The underworld of Montreal is at war. Several high profile mafia bosses have been murdered and yesterday Bonanno family boss Salvatore Montagna was the latest victim as he was shot to death in a suburb near Montreal.
When paramedics arrived on the scene, they found Montagna laying in a river. They pulled him out of the cold water, into the even colder snow and tried to resuscitate him. To no avail. Montagna was pronounced dead at the scene. He was 40 years old.
Montagna had arrived in Montreal in 2009 after US Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported him because of a criminal contempt charge. Montagna was born in Montreal, but grew up in Sicily, and later moved to New York where he would go on to head the New York Bonanno Crime Family at the young age of 35.
For a profile of Salvatore Montagna and his criminal career click here.
The Surete du Quebec immediately took over the case and began their investigation. As with any organized crime murder, details are still sketchy and uncertain. According to witnesses they saw Montagna break a window of a house and run away towards the river where paramedics later found him. Other witness accounts also mention gun shots and another man chasing Montagna. Though, police point out that the investigation is still in progress and they cannot confirm anything as of yet.
Thus, the exact motive behind the murder of Montagna (right) remains unclear. But it almost certainly has something to do with a power struggle within the Montreal underworld. Ever since the arrest and sentencing of Montreal mob boss Vito Rizzuto, his crime family started unraveling. A few months after his arrest, Vito’s father Nicolo and over seventy alleged members and associates of his criminal organization were picked up on various criminal charges including drug trafficking.
In 2009, the killing of members of Rizzuto’s weakened organization began. The first one to fall was Federico Del Peschio, a close associate of Nicolo. Vito’s son Nick was next. Vito’s father Nicolo was killed while sitting at his kitchen table by a gunman standing in his yard with a rifle. As Vito Rizzuto sits in an American prison cell serving a ten year sentence for the murder of three Bonanno Family captains he must have been heartbroken. These were the two men who were the closest to him. Not to mention his most loyal henchmen on the streets of Montreal.
The murders continued with the killing of Lorenzo LoPresti, on October 24, being the most recent. That is, until Salvatore Montagna’s time ran out on a snowy white Thursday morning. Was the former mob boss from New York sticking his nose where it didn’t belong? Hopefully authorities can find out.
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