John Gotti
Crime boss
John Gotti
John Joseph Gotti, Jr was an American mobster who became the Boss of the Gambino crime family in New York City. Gotti and his brothers grew up in poverty and turned to a life of crime at an early age. Operating out of the Ozone Park neighborhood of Queens, Gotti quickly rose to prominence, becoming one of the crime family's biggest earners and a protégé of Gambino family underboss Aniello Dellacroce.
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Trump celebrates new year with felon
CNN - about 2 months
A new video raises questions about President-elect Donald Trump's relationship with Joseph "Joey No Socks" Cinque, who once reportedly survived a mob hit and was associated with the infamous mob boss John Gotti.
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CNN article
Trump parties with convicted felon "Joey No Socks"
CNN - about 2 months
A new video calls attention to President-elect Donald Trump's relationship with convicted felon Joseph "Joey No Socks" Cinque, who once was associated with infamous mob boss John Gotti. CNN's Miguel Marquez reports.
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CNN article
Video shows Trump with mob figure he denied knowing
Yahoo News - 4 months
A newly uncovered video appears to contradict Donald Trump’s claim that he never knew a high-stakes gambler who was banned from New Jersey casinos for alleged ties to organized crime. The reputed mob figure, Robert LiButti, can be seen standing alongside Trump in the front row of a 1988 “WrestleMania” match in Atlantic City, N.J. LiButti wasn’t there by accident, according to his daughter, Edith Creamer, who also attended the event. The video appears to lend new support to assertions Trump once had close relations with LiButti, who was banned from the state’s casinos in 1991 because of his ties to Mafia boss John Gotti, then the chief of the Gambino crime syndicate.
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Yahoo News article
Victoria Gotti Says She Would Have Cut Husband's Throat If He Talked Like Trump
Huffington Post - 4 months
She may have been married to an infamous mob boss, but Victoria DiGiorgio Gotti has made it clear that she would never put up with Donald Trump’s crude behavior and language. Gotti ― not to be confused with her daughter, also named Victoria ― was married to John Gotti, a former boss of New York’s Gambino crime family. She recently wrote in an email to “a longtime pen pal” at The Daily Beast that she never would have allowed her husband to speak like Trump. And she doesn’t think the country should put up with the GOP presidential nominee, either. Referring to the recently leaked “Access Hollywood” conversation ― in which Trump brags that he can grab and kiss women without their consent because he’s famous ― Gotti wrote, “I was married to #1 gangster and would have cut his throat if he ever said such a foul thing to me.”  Gotti, who reportedly refers to Trump as “Dump,” called the presidential candidate a “full of himself spoiled rich brat” and an “embarrassment to the country ...
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Huffington Post article
Trump Pleaded The Fifth 97 Times To Avoid Admitting To Adultery
Huffington Post - 5 months
In the summer of 1990, at the height of his bitter divorce from his first wife, Donald Trump was carrying on a very public extramarital affair with a former beauty queen, Marla Maples. As part of the couple’s divorce proceedings, Ivana Trump’s lawyers asked him under oath about his dealings with other women and whether he had been faithful to his wife. Instead of answering, Donald Trump invoked his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination. Over the course of five depositions that summer, he was asked approximately 100 questions related to marital infidelity. He pleaded the Fifth on 97 of them. “Donald preaches about his devotion to the Second Amendment, but it was the Fifth Amendment that was his favorite when he was deposed in the divorce with Ivana,” wrote biographer Wayne Barrett in his 1992 book, Trump: The Greatest Show on Earth. A New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement report later verified Barrett’s reporting on those depositions, which are still sealed. ...
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Huffington Post article
IRS raids Gotti mansion, NYC car-parts shop
Yahoo News - 5 months
NEW YORK (AP) — The Internal Revenue Service says it has raided a New York City car-parts shop and a Long Island mansion in an investigation involving relatives of the late mobster John Gotti.
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Yahoo News article
John Gotti's grandson arrested in NYC on drug charge
Yahoo News - 7 months
NEW YORK (AP) — A grandson and namesake of the notorious mobster John Gotti was arrested Thursday in New York City on a drug charge.
