column was published in the North
Shore News on
Feb. 21, 2001)
Organized crime hits close to home
By Leo Knight
month's shooting of North Vancouver's Rossano Valentino
"Wally" Dekanich shows how organized crime can
penetrate even the quietest of neighbourhoods.
when living on the North Shore, it is easy to feel smug about
all you have and there is a tendency to retreat into a cocoon,
putting all of the urban problems of living in the third largest
city in the country behind you.
the reality of criminal life in this day and age refuses to let
any of us put our head in the sand and shrug off organized
Dekanich was a lot of things undoubtedly. While not a stockbroker per se, it appears he was something of a promoter, a deal maker. And, it seems from the results of the Mounties' investigation into the circumstances under which he met his untimely demise, it was his penchant for raising money for various deals that led to his slaying.
lived in a family-oriented townhouse complex near Capilano
College. And he died there.
having a reputation as a local Lothario, it was not his
promiscuous peccadilloes which would prove to be his undoing.
Although, to be fair, his roving ways were to send North Van
RCMP down many a dead end in their investigation. But rather, it
was a question of whom he was doing business with.
you see, when you are prepared to climb into bed with the devil,
you have to be prepared for the possibility of the devil rolling
over on you.
most people make an investment, they hope to make a profit.
Sometimes, they hope to make a big profit. If the deal does not
work out and money is lost, that's the way it is. Win some and
you lose some.
that's not the case with organized criminals. They get into
deals essentially to launder their ill-gotten booty. Losing it
is not an option.
the police investigation is still ongoing and it must be said
that developed evidence is a long way from a conviction, it is
clear that Wally Dekanich got into the wrong game with the wrong
people. And when he couldn't pay back lost money, his life
see, organized crime is, in my view, the single biggest threat
to our country today, in all of its ugly forms -- whether we are
talking about something as simple as the extra interest points
we all pay on our credit cards or their potential to literally
collapse our economic system as we know it.
they have that power and that kind of money.
write frequently about organized crime. I do that because I
firmly believe this is an insidious threat to our country and
was the victim of organized crime. He was killed as a result of
a contract taken out on his life by an individual who worships
at the altar of a greenback and not the sanctity of life.
he is just the latest of a series of victims of organized crime
who resided in our community, in our "safe"
neighbourhoods. Be they bikers, Mafia hoods or Asian gangsters,
they live, do business and sometimes kill on our streets.
is the reality of organized crime today. It is no longer someone
else's problem or something that doesn't affect us.
It is, to put it bluntly, our problem. Right here, right now.