Police probe Montreal death linked to organized crime
Published Sunday, December 9, 2012 5:11PM EST
Last Updated Monday, December 17, 2012 5:42PM EST
MONTREAL -- Montreal police continued to search for clues on Sunday following the death of a man linked to organized crime.
A police source identified the victim as Emilio Cordeleone.
Dany Richer, a spokesman for the force, said the victim was known to police.
"Our investigators do believe it's linked to Italian organized crime," he said.
Richer said police discovered the body inside an SUV on Saturday morning in the north end of Montreal. The victim had suffered serious injuries to his upper body, he said.
An autopsy is scheduled to be performed on Monday.
There have been a number of killings in Montreal in the past couple of years involving family members or associates of reputed Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto, including his father and his son.
Rizzuto, 66, served eight years in an American prison on racketeering charges and was immediately deported back to Canada upon his release in October.
La Presse crime reporter Daniel Renaud calls the most recent death a telling sign.
"My sources believe the murderer wanted to send a message. What kind of message, we don't know, but maybe to the father of the victim," said Renaud.
The victim's father is Domenico Cordeleone, a close ally of Moreno Gallo, a convicted murderer and alleged to be a high-ranking mobster.
The Cordeleone family was also close with Joe Di Maulo, 70, was is reputed to have recently been running the Montreal Mafia while Vito Rizzuto was in a U.S. jail.
Di Maulo was executed outside his home in Blainville in November.
Organized crime expert Antonio Nicaso said it's too early to speculate on who is behind the latest killing.
He suggests one theory is that despite Rizzuto's recent return to Montreal, there is still no clear leader of the Mafia, causing this latest power struggle.
"The Rizzuto crime family is not strong as it used to be and there are old enemies and new rivals that are trying to take control of Montreal and the Montreal Port," he said.
The latest death comes after Quebec's public inquiry into corruption in the construction industry wrapped up until the New Year.
There are reports that Rizzuto has been asked to testify before the commission, which has produced bombshell revelations tying together elements in politics, business and organized crime.
With a report from The Canadian Press