Strangers kept watching them but Vince Mora and his brothers didn’t care.
Their tears flowed freely past St. Clare’s Roman Catholic Church at St. Clair Ave. W. and Dufferin St., where they sat with their mother, Pina.
A few feet from the Mora boys was the gold and black coffin containing their father, Enio Mora.
He had taken several .22 caliber bullets to the head before being thrown into the trunk of his golden Cadillac in the Weston and Teston Roads area near Vaughan’s Highway 400 on September 12, 1997.
Enio Mora’s hands were tied behind his back and his prosthetic leg was detached and placed behind his 260-pound body.
He was 47 years old.
His widow Pina hugged two of her three sons tightly as she left the church behind the coffin.
The boys wore large crucifixes around their necks.
It was the same church where Enio and Pina had been married 18 years before. Father Joseph Dal Ferro of Woodbridge presided over the funeral. It was the same priest who had celebrated their marriage.
In life, Mora, acquired a difficult reputation, made even more difficult when he lost a leg to a shotgun blast when someone robbed his social club on Harbord Street near the University of Toronto.
The club was seen as a front for illegal gambling.
Petty thug Anthony Carnevale was the prime suspect in the robbery and shooting.
He never made it to court.
Carnevale was shot in the Keele Street basement flat of his parents’ home in January 1980, shortly after Mora was fitted with an artificial leg. He was killed with a shotgun blast, just like the gun that cost Mora his real leg.
Mora then rebounded for participating in a number of illegal rackets including building trades scams, loan sharking and illegal gambling house protection and money laundering in the Caribbean.
The North Park Drive resident’s legitimate activities included selling life insurance, operating a snack bar on St. Clair Avenue West, working as a construction contractor and running a business installing drywall.
“It (Mora’s murder) was definitely no surprise,” said Ron Sandelli, a former Metro Police intelligence chief who worked on cases involving Mora and other mobsters for more than a decade. .
“He had his hand in so many things.”
None of this was mentioned the morning of his funeral.
“I never mentioned his life,” Dal Ferro told The Star.
“I just tried to mention the value of faith to help build a better future where there is no hate.”
The sobs of one of the school-aged Mora boys could be heard for half a block as the coffin was carried from the church for midday burial at Holy Cross Cemetery in Thornhill.
A gray-haired mourner was so distraught during the service that he had to leave the church, followed by his daughter.
Not everyone was so shaken.
A dozen plainclothes police studied and photographed the approximately 200 mourners, including Peter Scarcella.
Scarcella was godfather to one of Mora’s sons.
Scarcella was also the former driver of mobster Paul Volpe, who was murdered in 1983.
Volpe had also ended up in the trunk of a luxury vehicle – a BMW.
There was the suspicion that Mora had been taken on his last ride by people he considered friends.
Some veteran police officers suspected Mora of playing a part in luring Volpe to his death and now the same sinister tactic has been waged against him.
Either way, it’s clear that neither Volpe nor Mora were killed by street criminals.
They wouldn’t use a Cadillac or a BMW as coffins when they could drive the fancy cars themselves.
Volpe’s murder remains unsolved.
Mora’s body had been mistaken for that of a slaughtered animal, such as a pig, calf or sheep, when it was found by a retired dairy farmer walking past the open trunk.
While Mora’s family members at the church for his funeral were clearly distraught, others seemed almost glib.
Some mourners walked into the church 25 minutes late for the hour-long service.
Others left midway to chat among themselves under trees that shielded them from the bright sun and police and media cameras.
There was only one truck full of flowers and three limos in the 60-car motorcade, considered small for someone of such crowd stature.
sergeant. York Region Police’s Bruce Powley said he suspected many of Mora’s high-profile criminal contacts chose to pay their respects privately at the funeral home, away from police and media attention. .
Mora’s business associates were not cooperating with police, Powley said.
In court, Mora had successfully fought attempts by Canadian authorities to deport him from the GTA to his birthplace, Italy, after he was found guilty of drug trafficking and possession of weapons.
He won his battle to stay in Canada after arguing that his deportation could cause undue hardship for his wife and three young sons.
Investigators had much to think about after finding Mora’s body in the trunk.
Mora’s gangland-style killing in Vaughan was the third that year in York Region and the second in a matter of weeks.
Baker Frank Loiero was shot dead and left in his van at Woodbridge Mall on Highway 7 and Martin Grove Road in January, while Giuseppe Congiusta, 32, was shot dead near a gambling club in an industrial mall at Finch Avenue and Weston Road on Sept. 5.
The following fall, Mora’s longtime associate, Johnny (Pops) Papalia, was shot dead outside the office of his soft drink company on Railway Street in Hamilton.
Police investigating Mora’s murder attended Papalia’s funeral visitation on Barton Street in Hamilton, including a van full of cameramen.
In Mora’s case, his longtime friend Giancinto Arcuri, 72, has been charged with his murder.
Arcuri testified during his November 2002 trial in Newmarket that he met with Mora at a York Region real estate office on September 11, 1996 to talk about Mora’s wish to purchase an exercise treadmill.
It was hours before Mora was murdered and stuffed into the trunk of his golden Cadillac.
Mora wanted an exercise treadmill like the one Arcuri used to try to recover from a heart attack, Arcuri said.
Arcuri, a retired fishmonger and finisher, was a frail, five-foot-tall man who limped into the witness box. He testified through a Sicilian-speaking interpreter, even though he has lived in Canada since 1942.
Arcuri told the court he considers Mora a close friend.
“In September 1996, did you have a reason to be mad at him?” Arcuri attorney Joe Bloomenfeld asked.
“Never,” Arcuri replied.
“Did you kill Enio Mora? Bloomenfeld continued.
“No,” Arcuri said.
“Do you have anything to do with the death of Enio Mora?”
“No,” replied the grandfather.
Arcuri said he couldn’t be sure a shirt containing his DNA and Mora’s blood was one of his, saying, “I have 50 shirts.”
He also said he also couldn’t be sure the shoes found near Mora’s body were his, saying, “I have 40 pairs of shoes.”
Arcuri was sure that his own health was not so good.
“I can’t see well today,” Arcuri said, when asked to comment on a crime scene photo.
This seemed accurate, as a lens of his glasses on his left eye was covered with a patch.
He said his memory wasn’t very good either.
“I don’t even remember what I ate last night.”
The jury was suitably impressed.
Arcuri shed tears and his family cheered when he was acquitted of second-degree murder charges in December 2002 by a Newmarket jury.
“The family is very, very happy and so am I,” Bloomenfeld said outside the courtroom. “I don’t think he would have survived in prison.”
Four years later, Mora’s son Vince survived an attack by a gunman outside a social club in a mall at 253 Jevlan Avenue in the Highway 7 and Weston Road area in June 2006 , when he was 26 years old.
Vince Mora was one of three men seated at an outside table when a black sport utility vehicle with tinted windows and shiny wheel covers pulled up and a man in his twenties jumped and opened fire.
Vince Mora was hit in the arm and abdomen and a 55-year-old man from Bolton was shot in the abdomen. They recovered from their injuries under police protection.
A 56-year-old man from Vaughan who was with them was treated for gunshot wounds and was promptly discharged from hospital.
Police would not comment on the motive for the attack.
Meanwhile, the murder of Enio Mora remains unsolved.
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