Excerpt for The Toronto Mafia Gambling Supremacy and Heroin Trafficking 1955-1970 by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

The Toronto Mafia

Gambling Supremacy and Heroin Trafficking


Published by Robert Grey Reynolds Jr. at Smashwords

Copyright 2017 by Robert Grey Reynolds Jr.

In the spring of 1961 headlines announced the encroachment of the Sicilian Mafia into Toronto, Canada. Police officers in the city gave opposing views of the burgeoning problem. One Toronto Metropolitan officer told reporters, Any local man who has a good gambling operation or racket going for him and won’t consider letting the Mafia in on the deal is in danger. These boys mean business, and if we don’t stop it now the city will be in for all sorts of extortion rackets. Before long we’ll have the type of shakedown that led to the wrecking of Montreal nightclubs.

Metro Chief James Page John Mackey (1913-2009) offered a counter opinion. He believed a succession of recent beatings weren’t the work of the Mafia. Among the most reported drubbings was the one administered to gambler Max Bluestein. The gambler met with Mackey on Wednesday, April 12th. The chief refused comment on their conversation. I just wanted to learn from him at first hand what happened to him. About one hundred people were in the tavern when Bluestein was pounced on by attackers wearing brass knuckles and using iron bars

Reputedly Bluestein was connected to the Ramsey Club in Niagara Falls, Ontario. One source of Bluestein’s ties to the establishment was Toronto souvenir store manager Anthony Mitchell. Mitchell’s brother Peter Scrip Mitchell had vanished in 1959. Still missing in late September 1961, he was unofficially considered dead.

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