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Yahoo News article
'The Wannabe': Nick Sandow's Farewell to Old New York
Huffington Post - almost 2 years
Actors make their living being other people. Even while they channel all their personal experiences into a role, if they do their job well, an actor will somehow hide behind another name, another face, in the story of someone else's life. Actor/Director Nick Sandow (Orange is The New Black), with more than 60 film and television acting credits to his name, has one of those faces you've seen before, but that you don't quite know where to place, which is to say he has excelled at his job. But as I talk to him about his second feature film as a director, The Wannabe, it seems to me that writing a character and directing someone else playing his life hits a little closer to home for this artist. The Wannabe, executive produced by one of the Godfathers of the mob film genre, Martin Scorsese, is a tragic goodbye love letter to the mafia as an institution and to Old New York, based on true events. The film follows Thomas Greco (Vincent Piazza), who wants nothing more than to be a part o ...
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Huffington Post article
Secrets of a mafia family
CNN - almost 2 years
Michael Smerconish interviews John Gotti Jr. on his former mob life and new book. Get more information on his book at
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CNN article
John Gotti, Jr. Interview Part 3
CNN - almost 2 years
Michael Smerconish continues his interview with John Gotti, Jr. on his former mob life and new book. More information on Gotti, Jr's book:
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CNN article
Former Gangster James Guiliani Uses Mob Skills To Interview Dog Groomers On 'The Diamond Collar' (VIDEO)
The Huffington Post - about 3 years
After 20-odd years running with John Gotti and his mafia crew, James "Head" Guiliani decided to give it all up and dedicate his life to a cause close to his heart: rescuing animals. Along with saving and rehoming animals around Brooklyn, he operates a popular pet store and grooming boutique with his girlfriend, Lena. Guiliani may no longer be in the mafia, but old habits die hard. In the above clip from the premiere episode of the "The Diamond Collar" on Friday night, Guiliani goes back to his gangster roots when interviewing Valerie, a potential new dog groomer for the store. More...
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The Huffington Post article
James Guiliani, Former Mafia Man Turned Animal Rescuer, Stars In New TV Series 'The Diamond Collar' (VIDEO)
Huffington Post - about 3 years
For 20 years, James "Head" Guiliani was a street enforcer for the mob, working for John Gotti and his crew in Brooklyn. "I used to deal cocaine, I used to deal marijuana, I used to stick people up," Guiliani recalls in the video above. Then, an encounter with a stray dog changed everything. While he was still a gangster, Guiliani came across an abused and abandoned pup named Bruno. "He was sick, he was dying," Guiliani says. "Maggots were crawling through his skin." Guiliani successfully nursed Bruno back to health. When Bruno later passed away, Guiliani decided he could never go back to the life he lived. He had found a new purpose and left the mafia. Though he still works in Brooklyn, Guiliani's days of substance abuse, crime and serving time are far behind him. Today, he and his wife, Lena Perrelli, dedicate themselves to rescuing and rehoming abused and abandoned animals throughout the borough. The couple also runs a top dog-grooming parlor in Brooklyn called The Diamond Colla ...
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Huffington Post article
'Junior' Gotti stabbed in fight, but won't squeal - New York Post
Google News - over 3 years
San Francisco Chronicle 'Junior' Gotti stabbed in fight, but won't squeal New York Post John Gotti Jr. showed up at Syosset Hospital in Long Island with a stab wound, but wouldn't give police any information. Photo: AP. Former Gambino crime family boss John “Junior” Gotti walked into a Long Island hospital clutching his bleeding gut Sunday ... Ex-Mob Boss 'Junior' Gotti Stabbed But Not Cooperating With CopsABC News Gambino scion John Gotti, Jr. stabbed: SourceNew York Daily News Stabbing of reputed former mob boss 'Junior' Gotti probed on Long IslandCNN New York Times -Fox News -NBC New York all 57 news articles »
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Google News article
'Mob Wives: New Blood' Sees Cast Shakeup For New Season
Huffington Post - over 3 years
"Mob Wives" is introducing some "New Blood." VH1 has shaken up the cast of "Mob Wives" with two new faces joining the fray and rebranding the show "Mob Wives: New Blood." Renee Graziano, Drita D’Avanzo and Big Ang will return to "Mob Wives" and will be joined by Alicia DiMichele and Natalie Guercio. The two new women hail from Philadelphia. When Season 3 ended, Drita had finally let husband Lee back into her live, Renee and AJ were mending their relationship and Big Ang did her best to remain neutral. Expect the new girls to shake things up. Alicia DiMichele is the wife of Eddie “Tall Guy” Garofalo. "Tall Guy" has been indicted for racketeering, extortion, and conspiracy to murder. According to VH1, Sammy “The Bull” Gravano allegedly orchestrated the August 1990 murder of her father-in-law, Edward Garofolo Sr., based on orders from John Gotti. Alicia worked for Eddie's trucking business, which led to her being indicted and pleading guilty to embezzlement. She's a mom of three a ...
