Hamilton

Homicide victim found in London had ties to Pat Musitano, unclear if deaths are related

On Wednesday, a new name with ties to the Musitano crime family was found dead in London, Ont., but it’s unclear what connection — if any — the 59-year-old Grant Norton’s homicide has to recent killings

Key difference in Grant Norton's death and Pat Musitano's death may show no connection between both homicides

Grant Edward Norton, a 59-year-old man from Ingersoll, Ont., was reported missing two days after the hit on Pat Musitano. Police found his body in London, Ont., on Wednesday. (Submitted by London Police Services)

Giorgio Baressi, Angelo Musitano and Pat Musitano.

Those names all have links to organized crime and belong to victims of homicides carried out in typical mob fashion.

On Wednesday, a new name with ties to the Musitano crime family was found dead in London, Ont., but it's unclear what connection — if any — the 59-year-old Grant Norton's homicide has to recent killings.

London police told CBC News it has not indicated the incident is linked to Pat Musitano's death just weeks ago.

"At this time, there does NOT appear to be a connection between the two homicides," Det. Supt. Chris Newton wrote.

Organized crime experts don't know much about Norton, but confirm he was connected to the Musitano family.

"He wasn't really in the family proper, he was a business associate," James Dubro, who has written extensively about the Mafia in Ontario, told CBC News.

Experts aren't sure if this is the latest in the string of recent hits targeting the Musitanos and associates. The campaign against the family comes in the wake of the weakening of Montreal's infamous Rizzuto crime family, under whose protection it operated.

"They (the Musitanos) are on the defensive ... I don't feel they have the strength to react," Antonio Nicaso, a Mafia expert who teaches courses on organized crime at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., told CBC News.

Some experts have theorized the killings are the result of groups in the Toronto area establishing footing in Hamilton, while others say the homicides are nothing more than old, local grudges coming to fruition.

If Norton's death is connected, it would suggest violence is following anyone with ties to the Musitano crime family, whether they stay in Hamilton or not.

Det.-Sgt. Peter Thom with Hamilton Police Service has been a lead detective for much of Hamilton's mob violence.

While he is not investigating Norton's homicide and doesn't know if any connection can be made to Pat Musitano's death, he said it is indicative of what has been happening in the last four years.

"There's been a lot of activity with the traditional organized crime families in the Greater Toronto Area into Hamilton and we've seen this week, now reaching out west into London," he told CBC News.

Norton was facing fraud charges

Norton was tied to Havana Group Supplies Inc., which is under investigation for its part in alleged scams and illegal dirt dumping.

Dubro explains that the company lied about development contracts it had with various companies like Metrolinx, as first reported by the Hamilton Spectator.

"The scam is so ridiculous to say they have these contracts which was obviously going to come out in time," he said.

Paul Manning, a former undercover Hamilton Police officer, told CBC News many truck drivers working for the company also complained about not getting paid.

While Norton wasn't a notable figure in the underworld, he was facing charges related to the company's supposed fraud and stolen construction equipment in Niagara.

Before he was arrested roughly a year ago, Niagara Regional Police noted that Norton resisted and forced a brief struggle.

He skipped court dates and earned an arrest warrant in Waterloo for breaching bail conditions.

Dubro said that Pat Musitano had ties to Havana as a shareholder.

Pat Musitano had ties to Havana Group Supplies Inc., which draws a connection between him and Grant Norton. It's unclear if their deaths are linked. (Hamilton Police)

Dubro and Manning indicate Norton's death is either a swift act of vengeance or potentially someone trying to ensure he stayed out of the courtroom to avoid getting others in trouble. Police are still investigating a motive.

"I imagine there are other people [involved] who might have problems," Dubro said.

Norton's family reported him missing to Waterloo police two days after Pat Musitano was killed on July 10, during a mid-day drive-by shooting in a Burlington, Ont., plaza. 

Ties to Musitano's death are unclear

On Wednesday, Norton's body was found in a wooded area in London, Ont. Police are now taking a close look at a residence at 20 Adelaide St.

Nearby residents told CBC News investigators asked questions about any suspicious activity dating back to July 6.

Police say Norton's human remains were left in such a way that it took a two-day forensic autopsy to confirm they were in fact human.

Neighbours have set up a memorial where Grant Norton's human remains were found near Ada and Jacqueline streets in London. (Andrew Lupton/CBC)

With his body seemingly tucked away out of sight, it is a key difference between the recent mob hits against the Musitano crime family, which have seen the family's two most infamous figures gunned down in daylight.

"It suggests whoever killed him maybe didn't want him to be found," Manning said.

About the Author

Bobby Hristova

Reporter/Editor

Bobby Hristova is a reporter/editor with CBC Hamilton. Email: bobby.hristova@cbc.ca

With files from Sofia Rodriguez

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