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Murder of reputed Montreal crime boss opens new chapter in Mafia war

MONTREAL — A man alleged to be an influential member of the underworld whose career spanned nearly five decades has been gunned down in what appears to be a new chapter in Montreal’s ongoing Mafia war.

The killing of Joe Di Maulo is the first murder of a reputed Mafia boss since Vito Rizzuto, allegedly the most powerful Sicilian mobster in Canada, emerged from a long prison stint. Di Maulo was said to have once worked for a rival crime faction before joining with the Rizzutos in the 1970s.

He was killed outside his home late Sunday.

Di Maulo’s body was found face down in the driveway of his home that borders a golf course in a posh suburban area.

Police said a 911 call came from a member of the family inside the home.

He was the brother-in-law of Raynald Desjardins, charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of the alleged Mob boss Salvatore Montagna.

Currently awaiting trial, Desjardins recently lost a bid to get out of testifying before Quebec’s corruption inquiry.

Sources said Di Maulo suffered at least two gunshot wounds to the head but police would only say that an autopsy was needed to determine the cause of death.

“We’re still at the beginning of the investigation,” Sgt. Benoit Richard of Quebec provincial police said Monday.

“We’re still going over the scene right now — everything outside and inside the house — and we went over the area with sniffer dogs.”

There is a wooded area near Di Maulo’s home, which police paid close attention to on Monday. No weapon was found on the scene, Richard said.

Richard said police were meeting with neighbours, one by one, to determine if anyone saw anything suspicious in the days or weeks leading up to the death.

Police said the 70-year-old victim had links to organized crime but Richard said it was too soon to tell who might have been behind the attack.

“We need to have a clean slate to have an open mind and consider everything,” Richard said.

“We’ve had information about Mr. Di Maulo’s links to organized crime, but we can’t (say) any one group is behind this.”

Di Maulo’s slaying is the latest in a series of attacks on Mafia-linked figures in recent months and years.

The majority of the attacks have centered on key figures and members of the once-formidable Rizzuto clan.

Pierre de Champlain, a retired RCMP Mafia analyst and organized crime author, said that Di Maulo was a legendary figure in the Montreal Mafia — a man who had been involved in the underworld for 50 years and continued to be an important player.



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