Paolo Renda was the consigliere of the Rizzuto family and was the brother-in-law of boss Vito Rizzuto. He disappeared in May 2010 and has been missing eversince.
Settling in Montreal
Paolo Renda was born in Cattolica Eraclea, Sicily, in 1939. His father Calogero was the brother-in-law of Vito Rizzuto, the father of Nicolo Rizzuto, and a member of the mafia. Both his father and Rizzuto moved to America in 1925 but Calogero returned to Sicily a couple of years later to be with his family. His son Paolo grew up in Sicily and became part of the Mafia in Cattolica Eraclea. He eventually immegrated to Montreal in 1958 and married with Nicolo's daughter Maria, tightening the Renda-Rizzuto ties.
His father Calogero also moved to Canada perminantly and helped his son and Nicolo in building a criminal organisation.
In 1968 firefighters rushed to a Boucherville shopping center where a fire had broken loose. When they arrived they saw 2 men running out of the building with their clothes on fire. One of the men, Paolo Renda, ran into a nearby field where he tried to extinguish the flames by rolling around. He would be marked with 3th degree burnings all over his body. The other man was Nicolo's son Vito, who was arrested afterwards while treatening his burns. The building which was lit up was a barber shop owned by Renda, which they burned down for insurance money. In 1972 both Renda and Vito were convicted for arsoning. Renda was sentenced to 4 years and Vito to 2 years.
During the 70's the Rizzuto family was largely involved in drugtrafficking and wanted to overthrow the rival Violi-Cotroni family in Montreal. On January 22, 1978, mob boss Paolo Violi was murdered by Rizzuto gunmen. An arrest warrant relating to the murder was then sent out to capture Renda, but he was in Venezuela at the time. In the meanwhile 3 others were convicted for the murder: Giovanni DiMora, Agostino Cuntrera and Domenico Manno. As all 3 of them were sent to jail Renda's arrest warrent was cancelled. Not much later he returned to Montreal.
During the 1980's Renda and Vito Rizzuto had purchased several legal ventures including a couple of restaurants and bars. He was also part owner of a motel in Anjou and was CEO of a company named "Renda Construction Inc". Due to his ability of mediating disputes and using words instead of violence, he became the families consigliere and also oversaw the families finance.
Throughout the 1980's and 1990's the Rizzuto family was a dominant force in Canada and had strong ties with the New York Bonanno family. However, the power of the Rizzuto's was in for a serious challenge. In August 2006 Vito Rizzuto was extradited to America to face a 10 year sentence for racketeering and murder.
In November that same year Renda, Nicolo Rizzuto and several others were arrested by police during Project Colisée. Renda pleaded guilty to the charges of being part of a criminal organization, sentencing him to 6 years. Due to the arrests and convictions most of the families leadership was now behind bars.
In December 2009 Vito Rizzuto's son, Nick Jr., was shot dead in the Notre Dame de Grâce district of Montreal.
A couple of weeks earlier there had been several molotov cocktail attacks on Italian restaurants in the area, which made it clear that something was up. On January 24, 2010, 2 men were murdered on a parking lot, possibly as revenge for the murder of Nick Jr. Violence continued as on March 18 four men were shot in which two were killed. The shootings were all linked to represailles for the murder of Nick Jr.
In February 2010 Renda was released from prison on condition he didn't meet with fellow organized crime members. On May 20 police discovered Renda's abandoned car near his home, windows down and keys still in the ignition. Renda had disappeared without a trace and it was rapidly clear he had been kidnapped. About a week later police discovered a cement-encased body in Toronto and suspicion rose it was the body of Renda. The corpse however belonged to Quang Lu, a member of an Asian organized crime group with no ties to the Rizzuto's. To this day every trace to Renda is missing.