February, 2010

Really nice job

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Erica Bajer did a really nice job in a story that appears in today’s Chatham Daily News. This story meant a lot because it’s published in Boxer Muscedere’s hometown. A full range of people, from police to a Hells Angel, have told me they’re impressed by the courage Boxer showed in his final hours.


Message from Boxer’s Brother

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

Joe Muscedere, the younger brother of murdered Canadian Bandido president John (Boxer) Muscedere, wasn’t able to attend court to give his victim impact statement in the fall of 2009. He asked me to post it on my website:

Your honor, jury members, people of the court or the Parole board, my name is Joe Muscedere, brother of John Muscedere, also known as Boxer.

What you didn’t hear in this trial, was how my brother John took his factory pay check and provided for Wayne’s [convicted killer Wayne Kellestine's] family when Wayne was in jail on a previous conviction. Making provisions for the same family that Wayne whisked away before the morning of April 8th.

 What you didn’t hear in this trial was how the No Surrender Crew [Toronto Bandidos chapter], with their donations, paid up Wayne’s past due mortgage payments so he would not lose his farm house. The same farm house that they would all later be murdered at.

What you didn’t hear in this trial was that Wayne’s motorcycle was a gift from Chopper [Luis Manny (Chopper) Raposo]. Chopper as you all have heard was the first to die, during which Wayne performed his first Deutsch song and dance routine of the night of the killings.

When I decipher the patch’s that these accused wore or tried to wear alongside the No Surrender Crew, the one that stands out the most to me is L.L.R. (Love Loyalty and Respect). I stand here today and know that these accused have never had Love, Loyalty and Respect for anyone or anything. They are liars and a disgrace, with no idea what Love, Loyalty and Respect mean.

During the trial and prior they pointed fingers at each other and everyone else but themselves for self preservation. They don’t care who they bring down or endanger as they try to slither to freedom, as any snake would do.

These crimes were not the result of 8 accumulated errors in judgment or being in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were planned and calculated executions. The executions were deliberate and spanned over 5 hours to complete. During this time they confined these men and tortured them physically, and mentally. Recall the anti-Semetic abuse of [Jamie] Flanz, the dancing to the Deutsch song, the mock kneeling to join in prayer as some prisoners knelt after the first man shot, Chopper bled to death.          

I am not here to dimension the hurt this has caused, or the new memories that will be no more, especially with the kids and grand kids. I am sure the other family members you will hear from will do that. I am here to underscore the fact that these were supposed to be friends and brothers not enemies.

They violated the code of brotherhood and friendship as well as committing cold blooded murder.

These murders were a culmination of a life each one of these accused was living that added no value to society. These men only take. Whether it was being a dishonest cop, drug dealer, thug, murderer or sociopath they only took from our society. Now we the people say ENOUGH! You will not take anymore and you will be punished for taking these lives.

If any of these people are released, would they change and add value to society or their families or would they continue to take? Once these criminals officially graduate to their perspective penitentiaries, another trial may start. There is honor even amongst thieves and a code amongst criminals which they have all violated. In other words this behavior isn’t even condoned by hardened prisoners. Why then should we condone it?

My father Domenico was never the same once John died. No one wants to outlive their children. Even though John was laid to rest 50 miles away, my father would visit him often and cry. Thirteen months after John’s death my father died totally unexpectedly. How does extreme sorrow affect a father’s health, state of mind and will to live? I don’t know for sure but I do know it is a heavy weight to carry every day, every moment and every second.

My mother, the kids; Julie, Tereasa, Angelina, Johnny, Steven; the grandkids; Julina, Anthony, Anasia, Rihanna will never have a Son, Dad or Nonno to turn to in times of happiness or sadness and I have lost my big brother. John was a one of a kind; he loved with all his heart and was loved by all of us.

I know why my brother laughed as he faced his final moments. He knew they were all a joke, especially Wayne. John Boxer Muscedere died with his dignity, his honor and his values intact. I will never forget John and always Love him. He was my big brother. I will protect and provide for his family just like he would have done for mine.

Please keep these murderers behind bars and stop them from causing more harm.

Wow, I should get out more often

Friday, February 19th, 2010

What a great night! (I know exclamation points are frowned upon in writing circles, but one is called for here anyway) Prohibition was packed and everyone seemed to really get along, even though it was a breathtakingly diverse collection of people. I was particularly moved that Boxer Muscedere’s brother Joe and daughter Tereasa attended, as well as Richard Jesso, the son of slain Bandido George (Pony).  I am amazed how many nice people you can meet, even researching such a terrible topic.

The Big Day

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Tomorrow (Thursday, February 18) is the official book launch, finally, at Prohibition Gastro Pub & Oyster Bar at 696 Queen E. in Toronto, just a few doors west of Broadview. It’ll run from 7-9 pm, and among those I expect to attend are Richard Jesso, whose dad, George (Pony), was among the murder victims that night. Richard’s a nice, soft-spoken, but strong young man and he’ll be saying a few words. He’s also a ringer for his father, something that appeared to freak out killer Wayne (Weiner) Kellestine at his murder trial last fall.

