Mob­ster shot dead in Wa­ter­down drive­way

Homi­cide unit in­ves­ti­gat­ing after An­gelo Musi­tano felled by bul­lets Tues­day

The Hamilton Spectator - - FRONT PAGE - SU­SAN CLAIRMONT AND CARMELA FRAGOMENI

A fa­tal gang­land-style hit tar­get­ing no­to­ri­ous mob­ster An­gelo Musi­tano may be the start of a new crime war in Hamil­ton.

The Spec­ta­tor has con­firmed Musi­tano, whose 40th birth­day would have been on Sun­day, was gunned down in the drive­way of his Wa­ter­down home Tues­day at about 4 p.m. Neigh­bours say they heard mul­ti­ple shots fired.

A source not au­tho­rized to speak on the record said An­gelo — Ang — a mem­ber of one of Hamil­ton’s most in­fa­mous crime fam­i­lies was shot and killed. He died at the scene. The source also ac­knowl­edged that Ang’s older brother Pasquale — Pat — who is 49, is likely very con­cerned about his own safety.

“The war is on,” said the source, who has knowl­edge of the crime but is not au­tho­rized to speak of­fi­cially about the case, which is be­ing han­dled by the homi­cide unit.

Po­lice cor­doned off Ch­e­sa­peake Drive in Wa­ter­down after sev­eral shots were re­port­edly fired at a man in a drive­way.

Mike King, who says he has

been a good friend of Ang’s since meet­ing him at a Chris­tian men’s group sev­eral years ago, was shat­tered by the news. Es­pe­cially be­cause Ang’s three young boys may never even re­mem­ber their fa­ther.

“Ang had left his past be­hind him,” King said emo­tion­ally. “Ang would stand up for what’s right for ev­ery­one. He was a de­voted fa­ther and was de­voted in his faith. He was a good per­son.”

King said Ang loved his wife dearly and was liv­ing a clean life, run­ning a le­git­i­mate busi­ness. “He loved the Lord. He changed his life for the Lord.”

Ang re­cently wrote a book about his life, said King, telling the story of over­com­ing his crim­i­nal past.

King sent ex­cerpts from the book to The Spec­ta­tor.

“At the age of 21, I was charged with two counts of first de­gree mur­der,” wrote Ang. One of these charges was even­tu­ally dropped, but for the sec­ond I was sen­tenced to 10 years in prison.”

“Dur­ing my for­ma­tive years and while serv­ing my sen­tence, I saw first hand the worst of the hu­man con­di­tion — beat­ings, stab­bings and mur­der — and it be­gan to have a pro­found ef­fect on me. I wanted to try to dis­tance my­self from my past, but on my re­lease it seemed that there was only one life for an ex-con. No­body seemed will­ing to take a chance on a man with a record.”

He goes on to write about meet­ing his wife and strug­gling to find work.

“For a time I still walked on the wrong side of life … And then God found me.”

Hamil­ton po­lice con­firmed the homi­cide unit is over­see­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. A foren­sics truck was on the scene.

The ac­tiv­ity ap­peared to be around 14 Ch­e­sa­peake Dr.

To­gether Pat and Ang were charged with first-de­gree mur­der in the May 1997 con­tract killing of Hamil­ton mob boss Johnny (Pops) Pa­palia, 73.

Pa­palia, one of Canada’s most pow­er­ful mob­sters and known as The En­forcer, was gunned down by hit­man Kenny Mur­dock in broad day­light as he walked through the park­ing lot of his fam­ily’s vend­ing ma­chine busi­ness, Galaxy Vend­ing, on Rail­way Street.

Ang was just 21 at the time, while Pat was 31.

A deal al­lowed the broth­ers to plead guilty to the lesser of­fence of con­spir­acy to com­mit mur­der in the shooting death of Ni­a­gara crime boss Car­men Bar­il­laro in 1997.

In the fall of 2015, Pat’s SUV was set on fire in the drive­way of his home on St. Clair Boule­vard.

The fire de­part­ment re­sponded to a “vi­tal signs ab­sent” call on Ch­e­sa­peake Drive in Wa­ter­down at Rock­haven Lane around 4 p.m.

