HUNTER: Underworld landscape quiet since Musitano was rubbed out

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In the seminal TV Mob movie Gotti, star Armand Assante offers a prescient quip about the changing face and nature of the underworld.


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He is moaning to fellow mobster Frank DiCicco about upstart criminal clans from Russia, China and all points in between.

“You got anarchy. So … five to 10 years from now, they’re gonna wish there was an American Cosa Nostra. Five to 10 years from now, they’re gonna miss John Gotti,” Assante’s character said.

So far, no one is holding a Pat Musitano Memorial Day in Hamilton.

The corpulent gangster was clipped on July 10, 2020 in the parking lot of a Burlington strip mall. It was the third attempt on the 52-year-old Musitano’s life by his multitude of enemies in as many years.

On that scorching day, there was no doubt. Pat Musitano’s next destination was the morgue.

A year earlier, he had survived an assassination attempt outside his lawyer’s office in Mississauga and in 2017, his home in central Hamilton was riddled with bullets.


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His brother Angelo was popped outside his Waterdown home in 2017.

Angelo Musitano, centre, is led from home by police after being charged in the murder of Mob boss Johnny Papalia.
Angelo Musitano, centre, is led from home by police after being charged in the murder of Mob boss Johnny Papalia.

And that was that for the Musitano crime family, ending 70 years of murder and criminal machinations.

Since Pat Musitano’s murder, the underworld bloodshed that ravaged southern Ontario and claimed a dozen lives over a three-year period has finally come to a close.

“It seems like more than a year,” longtime underworld observer James Dubro told the Toronto Sun. “I guess because it’s a horrible, isolated, pandemic year. Mafia stuff has been quiet here.”

And as Gotti feared, other groups in the cultural mosaic are starting to muscle in on drug turf and other rackets.

“I think other groups are taking over a lot of the cocaine and fentanyl business, especially Asian gangs of Chinese and Vietnamese descent along with South Asian criminals,” Dubro said, adding that cops recently “busted a Canadian-Pakistani-Indian mob with strong Mexican organized crime ties.”


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That bust was one of the largest in Canadian history.

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Now, it’s a free-for-all on the streets with not just traditional Mob families, bikers, Russian criminals and street gangs greedily lusting after a bigger slice of the pie, but the aforementioned newbies.

Across the provincial border in Quebec, things have been more interesting.

A repentant hitman spilled the beans to cops on his participation in the slaying of mobster Rocco Sollecito.

That info was revealed during the first-degree murder trial of Marie-Josee Viau, 46, and Guy Dion, 49, in Montreal. The couple are on trial for the murders of brothers Vincent and Giuseppe Falduto. They are not charged with killing Sollecito.

More secrets are certain to be spilled.


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But back in Hamilton, things are quiet.

“Maybe things will shake up a bit more when the Violis (a rival crime clan who battled the Musitanos) get out,” Dubro said.

“And as for the old Musitano crew, I think it’s mostly gone to other groups. They’re toast. None of their associates are active in much now.”

But the Mob is nothing if not eternal.

The Musitanos and their cronies have been obliterated, ending one underworld chapter, but as you read this, another is being written.

Its pillars will be violence, greed and betrayal. The undertaker shouldn’t close up shop just yet.

The names and faces will change, the essence will not.

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