Mafia boss Rizzuto back in Canada
Vito Rizzuto has stepped into an unknown world after
an eight-year prison stint, with his once-dominant alleged criminal
empire decimated by setbacks and his own family devastated by
The reputed Mafia boss was released from the U.S. federal
correctional institution in Florence, Colorado Friday morning and
handed over to American immigration authorities.
Peel Regional Police constable George Tudos confirmed that
Rizzuto arrived at Toronto's Pearson International Airport just
before 11 o'clock Friday night aboard an Air Canada flight, and that
officers were waiting at the arrivals gates.
``For us it was a security detail at the airport, I mean due to
the history behind this individual, we wanted to make sure that he
arrived safe and that everyone at the airport would be safe,'' he
The 66 year old reputed Sicilian Mafia boss remained at the
airport for only a short time before Tudos said he departed,
``He came from the U-S and he's a free man, so he's going where
ever he chooses at this point, and that's unknown.''
There had been speculation Rizzuto might appear in Montreal for
the funeral of his 92-year-old father-in-law, however, the service
was held Friday morning before he could get there.
Rizzuto was deemed to be the head of a powerful criminal
organization when he was arrested in 2004, with tentacles in a
multitude of legal and illegal businesses tied to different
But the organization was battered during his years behind bars,
which he spent mostly in the U.S. in connection with the
three-decade-old murders of New York Mafia captains.
Scores of his associates were arrested, and many others have been
The slayings have straddled three generations of Rizzuto's own
family, with his father and his son both gunned down. His
brother-in-law has been missing for two years.
Rizzuto's palatial home on a Montreal street dubbed by police as
``Mafia Row,'' because several family members lived there, is also
on sale for $1.5 million. The price for the four-bedroom,
five-bathroom home has been slashed by one-quarter - with the asking
rate dropping from nearly $2 million last summer.
And now the business dealings of the Rizzutos are under intense
public scrutiny during a Quebec inquiry into corruption in the
Old images of Rizzuto's late father Nicolo stuffing cash into his
socks were broadcast from the probe. The tape was gathered during a
surveillance operation that led to a multitude of Mafia arrests in
A former construction boss has testified that he was forced to
pay the Mafia a 2.5 per cent cut from public-works contracts, which
drove up the cost of construction in Montreal.
Star witness Lino Zambito told the inquiry that when he had a
dispute with another construction boss about who should win a rigged
public contract, that other boss called upon Rizzuto to mediate.
That rival construction owner, Tony Accurso, has denied squabbling
with Zambito or calling upon a mobster for help.
(The Canadian Press, With files by Peter Rakobowchuk)