GANGLAND COLD CASES: CANADA Toronto’s unsolved Mafia Hit-men rub-outs

Many of these investigations have been boxed up in evidence rooms for decades.

What they are is unsolved mob murders and southern Ontario has had no shortage of them with some stretching back to the 1960’s. Casualties in a never-ending war for criminal empire.

“Things have changed,” Toronto Police cold case chief Stephen Smith told The Toronto Sun. “In traditional organized crime murders, the people in conflict aren’t the ones doing the killing and that makes them more difficult to solve.”

Murder at the bakery. TORONTO SUN

Over the past two decades, the Mafia has outsourced its killing to street gangs who will murder for cash, guns, drugs or glory adding “another layer” to police investigations, Smith said.

“It’s too much for them to put themselves at risk … it’s easier tor them to pay for a sloppy job that can be corrected than to do it themselves,” Smith said, adding that for the aspiring hitmen, it can be a one-way ticket.

Just ask two of the men suspected of taking mob scion Angelo “Big Ang” Musitano off the board in 2017 along with innocent bystander, Mila Barberi two months prior.

Both were found murdered in Mexico. Apparently, there is no place in the sun for killers.


Reputed mobster Salvatore Triumbari was killed in a gangland-style execution in 1967. It remains unsolved. Photo by HANDOUT /TORONTO POLICE SERVICE


Salvatore “Sammy” Triumbari is one of Toronto’s oldest unsolved mob murders. Just after 6 a.m. on Jan. 6, 1967, the 34-year-old racketeer who was a member of the Siderno crime clan and a bottling company manager was gunned down in the driveway of his north Toronto home. His killers fled through his backyard to their getaway car one street over. Cops say that about three days before Triumbari was clipped, he had been marked for death following a sitdown at his home with 30 other local gangsters. Reason? Trumbari and fellow mobster, Filippe Vendemini had disfigured a rival.

Vendemini: Murdered in 1969 for disfiguring mobster. Photo by HANDOUT/ TORONTO POLICE


Vendemini worked with Triumbari at the bottling company before opening his shoe store in 1968. He would not live to see 1970. His bullet-riddled body was found on June 6, 1969. The hit on the two men was ordered in Calabria and allegedly left in the capable hands of Michele “Mike the Baker” Racco to carry out. But when cops turned up the heat, Racco decided to spare the life of a third gangster marked for death.


Little is known about the Sarraino homicide. What is known is that the 30-year-old was found suffering from a gunshot wound behind a gas station near Royal York Rd. and Trehorne Dr. around 5:10 a.m. on Sept. 19, 1975. He later died in hospital.


Worth was just 17-years-old when he paid the ultimate price for his involvement in a mob-connected jewel theft ring. On June 24, 1975 around 8:15 a.m. walkers in Serena Grundy Park found Worth’s lifeless body. He had been shot to death. For years, whispers in the underworld pointed to mob enforcer Ian Rosenberg as the killer. Reason? Cops wanted to talk to Worth and Rosenberg feared the teen would rat them out. But Rosenberg ain’t talking: He had his ticket punched on April 22, 1977.

The body of Hamilton mob boss Pat Musitano on July 10 in a Burlington strip mall, Photo by Ernest Doroszuk /Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network


The 18-year-old Italian youth was spending four months in Canada when he was murdered on June 6, 1976. Palmeriti was found with two bullets in his head in an abandoned building on Bayview Ave. On the night he was slain, the youth went out to play pool at Regina Billiards. The two main theories were that a) It was a revenge murder for a botched hit in Italy or b) the murder was a “peace offering” to end fighting between mob factions in the Big Smoke.



Drug trafficker Carnovale, 30, was on parole and facing another dope dealing trial. Bullets are a fine way to keep a man quiet and on Friday, Jan. 11, 1980 as he sat watching TV at his girlfriend’s Keele St. apartment, two shotgun blasts did their due diligence. The shells slammed into Carnovale’s chest, obliterating his heart and lungs. A silver or grey Cadillac with a black vinyl roof raced from the scene in the minutes after the trigger was pulled.


