A Look At The Disappearance Of Gangster Rocco Perri

The world of organized crime has undeniable ties to Italy. But per History, its roots are far-reaching and present in the soils of countries all around the world, which has led to the creation of the Sicilian Mafia, the American Mafia, as well as crime families in Canada.

Italian-born Rocco Perri (pictured above), also known as "Canada's Al Capone," exemplifies the widespread nature of the world's mafias. He made a name for himself in the Great White North as the head of the mob in the country's port city of Hamilton. A somewhat idiosyncratic mobster who prided himself on forgoing violence in his successful criminal career, Perri at one pointed supplied Al Capone's Chicago mob with booze.

As reported by The Hamilton Spectator, Perri's time at the top came to an end when the gangster mysteriously vanished on April 23, 1944, after going for a walk. The mystery of his whereabouts and final hours persists to this day. While some believe he was kidnapped, Toronto author Antonio Nicaso contended that the mobster fled to Massena, New York, after hearing of a potential hit on his life. As noted by The Toronto Star, Perri's family supports the latter theory and believes that he spent his post-disappearance days amassing wealth using real estate in the United States and Mexico.

According to this conjecture, Perri changed his name to Giuseppe Portolesi and died of natural causes in 1953 in the Empire State.

Perri's real estate fortune disappeared along with him

Rocco Perri's family has spent the time after his disappearance futilely searching for the mobster's alleged real estate fortune. Per The Toronto Star, some of Perri's family is accusing the Canadian government of withholding crucial information that would point them in the direction of the elusive payday.

Despite their efforts, the family's search has yet to succeed — even after appealing to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). According to the CRA, there are no records linked to Perri that suggest the existence of his real estate fortune. But the nature of Perri's death — the deceased mobster has no death certificate or social insurance number — has kept his family's efforts going in hopes that they can uncover his wealth.

To complicate matters even further, it was reported that some of Perri's estate was located by the CRA and sent to the Italian government due to his citizenship in the country. According to Perri's great-nephew, Andrew Monterosso, the funds — allegedly not a product of the criminal underworld his great uncle called home — is now the center of a dispute between the mobster's relatives in Australia and Canada, and those in Italy.