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Member of Hamilton crime family was stalked before murder: police

Hamilton police say multiple people using four different vehicles were involved in stalking a member of a notorious Ontario crime family in the days before his murder last year.

Homicide detectives say Angelo Musitano, 39, was tracked for about a week before he was gunned down as he sat in his pickup truck in the driveway of his Hamilton home in May 2017.

The initial investigation determined that the suspect in the killing – described by police as a white man with a stocky or athletic build – had been watching Musitano from a stolen 2006 Ford Fusion, later found abandoned in the city.

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Investigators say they now know the driver of the Ford Fusion was seen getting into a two-door black Honda Civic in the days before the murder.

"We know the killer left the scene in the Fusion, we know he abandoned the vehicle," Det. Sgt. Peter Thom said Thursday.

"We're not sure at this point which vehicle he may have taken off in at that point, but we do know he was operating the Black civic sometime before the murder took place."

Police know part of the Civic's license plate number and will be checking in with all registered owners of similar cars in the Hamilton and Toronto areas, Thom said.

Police say security footage also shows a red 2017 Chevrolet Malibu parked outside Musitano's home the day before the shooting, and a grey or blue sedan "interacting" with the burgundy Fusion in the days leading up to the murder.

Musitano and his brother, Pat, were charged with first-degree murder in the 1997 death of Hamilton crime boss Johnny "Pops" Papalia and the death, two months later, of Papalia's associate, Carmen Barillaro.

The Musitano brothers pleaded guilty in 2000 to conspiracy to commit murder in Barillaro's death. As part of a plea deal, the charges relating to Papalia's death were withdrawn, according to Parole Board of Canada documents.

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Police also believe Angelo Musitano was involved in two restaurant bombings in 1990, according to the documents.

Pat Musitano's home was sprayed with bullets just weeks after Angelo's death. Thom said there is no concrete evidence linking the two incidents, but there is an "inference" that they are related.

The Musitano family, involved in organized crime for three generations, has had zero contact with police since the murder, Thom said.

"We keep getting deferred to their family friend and lawyer... and we haven't had much in the way of communication from him either," he added.

"It seems odd to me. Traditionally people involved in the Mafia don't normally talk to the police (but) with our victim here, who apparently had changed his life around, if he was out of that lifestyle then I would have expected more co-operation from the family."

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