MONTREAL – Bells pealed as Vito Rizzuto‘s casket was carried out of a Montreal church on Monday following a funeral service for the reputed Mafia boss.
At least six limousines were waiting outside the Notre-Dame-de-la-Defense Church in the heart of Montreal’s Little Italy.
Hundreds of mourners attended the hour-long service.
“It was a very simple funeral,” said Igino Incantalupo, the priest who oversaw the ceremony.
“People displayed a very, very surprising level of calm and seriousness.”
In pictures: Funeral for Vito Rizzuto in Montreal’s Little Italy
People who tried to get into the service were screened and asked if they were family.
Despite frigid temperatures, dozens of people watched the scene unfold from across the street.
VIDEO: Vito Rizzuto’s death creates big void in Montreal: expert (Dec. 23)
Marjolaine Martin, 65, grew up nearby and said she’s attracted by the mystery of the family.
She came to watch the funeral of Rizzuto’s father and son as well.
“When I think that when I grew up here and played in the neighbourhood, and they were probably around here,” Martin said.
“We don’t know their secrets, that’s for sure, but their names are mentioned all the time in the newspapers and on the news.”
Rizzuto, 67, died of natural causes in a Montreal hospital last Monday.
Experts say he was the leader of an organized crime ring that had influence across Canada and beyond.
After being released from a U.S. prison in 2012, Rizzuto reputedly regained control over much of his turf.
Rizzuto’s father and son were gunned down while he was in prison.
© 2013 The Canadian Press