At the Wa­ter­down scene, neigh­bour Robert An­drew said he heard some­one was tar­geted in a drive-by shooting.

An­drew says his wife spoke to a neigh­bour on Ch­e­sa­peake who said eight shots were heard. “It’s scary for Wa­ter­down,” he said. Pierre Lebel, a res­i­dent on the street, said he was on his way home when a friend texted him that there had been a shooting sev­eral doors down. The first thing he did was call his kids to see if they were safe, he said.

“It’s fright­en­ing when you hear of a driveby shooting,” he said. “It’s in­sane.”

Lebel said he met the vic­tim once, but didn’t know his name. “He seemed like a nice fel­low”. But Lebel also said the fam­ily kept to them­selves.

A man whose back­yard was be­hind the vic­tim’s house said: “It sounded like he fell out of the truck. My wife said she saw cups on the ground by the truck with his truck door open.”

The man, who would only iden­tify him­self as John, said the vic­tim had young chil­dren un­der the age of four. “This is shock­ing,” he added. A group of teenage boys who had fol­lowed the po­lice and am­bu­lance sirens to Ch­e­sa­peake be­fore the po­lice ex­panded their cor­doned-off area, said they could see two or three bul­let holes in the white Ford pickup truck in the drive­way.

A neigh­bour, who wouldn’t give his name, said the man owned a con­struc­tion firm and a restau­rant, and said the vic­tim and his fam­ily had not lived on the street that long.

Ch­e­sa­peake is a street lined with young, flow­er­ing trees and well-kept lawns in a fairly new sub­di­vi­sion of large homes.

Many res­i­dents who lived nearby said they didn’t hear or see any­thing be­cause they were just re­turn­ing home from work.

AC­TION of­fi­cers at one point went door to door, can­vass­ing the well-kept, large homes on the street.

Passersby were ex­press­ing shock that this could have hap­pened in Wa­ter­down.

Drivers who were un­aware of what hap­pened, were slow­ing down and ask­ing what was go­ing on.

Po­lice cor­doned off the street with yel­low po­lice tape at Rock­haven Lane on one end and at the other end where Ch­e­sa­peake curves, and blocked the street with cruis­ers. They also criss-crossed the street with the yel­low tape and cor­doned off two houses, one with a white pickup truck in the drive­way and the other with a sil­ver car. Of­fi­cers ex­am­in­ing the truck could be seen putting down mark­ers on var­i­ous spots on the drive­way.

Prop­erty records show 14 Ch­e­sa­peake Dr. is reg­is­tered to Hay­ley Rachel New­ton.

A 2012 donor re­port for the Hamil­ton Health Sciences Foun­da­tion lists a “Miss Hay­ley New­ton and Mr. An­gelo Musi­tano” as hav­ing given be­tween $1,000 and $4,999 that year.

Kenny Mur­dock, the hit­man al­legedly hired by Pat and Ang to kill Pa­palia, pleaded guilty to three counts of sec­ond-de­gree mur­der, claim­ing he was the trig­ger man hired by the Musi­tanos to shoot Pa­palia and Bar­il­laro, along with the 1985 drive-by shooting of jan­i­tor Sal­va­tore Alaimo. Mur­dock is now out on pa­role and has changed his name.

“I have now taken a stand to help other young men and women to learn from my mis­takes,” Ang wrote in his book.

“The real truth is, God an­swers our prayers. There are some peo­ple who don’t know who I am, but at the end of the day, I know who I am.”

An­gelo Musi­tano, right, and his brother Pat Musi­tano in 1998.

GARY YOKOYAMA, THE HAMIL­TON SPEC­TA­TOR

Po­lice in­ves­ti­gate the cor­doned-off crime scene at Ch­e­sa­peake Drive in Wa­ter­down Mon­day even­ing.

GARY YOKOYAMA, THE HAMIL­TON SPEC­TA­TOR

Neigh­bours ex­pressed shock at hear­ing that sev­eral shots were fired in their Wa­ter­down neigh­bour­hood Mon­day. Po­lice ex­pected to be at the scene overnight.

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