Earlier in the day, I’ve got interviews at CHCH TV in Hamilton live at 8.20 am and CFRB live at 2.30 pm.  Hamilton’s a funny spot, as somehow it managed to have national presidents for both the Outlaws and Hells Angels: Mario (Mike, the Wop) Parente and Walter (Nurget) Stadnick, respectively. The Outlaws got an unexpected boost several years ago from the City of Hamilton, when they were paid for their rundown clubhouse by the city, when streets were being widened. The Hells Angels also weren’t left out of official largesse.  A Hells Angels in Hamilton got a contract (not the scary kind of contract, the business kind) to pave the parking lot of a local police station.

Ontario Today tomorrow

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Will be on CBC Radio Ontario Today tomorrow (Wednesday February 17) with host Rita Celli, between 12:30 and 1 pm. They’re doing a pre-interview today, which is great, because it means they’ll be well prepared.

Had an odd experience checking how the book’s doing this weekend on Amazon.ca, a past-time I blame on novelist and former Toronto Star colleague Linwood Barclay. Found myself in a nasty sandwich between The Prince by Nicolo Machiavelli and Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Yikes. Scarey company. Never thought I’d feel Hitler breathing down my neck. Just ahead of our little pack was Manhood: The Rise and Falls of the Penis, by Meis van Driel.  I’m trying not to analyse what all this means.

Now it’s an event

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

Not sure exactly who’s going to show up for the book launch at Prohibition Gastro Pub & Oyster Bar on Thursday evening, but it’s hard to imagine anyone with a more colourful background than recent confirmee Marvin (The Weasel) Elkind. You may have seen Marvin on the excellent Mob Stories series on History Television. His past includes being the former driver for Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa (who doesn’t have a current driver) and Marvin’s present includes managing pro boxers.

On another book launch note, a young urbanite asked if she and her friends will have a variety of beer selections. Not to worry. There is enough scope on the beer list for even the most discriminating palate, including a concoction with the intriguing description, “Original Blonde.”

Black Tie Optional, No Gang Colours

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Chatted with Jesse Skinner for a Toro magazine question and answer piece on the book. We met at Prohibition Gastro Pub & Oyster Bar at 696 Queen E. (just west of Broadview), which gave me a chance to scope out the venue for next Thursday’s book launch, starting at 7 pm.

There’s a public parking lot if you turn north on Broadview from Queen E., between Dangerous Dan’s Restaurant (at the corner of Queen E. and Broadview), and the Royal Canadian Curling Club ( a few doors north on Broadview). It’s across the street from impossible-to-miss Jillys Exotic Dancing in the old New Broadview Hotel. 

It’s amazing what gentrification has done to the old neighbourhood of Ripper Fullager, one of the Bandidos’ senior members. Kintyre Ave., where the Satan’s Choice gang used to meet, is nothing short of trendy, worthy of ad executives. If you wander into the back alley, however, you can still make out the fenced compound where club members would keep their Harleys.

Prohibition’s far from a greasy spoon. The menu features Cobb salads, grilled vegetable penne and lamb burgers. The fries are now called frites.

The basement’s where the No Surrender Crew of the Bandidos used to meet, back when the building was under different management. It’s all tidied up now, but if you listen hard, you can almost hear Frank (Cisco) Lenti yelling at Frankie (Bam Bam) Salerno, back in the mid-2000s. 

Hitting the road

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

Week one of promoting the book has now passed. Media folks were kind and just a few not-so-happy calls from bikers. Everyone who read it is impressed with the courage John (Boxer) Muscedere displayed in the defining moment of his life. You’ll find that at the top of Page 352.

Got a chance to chat briefly with Raj Patel, author of The Value of Nothing, in waiting area for Canada AM (my interview can be seen on this website in “Audio/ Video” section) and we swapped books. The title of his book could have worked for mine as well, since the murders were really over nothing, unless you count empty ambition and childish hurt feelings as something.

Video of a chat with David Newland of Canoe.ca has been posted on their site, along with a review of the book by him. Some kind comments from him are in the “Praise” section of this website.

I felt a bit old being interviewed by Geoff Nixon of CTV.ca, since he was in a Ryerson University class a couple of years ago, when I spoke about the Ipperwash Crisis and a book I wrote about that, One Dead Indian: the Premier, the Police and the Ipperwash Crisis. Always have to be nice to students, as they can end up your boss in a few years. Felt odd being interviewed by Joe Fantauzzi of  York Region Media Group, and then covering a trial with him in Newmarket later in the week.

Novelist Linwood Barclay (a daily journalism escapee) introduced me to the strangely addictive practise of tracking sales of a book on Amazon.ca. Mine seems to be faring well, ahead of The Biggest Loser Family Cookbook and apparently overtaking 101 Lesbian Lovemaking Positions. Glad to see it got into the “Today’s Top 50 online” list for chapters.indigo.ca, although I’m down the list from the exercise DVD by Jillian Michaels of The Biggest Loser. Something about her scares me more than some of these bikers.