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Huffington Post article
The Syrian Chemical Weapons Deal Is Nothing More Than A Face-Saving Stalling Tactic
Business Insider - over 3 years
The U.S. and Russia have reached a deal to hand over Assad's chemical weapons stockpiles to the international community for their removal and destruction. This move allows the U.S. to save face, and it has at least temporarily postponed a U.S. military attack on Syria. But the Syria problem is obviously far from solved. In all likelihood, the complete removal and destruction of chemical weapons is a pipe dream. Great news out of Geneva. Win-win: chemical weapons gone, no US military intervention. — Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) September 14, 2013 In the agreement framework provided by the State Department, Syria has a deadline of a week to submit all the information about its chemical weapons ammunition and sites — the ones they've been shuffling all over the country to hide in just the past few days  — and then allow U.N. inspectors to come in. The agreement then lays out a deadline of "the first half of 2014" for the complete elimination of chemical weapons. While it ...
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Business Insider article
Steve Mariotti: The Mob Museum: The Connection Between At-Risk Youth and Organized Crime
Huffington Post - over 3 years
I was out in Las Vegas this past May for the SALT Conference. When the cab driver picked up me and my colleague Deidre at the airport, I immediately felt an affinity for him -- he was, after all, the owner of his own small business. I asked him where Deidre and I should go during our free time -- I love museums, but I prefer the off-the-beaten path places you learn about from locals like him. Steve and Deidre at the Museum At his suggestion, we visited The Mob Museum, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement in downtown Vegas. Its an institution that gives a voice to both sides of this story -- that of organized crime and the police; and that of the individuals that were victimized by this battle in so many different ways. The voices that I was most fascinated by were those at-risk youth who would become the muscle of the mob -- not unlike the at-risk teenagers who are sucked up by the drug industry. Could we not have prevented the proliferation of yout ...
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Huffington Post article
Fuhgeddaboudit: Mob pick for Gambino 'Godfather' reportedly refuses top spot
Fox News - over 3 years
The heir apparent to the Gambino crime family reportedly said thanks but no thanks to its top job. According to news site DNAinfo New York, Francesco "Franky Boy" Cali, 49, refused an offer to become "Godfather" of the largest Mafia organization in the U.S. at a secret meeting the shock of Gambino bosses and his fellow captains. Sources who attended the meeting told the website that Cali told his Mafia associates, "I don't need the money, the headaches. I am okay with things and I am below the radar and not an attention-seeker." They also said that Gambino bosses were willing to accept his decision. Earlier reports suggested that it was Cali's lack of lust for the limelight that propelled his choice to be new head. But others believe the report of his turn down is nothing more than a clever ruse put together by the crime family. "Why would he turn down a job where all the other captains want him?" a skeptical law-enforcement office asked DNAinfo. "If they thought h ...
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Fox News article
Bulger jury selection unlike other mob cases
Fox News - over 3 years
The machinations of choosing a jury for the long-awaited trial of reputed Boston crime boss James "Whitey" Bulger may end up being most notable for how routine they appear despite the notoriety of the case and the outsized tales of the man at its center. Unlike some other high-profile organized crime trials, jurors in the Bulger case won't be sequestered and their identities will be revealed after the verdict is announced. Perhaps the biggest challenge will be finding 18 people who can spend the next four months hearing testimony about a long list of allegations against Bulger, including charges that he played a role in killing 19 people. Bulger, the former leader of the Winter Hill Gang, is now 83 years old. Three of his former cronies began cooperating with the government after authorities revealed that Bulger had been a longtime FBI informant. All three — former hitman John Martorano, former partner Stephen "The Rifleman" ...
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Fox News article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of John Gotti
  • 2002
    Gotti's condition rapidly declined, and he died on June 10, 2002, at the age of 61.
