Monique Beaudin, Montreal Gazette
Episode 1 looks at the seven-week period in 1977 and 1978, where the Rizzuto crime organization and the Hells Angels biker gang established themselves in Montreal.
Oct. 21 was a cool, sunny day in Montreal. The big news that day was the federal election and people around the city were getting ready to vote.
On Montreal’s West Island, Andrea Scoppa was headed to the gym where he regularly worked out. But before he made it to the door, Scoppa was shot in the head, his face so damaged from the bullets that police later struggled to identify his lifeless body.
Scoppa, who was at one time considered to be one of the leaders of Montreal’s Mafia, was the latest gang member killed here. Experts say it’s a settling of accounts between the Sicilian and Calabrian branches of Italian organized crime in Montreal.
That fight, between those two factions, stretches back to January 1978, when Nicolo Rizzuto and his Sicilian followers seized control of Montreal’s Mafia from Calabrians Paolo Violi and Vic Cotroni. And that’s where our new podcast, Gangs of Montreal starts.
Episode 1 looks at the seven-week period in 1977 and 1978, when the Rizzuto crime organization and the Hells Angels biker gang established themselves in Montreal.
The Hells Angels took over a violent Quebec biker gang called the Popeyes, led by a man named Yves Buteau.
The Mafia and the Hells have controlled Montreal’s organized-crime scene ever since. Their struggle for supremacy has left hundreds dead and injured and countless more afraid of crossing the criminal gangs whose tentacles have reached the highest pinnacles of power in the city.
The Dark North: Gangs of Montreal is hosted by Paul Cherry, the Montreal Gazette’s crime reporter. You can subscribe to The Dark North on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts.