Mobster shot dead in Waterdown driveway
Homicide unit investigating after Angelo Musitano felled by bullets Tuesday
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.
Police investigate the cordoned-off crime scene at Chesapeake Drive in Waterdown Monday evening.
Neighbours expressed shock at hearing that several shots were fired in their Waterdown neighbourhood Monday. Police expected to be at the scene overnight.