MONTREAL - Ten minutes after former Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto left Toronto's Pearson airport on the night of Oct. 5, he was gone.
The RCMP set up a surveillance operation to track the former don's whereabouts after he left the airport. He had been freshly deported from the U.S. after serving six years for a 1981 mob hit.
However, the RCMP investigators quickly realized that although the former don's father, son and close associates were murdered while he was in prison, Rizzuto was neither isolated nor vulnerable.
Within minutes of Rizzuto driving away from Pearson, his car was joined by several other vehicles. A few sly car manoeuvres later and the RCMP lost track of him.
"It barely took 10 minutes," QMI Agency was told by a police source.
Detective Al Almeida with the York Regional Police told QMI Agency that "our officers haven't seen Rizzuto with their eyes anywhere in the Greater Toronto Area since he disembarked from the plane (at Pearson)."
Rizzuto has, however, been spotted several times in Montreal, according to QMI Agency sources.
Rizzuto's exact location is unknown. Also unclear is if the recent violence in Montreal is related to his return or simply random acts of murder and arson.
Former journalist and Mafia researcher Lee Lamothe told QMI Agency that at least in Toronto, the "paranoia has set in."
Lamothe said that high-ranking members of Toronto's mafia do not go out in public without body guards.
"No one (in mob circles) thought that Rizzuto would have stayed alive this long (after leaving prison)," Lamothe said.