Mob boss, Vito Rizzuto, laid to rest in Montreal

Vito Rizzuto funeral at Notre-Dame-de-la-Defense, Montreal, Monday, Dec. 30, 2013. (SEBASTIEN...

Vito Rizzuto funeral at Notre-Dame-de-la-Defense, Montreal, Monday, Dec. 30, 2013. (SEBASTIEN ST-JEAN/QMI Agency)

Brian Daly, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:23 PM ET

MONTREAL — For the third time in just over four years, the main Italian Catholic church in Montreal hosted a funeral for Canada's reputed first family of Mafia power.

A cortege of 11 limousines followed a hearse carrying the body of Vito Rizzuto, the multilingual don who ran an international crime syndicate that frustrated Canadian law enforcement for decades.

The 67-year-old Sicilian-born Montrealer died of complications from lung cancer a week earlier.

About 100 people attended Monday's funeral, mainly close relatives of the don. None of them spoke to reporters.

It was a far cry from the big crowds that attended the family's funeral home for a viewing on Sunday, which featured Vito's childhood friend and potential successor, Rocco Sollecito, as well as a stunning array of floral arrangements.

The cornucopia of flowers was also on display at the funeral. From the back of one limousine hung a set of flowers that formed the word "Nonno," which means "grandpa" in Italian.

Another bouquet sported a ribbon that read "Farewell, my Friend."

Rizzuto's wife Giovanna Cammalleri, his mother Libertina Manno, and his surviving children Leonardo and Bettina were among two dozen family members who emerged from the line of limousines in front of the red-brick building.

The same church, built by Italian immigrants in 1919, was the scene of funerals for Rizzuto's son Nick Jr. in 2009 and father Nick Sr. in 2010. Assassins gunned down both men while Vito was in a U.S. prison.

One young relative exploded in anger at the journalists on the sidewalk and punched a TV camera that struck a cameraman in the face.

Other mourners were more discreet, hustling in a side door of the ornate church, away from the cameras.


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