Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Friday, November 12, 2010

News Websites In Italy Abuzz Over Slaying: Rizzuto Crime Family Linked To $7 Billion Bridge Project

Nicolo Rizzuto and his clan have often put Montreal -or at least crime and carnage here -in the headlines in Italy, the country he left behind in 1954 when he moved to Canada.
News of the 86-year-old being shot dead through a window of his Cartierville home on Wednesday was big news in Italy, the story on the front page of many of the country's newspaper websites.
"Montreal mafia war: godfather killed, Rizzuto clan wiped out'," read the headline in Il Giornale.
"Heads continue to roll in Montreal's Rizzuto clan," the national daily reported, noting five Rizzuto family members and associates have been killed and one kidnapped over the last 15 months in Montreal. "It has the makings of Godfather, Part 4."
The Corriere della Sera headlined its article: "Killed in Montreal: patriarch of the Rizzuto mafioso clan."
"With the death of its patriarch, the clan of Sicilian origin suffered a blow that may be fatal," the national newspaper reported.
"After 30 years of dominance, the power of the Rizzutos on the organized-crime scene has been openly questioned in Montreal for more than a year."
Il Secolo XIX, a Genoabased daily, suggested Rizzuto was the organization's "last godfather.'"
"With the death of its patriarch, it's the definitive end of an era for the Rizzuto family, which 'owned' Montreal from the late seventies onward," the newspaper reported, detailing Rizzuto's rise in Montreal after battling rivals who were of Calabrian origin.
"The killing of Nicolo Rizzuto may be the last act of a war that has caused dozens of deaths in Montreal," Il Secolo XIX reported.
Before Nicolo Rizzuto was gunned down, the most recent headlines about his family were related to the killing of his grandson, Nick, in Notre Dame de Grace in 2009.
Before that, the Rizzuto family made front-page news over a plan to build a $7-billion bridge linking Sicily to Italy's mainland.
In 2005, Italian police alleged that Nicolo's son, Vito -now serving a 10-year sentence at a prison in Colorado for racketeering related to three murders -was involved in a plan to launder money using the bridge-construction project. The plan was also said to involve Giuseppe (Joseph) Zappia, a key figure in a scandal involving Montreal's Olympic Village in the 1970s.
A recent book published in Italy, I Padrini del Ponte (The godfathers of the bridge) described the bridge project as "one of the biggest money-laundering operations in the history of the Cosa Nostra."
The 3.7-kilometres bridge, which would have been the longest suspension bridge in the world, was never built.



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