Montreal mobster Vito Rizzuto has died. He suffered heart failure yesterday at the age of 67.
Rizzuto was the head of Canada's biggest crime syndicate.
Update December 30th:
Rizzuto was suffering from lung cancer and had begun chemotherapy, but with Christmas approaching, the Mafia don ceased his treatment and had planned to resume treatments in January.
Rizzuto's wife found him lying on the floor in their home in Laval, just north of Montreal. The street Antoine Berthelet Avenue is also famous for Vito's father being killed there, shot through the kitchen window of his home. Upon discovery Vito Rizzuto was immediately rushed to hospital and his condition had deteriorated by Sunday evening.
Rizzuto's health problems weren't new and were publicly known. He had mentioned them in 2006, when he was extradited to New York to stand trial for his involvement in the 1981 murders of three New York mobsters. At the time the Montreal Mafioso spoke of "a spot on a lung", but the health problem was deemed minor and not a reason to delay his extradition.
While he was in prison Vito's father and son were both murdered - and afterwards a series of revenge killings took place as the Rizzuto family tried to determine who their enemies were and who needed to be killed to secure the family's safety.
But now with the death of the Montreal godfather and crime leader you might wonder who will step up to fill the power vacuum?
Rocco Sollecito, one of Rizzuto's most faithful disciples, is now believed to be his replacement. But only time will tell. Transitions from one mafia leader to another are seldom smooth.
Expect more killings in the future as the Montreal mafia has a power struggle to determine who will be the new leader.