    More Details Hide Details The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn announced that Gotti's family would not be permitted to have a Requiem Mass but allowed a memorial Mass after the burial. Gotti's funeral was held in a nonchurch facility. After the funeral, an estimated 300 onlookers followed the procession, which passed Gotti's Bergin Hunt and Fish Club, to the gravesite. John Gotti's body was interred in a crypt next to his son Frank Gotti. Gotti's brother Peter was unable to attend owing to his incarceration. In an apparent repudiation of Gotti's leadership and legacy, the other New York City families sent no representatives to the funeral. By the turn of the century, due in large part to numerous prosecutions brought on as a result of Gotti's tactics, half of the family's active soldiers were in prison. As early as 1990 John Gotti was already such a prominent mobster as to be the inspiration for the character Joey Zasa, portrayed by Joe Mantegna, in The Godfather Part III.
  • 1998
    In 1998 Gotti was diagnosed with throat cancer and sent to the United States Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Missouri, for surgery.
    More Details Hide Details While the tumor was removed, the cancer was discovered to have returned two years later and Gotti was transferred back to Springfield, where he spent the rest of his life.
    By 1998, when he was indicted on racketeering, John Gotti Jr. was believed to be the acting boss of the family.
    More Details Hide Details Against his father's wishes, John Jr. pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six years and five months imprisonment in 1999. He maintains he has since left the Gambino family. Peter Gotti subsequently became acting boss, and is believed to have formally succeeded his brother as boss shortly before John Gotti's death. John Jr.'s indictment brought further stress to John Gotti's marriage. Victoria DiGiorgio Gotti, up to that point unaware of her son's involvement in the mob, blamed her husband for ruining her son's life and threatened to leave him unless he allowed John Jr. to leave the mob.
  • 1994
    His final appeal was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1994.
    More Details Hide Details While in prison, Gotti was severely assaulted by Walter Johnson, a fellow inmate. Afterwards, Gotti offered at least $40,000 to the Aryan Brotherhood to kill Johnson. The Aryan Brotherhood accepted Gotti's offer. The prison guards surmised that Johnson was in danger and transferred him to another prison. Despite this, it was said that the Aryan Brotherhood never intended to do the hit for Gotti. Gotti is also believed to have hired the Brotherhood for another aborted hit on Frank Locascio after learning the disgruntled acting consigliere sought to kill him. Despite his imprisonment, and pressure from the Commission to stand down, Gotti asserted his prerogative to retain his title as boss until his death or retirement, with his brother Peter and his son John A. Gotti Jr. relaying orders on his behalf.
  • 1992
    On April 2, 1992, after only 14 hours of deliberation, the jury found Gotti guilty on all charges of the indictment (Locasio was found guilty on all but one).
    More Details Hide Details James Fox, director of the New York City FBI, announced at a press conference, "The Teflon is gone. The don is covered with Velcro, and all the charges stuck." On June 23, 1992, Glasser sentenced both defendants to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole and a $250,000 fine. Gotti was incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary at Marion, Illinois. He spent the majority of his sentence in effective solitary confinement, only allowed out of his cell for one hour a day.
  • 1990
    On December 11, 1990, FBI agents and New York City detectives raided the Ravenite Social Club, arresting Gotti, Gravano and Frank Locascio.
    More Details Hide Details In the back of the police car, Gotti remarked 'I bet ya 3 to 1 I beat this'. Gotti was charged, in this new racketeering case, with five murders (Castellano and Bilotti, Robert DiBernardo, Liborio Milito and Louis Dibono), conspiracy to murder Gaetano "Corky" Vastola, loansharking, illegal gambling, obstruction of justice, bribery and tax evasion. Based on tapes from FBI bugs played at pretrial hearings the Gambino administration was denied bail. At the same time, attorneys Bruce Cutler and Gerald Shargel were disqualified from defending Gotti and Gravano after prosecutors successfully contended they were "part of the evidence" and thus liable to be called as witnesses. Prosecutors argued that Cutler and Shargel not only knew about potential criminal activity, but had worked as "in-house counsel" for the Gambino organization. Gotti subsequently hired Albert Krieger, a Miami attorney who had worked with Joseph Bonanno, to replace Cutler.
  • 1989
    On the evening of January 23, 1989, John Gotti was arrested outside the Ravenite and charged with ordering the 1986 assault of union official John O'Connor.
