Developer Tony Magi has been killed.
He was shot dead on a slushy Thursday morning outside of a building-in-construction where sat the old Aubin Motel at Beaconsfield and St James Street West.
He had been overseeing work on a nearly-completed condo project.
A source who knew Magi well told Coolopolis that Magi owed “a lot…. a lot” of money and that he had recently hired new bodyguards.
The killer shot Magi three times in the upper body and once in the head, so there would be no miraculous recovery.
The killer then likely dashed down the icy sidewalk north, then over the overpass at Grand to be ferried off in a getaway car at De Maisonneuve.
Magi survived a previous murder attempt, getting shot on Cavendish near Sherbrooke in 2008.
The suspected shooter, Ducarme Joseph, later became Magi’s bodyguard.
Magi had Joseph beat on fellow developer Lee Lalli after a sit down overseen by Mafia don Vito Rizzuto failed to resolve the dispute over a plot of land near Decarie and Cote St. Luc.
Vito Rizzuto’s son Nick Jr. – a close business associate of Magi – was shot dead in Nov. 2009 across from Magi’s office in a building since demolished on Upper Lachine.
Some believe that Magi was watching on as Nick was shot dead and might even have been responsible for the killing, possibly ordering it done by Joseph, who – in turn – was shot dead in Aug 2014 after an attempt on his life killed two and injured two others in Old Montreal.
Magi had been keeping his whereabouts a tightly-held secret but someone likely tipped off the killer, leading to the shooting Thursday. “There’s always a rat,” said the source.
Magi had been separated from his wife and was intimate with an assistant in recent years. He had put her name, along with various others close to him, upon the residential developments that he had been developing, according to a different source.
One anecdote describes a heated argument between Magi’s new girlfriend and a female Magi family member.
Magi’s recent pseudonym residential projects include one in Ville St. Pierre and another marketed to Chinese Montrealers which attracted attention when residents complained that the developer never got around to paving the road.
Some of Magi’s previous developments raised eyebrows, including one at Wilson and Upper Lachine, which was offered construction standards exemptions on such matters as phone poles by borough authorities.
Some within the residential development community wondered whether the recent murder of several Montreal-area money-lenders might have been connected somehow to Magi, who – like developers often are – was faced with a major cash crunch.
The killing might not be the only one on the horizon, as a source says “there’s a list of people in the Rizzuto circle.”
Magi’s enemies had, in previous years, targeted his wife, who has nothing to do with any controversy. Magi’s brother Rino spent time in California prison for phone fraud in recent years.
The Sicilian Rizzuto-family control of the Montreal Mafia was reduced in recent years by the cancer death of Vito Rizzuto and the murders of his father and son, possibly as long-term revenge for the killings of the Calabrian Violi clan, from whom the Rizzuto’s wrested control in the 1970s.
The current head of the Montreal Mafia is said to be Andrew Scoppa, whose brother Sal is also a feared force, although the two apparently don’t speak to each other.
Kristian Gravenor originally published this piece in his amazing Montreal blog Coolopolis. He covers the crime beat when not working as a journalist and author.