Small service held for Musitano
Funeral for murdered one-time mobster unlike other Mafia ceremonies
The Musitano family has quietly said goodbye to Angelo.
In a private, small service at the Friscolanti Funeral Chapel, Angelo Musitano was put to rest Friday, just two days shy of his 40th birthday.
There was no public announcement. No throngs of media. No massive crowds of mourners.
None of the spectacle that one might expect when the youngest son of a notorious mob family is brutally killed by what seems to be gangland gunfire in his own driveway.
But then again, Ang (as he was always known) had been living a quiet life. Police have said they’d had no contact with him for years. Most of his neighbours on his lovely Waterdown street had no idea who he was or what was in his past.
They didn’t know that he and his oldest sibling, Pat, had gone to prison after being implicated in the violent and brazen hit that took out Hamilton Mafia don Johnny Papalia and his lieutenant, Carmen Barillaro, in 1997. Ang was just 20 when the murders were carried out by a hitman. He waited outside while Barillaro was killed in his Niagara Falls home.
The brothers took a deal and pleaded to conspiracy to commit murder in Barillaro’s case. For a while, they had adjacent prison cells. They were released on parole in 2006.
Parole records show that while he denied being from an organized crime family, Ang felt remorse for the impact on Barillaro’s daughters.
Now he leaves behind three young sons and a wife. They were in their lovely suburban house when Ang was shot multiple times in his truck by a man who pulled up in a sedan.
Just recently, Ang published his own testimonial to how he found God. He begins by explaining that he comes from “The Family.”
No arrests have been made in his murder, which played out in broad daylight on Tuesday afternoon. Det. Sgt. Peter Thom says more police resources have been devoted to the investigation and other police services have been contacted in an effort to share intelligence.
The baby of his family, Ang was doted on by his parents, Dominic and Carmelina Musitano, and his three brothers and sister.
The private funeral is a sharp contrast to other mob funerals this city has seen.
When Pat and Ang’s father, Dominic, died of a heart attack in 1995, as many as 1,000 mourners gathered inside and outside Cathedral of Christ the King for the crime boss’s funeral.
The grand display (also orchestrated by Friscolanti) included an honour guard of 30 men, more than 150 vehicles, including five stretch limos, accompanying the hearse and a dozen motorcycles with uniformed drivers from a private funeral escort service leading the procession to Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. Two years later, Papalia was buried. His service was a more modest occasion than Dominic’s funeral. About 200 family and friends gathered at (not surprisingly) Friscolanti on Barton Street East, near James Street North. The Roman Catholic diocese refused to give Papalia a full funeral mass because of his criminal life. He was buried with rosary beads in his hands.
The crowd of onlookers outside Friscolanti’s outnumbered those inside. A Spec photographer caught a photo of Pat Musitano lining up to go in and pay his respects to Johnny Pops. It would be months before he and Ang were arrested for Papalia’s murder.
Angelo Musitano, right, and Pat Musitano leave provincial court in downtown Hamilton in 1998. A service was held for Angelo at the Friscolanti Funeral Home Friday after he was shot Tuesday.