July 18, 2020 – In the years before his violent passing, Canadian mafia don Pasquale (Fat Pat) Musitano perpetrated a shakedown of Hamilton, Ontario commercial builders and construction magnates, pocketing millions of dollars of purported investment capital for a gravel company that didn’t exist, per sources. His reign as the celebrity mob boss of Hamilton came to an end last week. The fictional gravel company extortion was just one of many motives authorities are looking into regarding the headline-grabbing homicide.

Musitano, 53, was murdered last Friday afternoon in a Burlington, Ontario furniture store parking lot, gunned down while flanked by his best friend Joe (Pino) Avignone and elderly bodyguard, John (The British Bulldog) Clary. Avignone and Clary were both wounded in the attack.

When Musitano and Avignone were hit and the assailants sped off, Clary ran after the getaway car and exchanged fire with the driver. On Thursday night, the 59-year old Avignone’s house was vandalized, the word “RAT” spray-painted on his garage, and two cars in his driveway were torched. Avignone has been linked by informants to the gravel shakedown effort, per sources.

Pino Avignone was adopted by the Musitano family in the 1970s and raised with Fat Pat and his younger sibling Angelo (Big Ange) Musitano, as brothers. Big Ange Mustiano was killed in 2017. Clary, born in Great Britain, was a longtime driver and bodyguard for the Mustianos’ father, Hamilton mob boss Dominic Musitano, who died of a heart attack in 1995. Fat Pat replaced his dad atop the crime family founded by his great uncle, Angelo (The Beast) Musitano in the late 1930s.

According to court records and RCMP documents, Pino Avignone ran affairs out of Monello’s Sports Club in Hamilton’s East End and has been involved with murder, narcotics and illegal gambling in the past. He was caught passing messages from the Musitano brothers’ uncle, Tony Musitano, in prison to the street in preparation for the 1983 gangland slaying of Toronto mob prince Domenic Racco and did five years in prison for conspiracy. Tony Musitano died last year of natural causes.

Clary was identified in FBI records from the 2000s as being the Musitano crime family’s go-between with the Buffalo mafia across the border in the United States. With support from Montreal’s Rizzuto crime family, the Musitano brothers pushed the Buffalo mob’s Hamilton crew out of the way in a hostile takeover that took place in 1997 with the murders of crew boss John (Johnny Pops) Papalia and his Niagara Falls underboss Carmen Barillaro.

Clary was reportedly tight with Barillaro and tried to broker a peace in the wake of the Johnny Pops hit to no avail. Barillaro was murdered weeks later. The Musitanos pleaded guilty to the Papalia and Barillaro slayings and each did eight years in prison.

Due to the unrest in the Montreal underworld for the past decade and their alliance with the under-siege Rizzuto mob empire, the Musitano brothers found themselves in the middle of the crossfire in May 2017 with Big Ange Musitano’s murder in his Ontario driveway. Last summer, Clary rammed his car into a rival mobster’s vehicle outside of Fat Pat Musitano’s home thinking that it was an ambush. Months earlier, Fat Pat survived an assassination attempt outside his attorney’s office near Toronto.

Leave a Reply