    More Details Hide Details O'Connor, a leader in the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America Local 608 who was later convicted of racketeering himself, was believed to have ordered an attack on a Gambino-associated restaurant that had snubbed the union and was subsequently shot and wounded by the Westies. To link Gotti to the case, state prosecutors had a recording of Gotti discussing O'Connor and announcing his intention to "Bust him up," and the testimony of Westies gangster James McElroy. Gotti was released on $100,000 bail, and was later acquitted at trial. It later emerged, however, that FBI bugs had apparently caught Gotti discussing plans to fix the jury as he had in the 1986-87 racketeering case. However, to the outrage of Morgenthau and state organized crime task force chief Ronald Goldstock, the FBI and federal prosecutors chose not to reveal this information to them. Morgenthau later said that had he known about these bugged conversations, he would have asked for a mistrial.
  • 1988
    Gotti's son John Gotti Jr. was initiated into the Gambino family on Christmas Eve 1988.
    More Details Hide Details According to fellow mobster Michael DiLeonardo, initiated in the same night, Gravano held the ceremony to keep Gotti from being accused of nepotism. John Jr. was promptly promoted to capo.
    Gotti was nevertheless able to take control of the New Jersey DeCavalcante crime family in 1988.
    More Details Hide Details According to the DeCavalcante capo-turned-informant Anthony Rotondo, Gotti attended his father's wake with numerous other Gambino mobsters in a "show of force" and forced boss John Riggi to agree to run his family on the Gambino's behalf. The DeCavalcantes remained in the Gambino's sphere of influence until John Gotti's imprisonment.
    1988 also saw Gotti, Gigante and new Lucchese boss Victor Amuso attending the first Commission meeting since the Commission trial.
    More Details Hide Details In 1986, future Lucchese underboss Anthony Casso had been injured in an unauthorized hit by Gambino capo Mickey Paradiso. The following year, the FBI warned Gotti they had recorded Genovese consigliere Louis Manna discussing another hit on John and Gene Gotti. To avoid a war, the leaders of the three families met, denied knowledge of their violence against one another, and agreed to "communicate better." The bosses also agreed to allow Colombo acting boss Victor Orena to join the Commission, but Gigante, wary of giving Gotti a majority by admitting another ally, blocked the reentry of the Bonannos and Joseph Massino.
    Beginning in January 1988 Gotti, against Gravano's advice, required his capos to meet with him at the Ravenite Social Club once a week.
    More Details Hide Details Regarded by Gene Gotti as an unnecessary vanity-inspired risk, and by FBI Gambino squad leader Bruce Mouw as antithematic to the "secret society", this move allowed FBI surveillance to record and identify much of the Gambino hierarchy. It also provided strong circumstantial evidence that Gotti was a boss; long-standing protocol in the Mafia requires public demonstrations of loyalty to the boss. The FBI also bugged the Ravenite, but failed to produce any high-quality incriminating recordings.
  • 1987
    On March 13, 1987, they acquitted Gotti and his codefendants of all charges.
    More Details Hide Details Five years later Pape was convicted of obstruction of justice for his part in the fix and sentenced to three years in prison. In the face of previous Mafia convictions, particularly the success of the Commission trial, Gotti's acquittal was a major upset that further added to his reputation. The American media dubbed Gotti "The Teflon Don" in reference to the failure of any charges to "stick." While Gotti himself had escaped conviction, his associates were not so lucky. The other two men in the Gambino administration, underboss Armone and consigliere Gallo, had been indicted on racketeering charges in 1986 and were both convicted in December 1987. The heroin trial of Gotti's former fellow Bergin crewmembers Ruggiero and Gene Gotti also commenced in June of that year. Prior to their convictions, Gotti allowed Gallo to retire and promoted Sammy Gravano in his place while slating Frank Locascio to serve as acting underboss in the event of Armone's imprisonment. The Gambinos also worked to compromise the heroin trial's jury, resulting in two mistrials. When the terminally ill Ruggiero was severed and released in 1989, Gotti refused to contact him, blaming him for the Gambino's misfortunes. According to Gravano, Gotti also considered murdering Ruggiero and when he finally died "I literally had to drag him to the funeral."
  • 1986
    Jury selection for the racketeering case began again in August 1986, with John Gotti standing trial alongside Gene Gotti, "Willie Boy" Johnson (who, despite being exposed as an informant, refused to turn state's evidence), Leonard DiMaria, Tony Rampino, Nicholas Corozzo and John Carneglia.