Cherubino was rubbed out on Dec. 2, 1983 in the middle of the day. Cops say he was shot in the head and chest inside a moving car before the hit team dumped him on Rosemount Ave. in the Dufferin St. and St. Clair Ave. W. area. He staggered for around 100 feet before collapsing and dying. He had been photographed meeting with a Racco associate the day before he was murdered.

In the seven years since he immigrated to Canada from Italy, Cherubino had never held a job.


On Sept. 4, 1986, just after 5:30 a.m., Cotroneo was stabbed to death in the parking lot of his Lawrence Ave. W. apartment building. Witnesses told cops that the killer was a younger man who stabbed the wholesaler in the chest, neck and arm. The killer was described as between 20 and 25 years old, with a medium build and dark or black mid-length hair.

Detectives believe the suspect hitchhiked out of the area with a woman.

Derango. Taken for a ride.


Derango took a ride on Nov. 19, 1996 and never came back. Cops say the 22-year-old got into a red-coloured car outside the Caffe Lamezia at 2438 Dufferin St. about 30 minutes before he was found suffering from gunshot wounds outside the Phil White Arena at 400 Arlington Ave. around 7:36 p.m. Derango later died in hospital. His pals clammed up.


The inventor of the Obus Forme backrest was executed on Aug. 13, 1998, by a killer who shot him in the head and chest outside his Toronto factory. Roberts — who pals said had “no enemies” — was gunned down after a person approached his Mercedes-Benz and briefly spoke with him. The tycoon’s personal life came under scrutiny when reports of a mistress surfaced.

Patricia Real. The only woman on the list. TORONTO SUN


The only woman on the roster, Real, 46, was reportedly the girlfriend of her boss, reputed mobster Gaetano Panepinto. She was shot to death on July 17, 2000 with a pair of bullets to the head. Her ex-boyfriend, Ron Harper, 54, who killed himself in a hotel room was one of the main suspects. The masked killer fled on a bicycle. Panepinto would soon follow her to the grave.

Casket salesman Gaetano Panepinto. HANDOUT/ TORONTO POLICE


The funeral casket salesman and mob enforcer was clipped on Oct. 3, 2000. Panepinto, 41, had links to gangsters in Buffalo and Montreal. His life ended when hitmen sprayed his Cadillac with gunfire on Bloor St. W. “No doubt, this is a hit,” homicide Det.-Sgt. Mike Davis told The Sun at the time.  Panepinto was transported to hospital, where he died shortly after arrival.

Goodbye to Joe Racco. TORONTO SUN


Racco, 68, died after he was shot on Nov. 22, 2000 with a small-calibre bullet at the Commisso Bros. & Racco Italian Bakery on Eddystone Ave., a business he co-owned with partner Frank Pizzimenti. Police sources told The Sun at the time that Racco was associated with members of the Siderno Mafia group.

Pizzimenti. Murdered. HANDOUT/ TORONTO POLICE


The “hard-working” 64-year-old businessman shot to death on Feb. 2, 2002 outside his Commisso Bros. & Racco bakery on Kincort St., in the Caledonia Rd.-Castlefield Ave. area. Pizzimenti had been sitting in his Alfa Romeo when a man approached the passenger side and began shooting. The father of four was struck by four bullets and pronounced dead at the scene. His partner Racco was murdered two years earlier.

Murdered on Christmas Day. HANDOUT/TORONTO POLICE


The 59-year-old gambler was murdered on Christmas Day 2013 at his home at 35 Ettrick Cres. He had been involved in a lawsuit involving his brothers who claimed he was fleecing their dementia-stricken mother. Court documents said: “Vito testified that he dropped out of school in Grade 12. He has never worked. He has lived at his parents’ home through-out. Vito’s evidence was that he gambled for a living. He declares no income from gambling, however, and has been on ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program) for some time.”

Patriarca: Shot to death in his garage. HANDOUT/ TORONTO POLICE


On Jan. 20, 2016, around 6:25 p.m., Patriarca, 42, is seen on CCTV pulling into his driveway near The Kingsway and Princess Margaret Blvd. Within minutes a triggerman parked a bullet into the father of two, who cops said had suspected mob ties. In the summer of 2012, Patriarca was watching Euro Cup soccer with Johnnie Raposo on the patio of a crowded College St. cafe when an alleged hit man dressed as a construction worker gunned down the 35-year-old Raposo.

Author: acbocc

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