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Was a badly beaten body a part of deadly biker war

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Salvatore (Sammy) Vecchio’s badly beaten body was found half-buried in a swampy area on the banks of the Thames River near London, Ont., on a seldom-used, dead-end road a few kilometres north of Iona Station on Dec. 15, 1998.

People who might help explain the unsolved murder of millionaire bachelor Vecchio are either in prison, murdered or on the run.

The 35-year-old’s head stuck out of the ground and had been repeatedly struck.

His body was found just a few kilometres from the ramshackle white farmhouse of long-time biker Wayne (Weiner) Kellestine, who’s now in prison for murder in the deaths of eight members of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club.

Kellestine belonged to several outlaw biker clubs including the Outlaws, Loners, Annihilators and Bandidos before being sentenced to life in prison for the murders of eight of his fellow Bandidos on his property in April 2006.

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The out-of-the-way site where Vecchio’s body was found is also close to where the body of murder victim Sonya Nadine Mae Cywink was discovered on Aug. 30, 1994.

The site is also close to the cornfield where the body of murder victim David Kenneth O’Neil was found in January 1992 — in a shallow grave with multiple gunshots to his head.

O’Neil, 33, was sought by police on a first-degree murder warrant after Const. Scott Rossiter of the Ingersoll force was shot to death outside his detachment on Sept. 19, 1991, with his own revolver.

The murders of Cywink, O’Neil and Rossiter remain unsolved.

Veccho’s black Mercedes S320 sedan was found in a parking garage at Terminal One at Pearson airport on Dec. 18, 1998, three days after the discovery of his body. He had planned to take a trip to Florida around the time he was beaten to death.

He was last seen on Dec. 13, 1998, the day he turned 35.

Vecchio liked to wear fine suits and drive a Ferrari and a Mercedes, but he was also a habitué of grungy strip clubs frequented by bikers.

He settled into the genteel, upscale Sir. Adam Beck condo complex at the northeast corner of Richmond and Sydenham streets in London, Ont., midway between the city’s downtown and Western University campus.

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His associates included Pat Musitano of the Hamilton mob.

Musitano was murdered on July 10, 2020, in Burlington while in his car, which was parked at a plaza on Plains Road East between King and Waterdown roads.

Vecchio was also close to Gaetano (The Casket Guy) Panepinto, of Toronto, who was shot to death in October 2000.

Panepinto’s murder and that of Musitano also remain unsolved.

Vecchio studied auto mechanics at H.B. Beal secondary in London, Ont., and then moved into an apprentice mechanic program at a Ford dealership in the city.

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