    More Details Hide Details At this point, the Gambinos were able to compromise the case when George Pape hid his friendship with Westies boss Bosko Radonjich and was empaneled as juror No. 11. Through Radonjich, Pape contacted Gravano and agreed to sell his vote on the jury for $60,000. In the trial's opening statements on September 25, Gotti's defense attorney Bruce Cutler denied the existence of the Gambino Crime Family and framed the government's entire effort as a personal vendetta. His main defense strategy during the prosecution was to attack the credibility of prosecutor Diane Giacalone's witnesses by discussing their crimes committed before their turning states'. In Gotti's defense Cutler called bank robber Matthew Traynor, a would-be prosecution witness dropped for unreliability, who testified that Giacalone offered him drugs and her panties as a masturbation aid in exchange for his testimony; Traynor's allegations would be dismissed by Judge Nickerson as "wholly unbelievable" after the trial, and he was subsequently convicted of perjury.
    On April 13, 1986, DiCicco was killed when his car was bombed following a visit to Castellano loyalist James Failla.
    More Details Hide Details The bombing was carried out by Victor Amuso and Anthony Casso of the Lucchese family, under orders of Gigante and Lucchese boss Anthony Corallo, to avenge Castellano and Bilotti by killing their successors; Gotti also planned to visit Failla that day, but canceled, and the bomb was detonated after a soldier who rode with DeCicco was mistaken for the boss. Bombs had long been banned by the American Mafia out of concern that it would put innocent people in harm's way, leading the Gambinos to initially suspect that Zips (Sicilian mafiosi working in the United States) were behind it; Zips were well known for using bombs. Following the bombing, Judge Eugene Nickerson, presiding over Gotti's racketeering trial, rescheduled to avoid a jury tainted by the resulting publicity while Giacalone had Gotti's bail revoked due to evidence of intimidation in the Piecyk case. From jail, Gotti ordered the murder of Robert DiBernardo by Sammy Gravano; both DiBernardo and Ruggiero had been vying to succeed Frank DeCicco until Ruggiero accused DiBernardo of challenging Gotti's leadership. When Ruggiero, also under indictment, had his bail revoked for his abrasive behavior in preliminary hearings, a frustrated Gotti instead promoted Joseph Armone to underboss.
    Gotti's newfound fame had at least one positive effect; upon the revelation of his attacker's occupation, and amid reports of intimidation by the Gambinos, Romual Piecyk decided not to testify against Gotti, and when the trial commenced in March 1986 he testified he was unable to remember who attacked him.
    More Details Hide Details The case was promptly dismissed, with the New York Post summarizing the proceedings with the headline "I Forgotti!" It was later revealed that Gambino thugs had severed Piecyk's brake lines, made threatening phone calls and stalked him before the trial.
    Identified as both Paul Castellano's likely murderer and his successor, John Gotti rose to fame throughout 1986.
    More Details Hide Details At the time of Gotti's takeover the Gambino family was regarded as the most powerful American mafia family, with an annual income of $500 million. In the book Underboss, Gravano estimated that Gotti himself had an annual income of not less than $5 million during his years as boss, and more likely between $10 and $12 million. To protect himself legally, Gotti banned members of the Gambino family from accepting plea bargains that acknowledged the existence of the organization. Gotti maintained a genial public image in an attempt to play down press releases that depicted him as a ruthless mobster. He reportedly would offer coffee to FBI agents assigned to tail him.
    He was formally acclaimed as the new boss of the Gambino family at a meeting of 20 capos held on January 15, 1986.
    More Details Hide Details He appointed his co-conspirator DeCicco as the new underboss while retaining Gallo as consigliere.
  • 1985
    DeCicco tipped Gotti off that he would be having a meeting with Castellano and several other Gambino mobsters at Sparks Steak House on December 16, 1985, and Gotti chose to take the opportunity.
    More Details Hide Details The evening of the meeting, when the boss and underboss arrived, they were ambushed and shot dead by assassins under Gotti's command. Gotti watched the hit from his car with Gravano. Several days after the murder, Gotti was named to a three-man committee to temporarily run the family pending the election of a new boss, along with Gallo and DeCicco. It was also announced that an internal investigation into Castellano's murder was well underway. However, it was an open secret that Gotti was acting boss in all but name, and nearly all of the family's capos knew he'd been the one behind the hit.
    After Dellacroce died of cancer on December 2, 1985, Castellano revised his succession plan: appointing Bilotti as underboss to Thomas Gambino as the sole acting boss, while making plans to break up Gotti's crew.
    More Details Hide Details Infuriated by this, and Castellano's refusal to attend Dellacroce's wake, Gotti resolved to kill his boss.
