Montreal Police Still Try to Solve Murder Possibly Tied to Gambling Ring

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Richard Griffin was shot dead in front of his home on July 12, 2006.

Paul Cherry of the Montreal Gazette writes that a "not so subtle" message was sent at the time Griffin's murder.

"If you get between the Montreal Mafia and its money, this is what can happen to you."

On Nov. 8, 2004, Francesco Del Balso, described by police as a young leader in the Mafia, was recorded talking to one of the people who managed the organization's sports gambling operations. The two men agreed it was time to shut down Faustini's account. He was given a month to pay what he owed.

When the deadline arrived, Del Balso was eager to collect. He called Steve Salam, a man described in court documents as Faustini's agent to the online gambling network, several times on Dec. 7, 2004. By the end of the day, Del Balso told Salam that Faustini had "a f-----g serious beating coming to him if he doesn't pay."

Eight days later, Faustini was summoned to Bar Laennec for a 4 p.m. meeting. Del Balso and his partner Lorenzo Giordano, another young Mafia leader, used the watering hole in a Laval strip mall as their headquarters.

About 30 minutes after Faustini arrived, Del Balso and Giordano were observed inside the bar with him. Giordano had what appeared to be a bloodstain on the front of his shirt. Wiretaps later confirmed that Faustini was severely beaten.

Faustini was helped into his car with orders to pay the $800,000 he owed.

A source in the Montreal police major crimes squad told the Gazette investigators are certain Griffin's involvement with Faustini's debt is the motive behind the slaying.

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