MONTREAL – The Loreto Funeral Complex, owned by the family of Vito Rizzuto, was firebombed in January 2011, while Rizzuto was in a US federal prison during a time of uncertainty.
Sunday afternoon, it was a calm but crowded place, as many came to pay their respects to deceased reputed Mafia kingpin.
“What’s interesting is who’s going to be there, and who isn’t going to be there,” said John Galianos, a former Quebec provincial police homicide investigator.
In front of the watchful gaze of police investigators from at least three agencies, dozens of people crowded the doors of the funeral home.
READ MORE: Vito Rizzuto funeral visitation a chance to ‘gather intelligence’: Mafia expert
Rizzuto died from natural causes while he appeared to be sitting at the top of Montreal’s underworld food chain.
He had been released from a US federal prison only a little more than a year, but in that time had apparently retaken control of Montreal’s crime family, Galianos said.
“One indication of that is that he bought a house in Laval,” he said.
“He didn’t seem to be hiding.”
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After serving a prison sentence for his role in a triple gangland murder in New York City in 1981, Rizzuto was considered a spent force by the time of his release in October of last year.
Most experts thought he would either move out of the country and retire or die trying to cobble his empire back together.
Galianos believes that the murders of his father and son – who were shot while Rizzuto was in prison – fired his return to power.
“There was a vengeance factor,” he said.
“I would assume he loved his son and his dad. And he still had a lot of authority.”
Rizzuto’s funeral is being held on Monday at a church in the Little Italy neighbourhood of Montreal.
Vito Rizzuto’s visitation took place in Montreal under watchful eyes