    In 1985, he was indicted alongside Dellacroce and several Bergin crew members in a racketeering case by Assistant US Attorney Diane Giacalone.
    More Details Hide Details The indictment also revealed that Gotti's friend "Willie Boy" Johnson, one of his co-defendants, had been an FBI informant. Gotti rapidly became dissatisfied with Paul Castellano's leadership, considering the new boss too isolated and greedy. Like other members of the family, Gotti also personally disliked Castellano. Castellano lacked street credibility, and those who had paid their dues running street level jobs did not respect him. Gotti also had an economic interest; he had a running beef with Castellano on the split Gotti took from hijackings at JFK Airport. Gotti was also rumored to be expanding into drug dealing, a lucrative trade Castellano had banned. In August 1983, Ruggiero and Gene Gotti were arrested for dealing heroin, based primarily on recordings from a bug in Ruggiero's house. Castellano, who had banned made men from his family from dealing drugs under threat of death, demanded transcripts of the tapes, and when Ruggiero refused he threatened to demote Gotti.
    The FBI indicted members of Gotti's crew for selling narcotics, and Gotti took advantage of growing dissent over the leadership of the crime family. Gotti feared that he would be killed along with his brother and best friend by Gambino crime family boss Paul Castellano for selling drugs, so he organized the murder of Castellano in December 1985 and took over the family shortly thereafter.
    More Details Hide Details This left Gotti as the boss of the most powerful crime family in America, one that made hundreds of millions of dollars a year from construction, waste management, hijacking, loan sharking, gambling, extortion, and other criminal activities. Gotti was one of the most powerful and dangerous crime bosses in America. During his era he became widely known for his outspoken personality and flamboyant style, which gained him favor with much of the general public. His peers avoided attracting attention, especially from the media, but Gotti became known as "The Dapper Don" for his expensive clothes and personality in front of news cameras. He was later given the nickname "The Teflon Don" after three high-profile trials in the 1980s resulted in his acquittal, though it was later revealed that the trials had been tainted by jury tampering, juror misconduct, and witness intimidation. Law enforcement authorities continued gathering evidence against Gotti that helped lead to his downfall.
  • 1984
    Gotti was indicted on two occasions in his last two years as the Bergin Capo, with both cases coming to trial after his ascension to Gambino Boss. In September 1984, Gotti was in an altercation with refrigerator mechanic Romual Piecyk, and was subsequently charged with assault and robbery.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1982
    Gotti tried to keep most of his family uninvolved with his life of crime, with the exception of his son John Angelo Gotti, commonly known as John Gotti Jr., who was a mob associate by 1982.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1980
    On July 28, 1980, he was abducted and disappeared, presumed murdered.
    More Details Hide Details The Gottis were on vacation in Florida at the time, but John Gotti is still presumed to have ordered the killing, an allegation dismissed by his daughter Victoria.
    On March 18, 1980, Gotti's youngest son, 12-year-old Frank Gotti, was run over and killed on a family friend's minibike by a neighbor named John Favara.
    More Details Hide Details Frank's death was ruled an accident, but Favara subsequently received death threats and was attacked by Victoria Gotti with a baseball bat when he visited the Gottis to apologize.
  • 1978
    In December 1978, Gotti assisted in the largest unrecovered cash robbery in history, the infamous Lufthansa Heist at Kennedy Airport.
    More Details Hide Details Gotti had made arrangements for the getaway van to be crushed and bailed at a scrap metal yard in Brooklyn, New York. The driver of the van failed to follow orders; rather than driving the vehicle to the scrap yard, he parked it near a fire hydrant and went to sleep at his girlfriend's apartment. The NYPD recovered the getaway van and lifted the fingerprints of several perpetrators of the robbery, helping to unravel the Lufthansa crime.
  • 1977
    Gotti was released in July 1977 after two years imprisonment.
    More Details Hide Details He was subsequently initiated into the Gambino family, now under the command of Paul Castellano, and immediately promoted to replace Fatico as capo of the Bergin crew. He and his crew reported directly to Dellacroce as part of the concessions given by Castellano to keep Dellacroce as underboss, and Gotti was regarded as Dellacroce's protégé. Under Gotti, the Bergin crew were the biggest earners of Dellacroce's crews. Besides his cut of his subordinates' earnings, Gotti ran his own loan sharking operation and held a no-show job as a plumbing supply salesman. Unconfirmed allegations by FBI informants in the Bergin Hunt and Fish Club claimed that Gotti also financed drug deals.
