March 6, 2020 — The epic Canadian mafia war raging for over a decade hit Hamilton, Ontario in 2017 and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. Local real estate agent and convicted bookmaker George Barresi was murdered in his drive way this week, the latest victim in a bloody feud that began in Montreal in the late 2000s and has spread across the country in recent years.
The 42-year old Barresi was gunned down in his Stoney Creek neighborhood Monday morning. Shot in the back of the head, he was pronounced dead at the scene. His wife and children were inside in his home when he was killed.
Barresi was connected to the Musitano crime family in his younger days. He pleaded guilty to running a sports book in 1999. Reputed Hamilton mob boss Pasquale (Fat Pat) Musitano was originally indicted in the same case but had the charges dropped. What role if any he played in current underworld affairs in the Hamilton area is unknown at this time.
Fat Pat Musitano survived an assassination attempt last April outside his attorney’s office near Toronto — Musitano was shot four times. Angelo (Big Ange) Musitano, Fat Pat’s younger brother, was slain in his driveway in a May 2017 gangland hit.
The Musitano brothers took power by force in 1997 with the murder of their predecessor, John (Johnny Pops) Papalia, a capo in the Buffalo mafia family. They served time in prison for the hit and re-emerged on the streets in 2006. Following the murder of Johnny Pops, the Musitanos aligned with Montreal don Vito Rizzuto, who at that time was affiliated with the Bonanno crime family out of New York City.
The modern day Canadian mob clash can be traced back to Rizzuto’s extradition to the United States to serve a prison term for a 1981 Bonanno clan triple murder depicted in the Al Pacino-Johnny Depp film Donnie Brasco. With Rizzuto away, his mob empire went up in flames, as a number of his main lieutenants joined together to try and oust him from power.
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