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The Globe and Mail

Luxury cars fill funeral home parking lot during Rizzuto visitation

Convicted Montreal crime boss Nicolo Rizzuto leaves a Montreal prison Thursday, Oct. 16, 2008. Nicolo Rizzuto, the 84-year-old father of the man reputed to be the godfather of the Montreal Mafia, has been given a suspended sentence after previously pleading guilty to two criminal charges. Nicolo will be on probation for three years after being sentenced in Montreal today. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

GRAHAM HIGHES/The Canadian Press

Mourners gathered at an east-end Montreal funeral home on Saturday evening where visitation was held for murdered Mafia don Nicolo Rizzuto.

Luxury cars, many with tinted windows, filled the parking lot at the funeral home soon after visitation began at 7 p.m.

A team of bodyguards restricted access to the site while police officers watched from the perimeter, taking photographs and filming the proceedings.

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Mr. Rizzuto, often called the "last godfather," was gunned down in his home on Wednesday in front of his wife and daughter.

The 86-year-old arrived in Canada as an illiterate immigrant from Sicily to build one of the world's most powerful criminal enterprises with influence on different continents.

His funeral will be held Monday at a church in Montreal's Little Italy.

Hundreds, perhaps even thousands, are expected to attend Mr. Rizzuto's funeral.

Visitation is being held this weekend at the same funeral home where his grandson Nick Rizzuto Jr.'s visitation was held after he was gunned down last December.

Mr. Rizzuto's son Vito, the current reputed head of the Montreal Mafia, is in a U.S. jail and won't be attending his father's funeral.

The Rizzuto clan not only raked in money from vice and drugs, but also extended into untold businesses in various sectors considered legitimate.

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The clan was brought to its knees in a massive 2006 police dragnet where scores of its members were arrested.

The family and its associates have been targeted in a series of recent slayings that crime analysts consider an attempt to end its hold on power.

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