  • 1975
    After Gotti's death, he was also identified by Joseph Massino as the killer of Vito Borelli, a Gambino associate killed in 1975 for insulting Paul Castellano.
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  • 1974
    Gotti was identified by eyewitnesses as a police Bergin insider and was arrested for the killing in June 1974.
    More Details Hide Details He was able to strike a plea bargain, however, with the help of attorney Roy Cohn, and received a four-year sentence for attempted manslaughter for his part in the hit.
  • 1973
    Carlo Gambino's nephew Emanuel Gambino was kidnapped and murdered in 1973, and John Gotti was assigned to the hit team alongside Ruggiero and Ralph Galione for the main suspect, gangster James McBratney.
    More Details Hide Details The team botched their attempt to abduct McBratney at a Staten Island bar, and Galione shot McBratney dead when his accomplices managed to restrain him.
  • 1972
    Gotti and Ruggiero were paroled in 1972 and returned to their old crew at the Bergin Hunt and Fish Club, still working under caporegime Carmine Fatico.
    More Details Hide Details Gotti was transferred to management of the Bergin crew's illegal gambling, where he proved himself to be an effective enforcer. Fatico was indicted on loansharking charges in 1972. As a condition of his release, he could not associate with known felons. Gotti was not yet a made man in the Mafia due to the membership books' having been closed since 1957, but Fatico named him the acting capo of the Bergin Crew soon after he was paroled. In this new role, Gotti frequently traveled to Dellacroce's headquarters at the Ravenite Social Club to brief the underboss on the crew's activities. Dellacroce had already taken a liking to Gotti, and the two became even closer during this time. The two were very similar—both had strong violent streaks, cursed a lot, and were heavy gamblers.
  • 1968
    In February 1968, United Airlines employees identified Gotti as the man who had signed for stolen merchandise; the FBI arrested him for the United hijacking soon after.
    More Details Hide Details Gotti was arrested a third time for hijacking while out on bail two months later, this time for stealing a load of cigarettes worth $50,000 on the New Jersey Turnpike. Later that year, Gotti pleaded guilty to the Northwest Airlines hijacking and was sentenced to three years at Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary. Prosecutors dropped the charges for the cigarette hijacking. Gotti also pleaded guilty to the United hijacking and spent less than three years at Lewisburg.
  • 1966
    However, he could not stay crime free and, by 1966, had been jailed twice.
    More Details Hide Details As early as his teens, Gotti was running errands for Carmine Fatico, a capo in the Anastasia crime family which became the Gambino family following the murder of boss Albert Anastasia. Gotti carried out truck hijackings at Idlewild Airport (subsequently renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport) together with his brother Gene and friend Ruggiero. During this time, Gotti befriended fellow mob hijacker and future Bonanno family boss Joseph Massino, and he was given the nicknames "Black John" and "Crazy Horse". It was also around this time that Gotti met Gambino underboss Aniello "Neil" Dellacroce.
  • 1962
    Gotti attempted to work legitimately in 1962 as a presser in a coat factory and as an assistant truck driver.
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  • 1958
    Gotti met his future wife Victoria DiGiorgio in 1958. The couple had their first child in April 1961, a daughter named Angel, and were married on March 6, 1962.
    More Details Hide Details They had four more children: another daughter (Victoria) and three sons (John, Frank (b. October 18, 1967 k. March 18, 1980), and Peter).
  • 1940
    John Gotti was born in the South Bronx on October 27, 1940.
    More Details Hide Details While his parents were both born in the US, his ancestors came from San Giuseppe Vesuviano, in the province of Naples. He was the fifth of the thirteen children of John Joseph Gotti, Sr. and John Sr.'s wife Philomena (referred to as Fannie), and one of five brothers who became made men in the Gambino Family: Eugene "Gene" Gotti was initiated before John due to John's incarceration, Peter Gotti was initiated under John's leadership in 1988, and Richard V. Gotti was identified as a capo by 2002. The fifth, Vincent, was initiated in 2002. Gotti grew up in poverty. His father worked irregularly as a day laborer and indulged in gambling. As an adult, John Gotti came to resent his father for being unable to provide for his family. In school, Gotti had a history of truancy and bullying other students, and ultimately dropped out of Franklin K. Lane High School at the age of 16.
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