Victoria Avenue, also known as Regional Road #24, stretches through the epicentre of Niagara region, starting from the north shore of Lake Ontario, including through Vineland and spread among endless views of surrounding farms and fields.
An area known for its quaintness and peaceful country like tranquility, it can quickly transform into a dimly lit stretch of highway at night, amid a minimal local population.
“The investigation into the unsolved homicide of Nadine Gurczenski remains open & the Niagara Regional Police Service is committed to continuing this investigation in order to identify the person or persons responsible.”
Detective Sergeant Jackie MOORE – Niagara Police Cold Case Unit
On Saturday May 9, 1999, a woman’s body was found along this very stretch of road in Vineland, in a ditch beside Regional Road # 24, just near 8th Avenue.
“May 8th, 2019 will mark the 20th anniversary of this homicide. This composite drawing was created 20 years ago and an individuals physical descriptors change during a 20 year time span.”
It was a regular summer day on August 27, 1992, in a normally quiet, serene area of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.
At 9:08am that fateful day, a friend stopped by the Perry residence, finding Frank Perry deceased in his bed. Foul play was immediately suspected. Police were called, and a criminal investigation ensued.
“The investigation into the unsolved homicide of Mr. Frank Perry remains open & the Niagara Regional Police Service is committed to continuing this investigation in order to identify the person or people responsible.”
“People undoubtedly have a fascination with ‘evil’ and extreme criminal behaviour. Part of this fascination stems from a desire to understand the criminal mind. In our unique course, we bring Steve’s expertise in organized crime and my expertise in the psychopathic mind to give students a unique glimpse into the complex issues underlying the extreme criminal mind.”
Dr. K. Costello, Mohawk College
From the April 2019 issue of Canada’s Blue Line Magazine:
“I think there’s an unfair stigmatization that because he has the last name, because there’s the bloodlines, there’s an assumption everybody makes that they’re all involved, but that’s not always completely accurate at all.”
Stephen METELSKY, an organized crime expert and former Halton regional police officer who now teaches at Mohawk College.
“I just walked in and they opened fire. Bullets shattered the glass.”
It was just a regular day on April 21st, 2004. A mother of three parked her car and walked into a local sandwich shop. She would never walk again. Louise Russo, the innocent bystander, had been caught in the middle of a botched underworld hit involving the Mafia and the Hells Angels.
Story by Stephen G. Metelsky
My exclusive story and interviews with Louise Russo and the two lead detectives who worked the California Sandwiches Shooting case appeared in the December 2018 issue of Canada’s Blue Line magazine.
Stephen G. Metelsky, M.A. is a College Professor, Criminologist and Freelance Crime Writer/Journalist who has over 20 years experience as a Police (ret.) Sergeant.
Stephen is an Organized Crime Expert & Media Consultant on True & Organized Crime (CBC, the Hamilton Spectator, Canadian Press, Global News, Blue Line magazine, Global News Radio, Charles Adler Tonight, Niagara Falls Review, St Catharines Standard, AM680, 980News & 900 CHML).
Stephen is a contributing columnist with Blue Line magazine and has covered true crime stories for various newspapers affiliated with Metroland Media Group & Postmedia Network Inc.
Stephen teaches at Mohawk College in the school of Community, Justice & Liberal Studies Program & is the Chair of the Program Advisory Committee for all Justice related programs.
In October 2017 I wrote about the murder of Hamilton mobster Angelo Musitano. The article: “Whacked in Waterdown: the Murder of Angelo Musitano” appeared in the Niagara Falls Review, the St. Catharines Standard & the Welland Tribune. The link to that article is below:
Stephen G. Metelsky, M.A. is a freelance crime writer/journalist, criminologist, organized crime expert (CBC, the Hamilton Spectator, Niagara Falls Review, St. Catharines Standard, Global News, AM 680, 980 News, 900 CHML, Newstalk 1010 & Blue Line magazine) & college professor, with over 20 years as a police (ret.) sergeant. Stephen is a contributing columnist with Blue Line magazine and has covered true crime stories for various newspapers affiliated with Metroland Media Group & Postmedia Network Inc.
For more information, visit Stephen G. Metelsky on:
“CRIME FLASHBACK” – The Murder of Johnny “Pops” PAPALIA
Written by: Stephen G. Metelsky (under pseudonym: Stephen G. Boyle)
Originally Published in recurring column “CRIME FLASHBACK” – Niagara This Week (2011)
It was the balmy summer of 1997. An area of Niagara Falls known for its quaintness was to be no longer. In an instant a man lay dead at the foot of his doorstep as the smell of gun powder permeated the air. The rapid spontaneous fire erupting from the .38 caliber gun was no accident. The shooter was on a distinct mission to kill this night. As Carmen Barillaro lay dead, his killer, reputed Mafia hit man Kenneth Murdock stood above him, reveling in the last piece of contract work that had been successfully completed on behalf of the Musitano crime family. This murder was not an accident. It was a sanctioned hit from the criminal underworld of traditional organized crime, emanating from Hamilton.
A couple months earlier, May 31, 1997 to be exact, the man Barillaro reported to, Johnny “Pops” Papalia was gunned down in broad daylight on the streets of Hamilton. This mafia style execution represented a shift in power in the Canadian underworld as Ontario’s reputed top mobster was now eliminated. On this fateful day Papalia had ventured from his Railway Street offices to have a discussion with Kenneth Murdock, a ‘walk and talk’ in mob parlance, a tactic to avoid a conversation being recorded by a surveillance device. Murdock momentarily lagged behind Papalia as he brandished the .38 caliber gun firmly in his hand. With a stroke of the trigger Papalia lay mortally wounded on the streets of Hamilton. Getting shot in the back of the head at close range represents an atypical modus operandi for the mafia, to ensure the intended target has been eliminated. Murdock had successfully completed his piece of contract work as he fled into the midst of anonymity, but not for long.
Murdock became a cooperating witness against the Musitano brothers, the catalyst being the issuance of a sanctioned contract to now eliminate the hit man. Murdock subsequently confessed to the two murders along with a third murder from 1985. This murder was also committed at the behest of the Musitano family. An outstanding debt owed to the family led to this contract hit.
The Musitano brothers were each freed from jail in 2007 after having served close to seven years of a ten-year sentence after they pled guilty to conspiring to murder Barillaro. Murdock is currently in a halfway house in British Columbia. He has served 10 years of a life sentence for the three-mafia execution-style murders and will be eligible for full parole in December 2011.
ORIGINAL STORY from: 2011 by Stephen G. Metelsky (pseudonym: Stephen G. Boyle)
Stephen G. Metelsky, M.A. is a freelance crime writer/journalist, criminologist, organized crime expert (CBC, the Hamilton Spectator, Niagara Falls Review, St. Catharines Standard, Global News, AM 680, 980 News, 900 CHML & Blue Line magazine) & college professor, with over 20 years experience as a police (ret.) sergeant. Stephen is a contributing columnist with Blue Line magazine and has covered true crime stories for various newspapers affiliated with Metroland Media Group & Postmedia Network Inc.
For more information, visit Stephen G. Metelsky on: