospital about Midnight. His long time attorney, Jean Salois, said that Rizzuto had been undergoing treatment for cancer but that he contracted pneumonia. In 2007, Rizzuto plead guilty to playing a role in the May 1981 murders of the three Bonanno crime family captains--Dominick Trinchera, Alphonse Indelicato and Philip Giaccone--in a crime family power play orchestrated by former boss Joseph Massino. When he took his plea, Rizzuto admitted to being the guy at the social club in Brooklyn who jumped out and said "this is a holdup," a remark which froze everyone in the room. Then a bunch of shooters came in a killed the three captains. Rizzuto got a ten year sentence and was released in October 2012. After he was freed,Rizzuto apparently started settling old scores with people who may have killed his father, eldest son and other close associates. Author Adrian Humphreys, co-author of The Sixth Family, which is a biography of Rizzuto, said in the past 14 months or so a number of people have died in Canada, Mexico and Europe in the score settling that went on. But one of Rizzuto's U.S. attorneys, David Schoen, said he didn't believe Rizzuto was behind those killings and said his client was a gracious man who loved his family. Rizzuto also when he was alive denied being a soldier in the Bonanno family, not surprising since he was of Sicilian heritage and was considered by police to be more of an old style Mafia leader in Canada. Funeral arrangements were unclear. Rizzuto is survived by a son Leo and daughter Bettina, both respected attorneys. What will happen next to the Rizzuto crime family in Montreal is anyone's guess.

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© 2014 by Anthony M. DeStefano.