Monday, December 28, 2009

Mobster Murdered in Montreal

Various media outlets are salivating at the thought of a mob drama to rival any of the cinematic versions after the son of one of Montreal's Mafia bosses was gunned down in broad daylight on Monday, December 28th.

The logical conclusion is that there is going to be instant retaliation and then all hell is going to break loose, with a steady supply of corpses to fill up nightly newscasts and the kind of melodrama that appeals to all segments of the viewing audience, from the wealthy to the white trash. So-called experts on the Mafia scene in Canada have been consulted and the shocking prediction from one is that "There will be, for sure, a retaliation."

A simple narrative that people can get their heads around is what this is all about. Now, if only the requisite drama plays out just as it does in the movies. (Though Mafia killings are at least one example where real-life violence usually trumps anything that happens in books or cinema. In cinema, at least, there just wouldn't be enough time in a two-hour movie to depict the kind of carnage that results when a real Mafia war breaks out.)

And in a demonstration that art and life are often similar, the victim was standing near a car as he was gunned down. Mobsters in the movies and TV often seem to take out their rivals as they are getting into a car. Why exactly is that?

A few possibilities:


When someone is getting into a car, they are preoccupied and vulnerable. As some oaf lumbers out of a restaurant with a gutful of pasta and bends down to unlock the car door, he is less likely to be able to fight back, or flee.


A mobland murder often involves a hitman from out of town to decrease the likelihood that he will be caught. License plates on a car are another way to confirm that the correct person is being targetted.

Random Location

A random location outside decreases the possibility of physical evidence and also narrows the number of possible suspects. On the other hand, when someone is killed at or near a location that he frequented, other regulars from the vicinity, both strangers and those who knew the victim, can provide evidence and be interviewed, thus increasing the chances of finding the killer.

But if the murder of a mobster in Montreal and those killed in the movies bear any resemblance, the similarities end there. Because it's a guarantee that the murderous criminal Mafia thugs, who are often treated with a sick kind of reverance by the media, don't utter a steady stream of clever witticisms and hip aphorisms, do not lead lives in three tidy acts, and are not sympathetic characters in the least.

When Nicolo Rizzuto's brains oozed out of his skull and dirtied the snow on a street in Montreal, it marked the violent end of the kind of person society romanticizes far too often. Whether the killing will spark a mob war in Montreal remains to be seen.

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