Friday, April 26, 2019

Pat Musitano changed Hamilton's underworld

In July 1997, Niagara Falls mobster Carmen Barillaro — lieutenant to Hamilton kingpin Johnny 'Pops' Papalia — was murdered in the doorway of his home. The 9mm used to kill Barillaro was fired by Kenneth Murdock, a hitman hired by a rival mob family. Three months earlier Murdock shot and killed Papalia in Hamilton, and the killings effectively wiped out the leadership of the Papalia crime family. Murdock was acting on orders from the Musitano crime family.

The murders did more than cripple a top crime family. They unwittingly opened the door for the Hells Angels.
Pat Musitano and his brother Angelo Musitano pleaded guilty in 1998 for ordering the hit on Barillaro and were sentenced to 10 years in prison. They were both released in 2006. Angelo was shot and killed in 2017 in Waterdown. Six months after Murdock was sentenced, the Sherbrooke chapter arrived in Niagara Falls for a "biker summit." A critical meeting between Hells Angel Walter 'Nugget' Stadnick and Gerald 'Skinny' Ward of Welland occurred. The bikers wanted Ward to become the leader of a new Hells Angels chapter in Niagara. The Outlaws were a shadow of their former glory and with Barillaro gone there was no effective opposition left.
Walter Stadnick
By 2006 the Hells Angels were the undisputed masters.In December 1999 nearly every Ontario Outlaw biker patched over to become Hells Angels. The Niagara chapter led by Ward was based out of a fortified clubhouse on Darby Road in Welland.

The Hells Angels were betrayed by one of their own. Oshawa biker Stephen Gault became a police informant. It was a blow the club has yet to recover from.
Gault wore a wire and recorded Ward bragging about his operation.