Author Topic: "JOHN GOTTI....THE ILLEST"  (Read 709 times)

C_R_O_N_I_C_I

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"JOHN GOTTI....THE ILLEST"
« on: August 22, 2001, 05:20:40 AM »
"John Gotti is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.  His existence has been a lonely one.  Since being incarcerated in December of 1990, he was not allowed any contact with the rest of the prison population and spent twenty-three hours a day alone in a small cell.  When doctors diagnosed Gotti with throat cancer in September of 1998, he was brought to the United States Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Missouri.  Following surgery and thirty-six radiation treatments, he was transferred back to solitary lockup in Marion, Illinois.

Due to the notoriously harsh and inhumane conditions at the prison, inmates are normally brought to the federal penitentiary in Marion for a short period of time, rarely exceeding three years.  To date, John Gotti's confinement at the maximum-security facility amounts to over nine years, making it the longest stay in the prison's history.

Tests later revealed that John's cancer was no longer in remission and had reemerged and spread aggressively.  On Sept. 13th, 2000, he was again transported from Marion, to the prison hospital in Springfield, Missouri.

UPDATE: August 9th, John was finally moved from his prison hospital cell to a local hospital in rural Missouri with more sophisticated facilities...  

Unfortunately, his stay at St. John's Regional Health Center was short lived, as he was transferred back to the prison hospital August 20th - despite a hearing application filed by his attorneys."

what do yall think about it?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by 1034398800 »
 

C_R_O_N_I_C_I

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Re: "JOHN GOTTI....THE ILLEST"
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2001, 05:21:59 AM »
"....The American gangster has become as American as …say…apple pie! For decades people have both marveled at and been reviled by this genre of criminal activity in the United States.

Few organized crime figures have completely captured the attention of the public as John Gotti has over the past twenty years. We have had our celebrity mobsters in the past. Underworld figures like Al “Scarface” Capone and Jack “Legs” Diamond captured the public’s fascination during the 1920s. In the 1930s it was a different brand of criminal that became popular. Bank robbers like John Dillinger, “Pretty Boy” Floyd, and “Baby Face” Nelson were the rage of what was known as the Mid-West Crime Wave.

The 1940s brought us Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel and the killers of Murder, Inc. Along with the glamour these individuals provided, their murders made for exciting front-page headlines, not to mention sensational photographs.

While there were no prominent names during the 1950s, that decade nevertheless brought organized crime to the forefront, due to the efforts of law enforcement.  It began with the televised Kefauver Hearings in the early 1950s and made a big splash with the infamous Apalachin conclave in 1957.

The turbulent 1960s passed none too quickly with its political / sociological upheaval and in gangland we saw for the first time warring within the various crime families – the Gallo / Profaci War and the Banana War. As the 1970s dawned gangsters began not only vying for newspaper headlines, but now television airtime. Mortal mob enemies “Crazy Joe” Gallo and Joseph Colombo were the media targets of New York City and the city knew how to promote them. Both flamboyant characters would meet brutal, albeit well-publicized endings. "



« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by 1034398800 »
 

C_R_O_N_I_C_I

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Re: "JOHN GOTTI....THE ILLEST"
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2001, 05:22:32 AM »
"...By the mid-1980s federal law agencies, with the help of local law enforcement, began to dismantle organized crime families across the country. In the midst of this effort, John Gotti stepped forward and captured the public’s attention in what seemed like the final gasp for the Hollywood-style gangster to leave his mark in the annals of American criminal history. Gotti became the darling of the New York media. With his habit of coming through criminal trials unscathed and penchant for expensive and fashionable attire, he became the icon of the American gangster.

As Gotti rose to the top he left behind a bloody trail of bodies, as well as an assortment of embarrassed law enforcement agencies. Putting him away became an obsession that would cause the government to go after him with no holds barred . In 1992 the man who had gone from the Dapper Don to the Teflon Don was convicted of RICO charges in Brooklyn's federal district court. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Looking back at Gotti’s reign one can see that his only true achievement as a Mafia chieftain was to captivate the public’s attention. At this, Gotti had few equals. But as a leader he was quite lacked the ability that characterized the careers of such mob luminaries as Capone, Luciano, Lansky, Torrio, Costello and Gambino. In the end it was Gotti’s ego and carelessness that led to his downfall.

Now about to finish his first decade in prison, the 60 year-old Gotti has been diagnosed with a recurrence of throat cancer. Today Gotti sits in the Federal Medical Center in Springfield, Missouri living out what may be his last weeks. It seems almost ironic, as if Gotti were having the last laugh at the federal government by cheating them – having spent less than ten years behind bars. If there is anything positive that can be said for Gotti it’s that he took his punishment like a man. Still defiant of the government, one is left to wonder if John Gotti, the Dapper Don, would have wanted it any other way."
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by 1034398800 »
 

C_R_O_N_I_C_I

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Re: "JOHN GOTTI....THE ILLEST"
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2001, 05:23:09 AM »
"...John Joseph Gotti, Jr. was born on October 27, 1940. He was the fifth child of John J. Gotti, Sr. and his wife, Fannie. The family grew to eleven children – seven boys and four girls. Due to poor medical care of his siblings died during childhood. Gotti’s father was described in early writings as a hardworking immigrant from the Neapolitan section of Italy. Years later, Gotti would tell a very different story about his father to Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano (the Gambino Family underboss who would become the most infamous mob rat in America):

“These fuckin’ bums that write books,” Gotti complained, “they’re worse than us. My fuckin’ father was born in New Jersey. He ain’t never been in Italy his whole fuckin’ life. My mother neither. The guy never worked a fuckin’ day in his life. He was a rolling stone; he never provided for the family. He never did nothin’. He never earned nothin’. And we never had nothin’.”

While this description of his father’s work habits was overblown, the family was raised in a dirt-poor, poverty-ridden section of the South Bronx. By the time Gotti was ten, his father had saved enough money to move the family to the Sheepshead Bay neighborhood of Brooklyn. This proved to be a definite step up from their four-room flat in the South Bronx. A year later, another move placed the family in an area of Brooklyn known as East New York.

At any early age, young “Johnny Boy” learned to use his fists. He had a quick temper and a burning anger as he looked on in disdain at those who had a better life. Instead of aspiring to become a businessman or doctor, his goal was to be one of the wiseguys he saw on a daily basis hanging around the Brooklyn street corners. Thus, Gotti had barely turned twelve before he was caught up in the street activity of the local mobsters. Along with brothers Peter and Richard, Gotti became part of a gang that ran errands for the wiseguys. While Gotti was getting a street education, he seldom had time for a formal one. A habitual truant, when he was in school his teachers considered him a disturbing distraction. Because he was a class bully and a routine discipline problem, they showed little concern over his absence.

In 1954, Gotti was injured while participating in a robbery for some local hoods. He and some other kids were in the process of stealing a portable cement mixer from a construction site when the mixer tipped over landing on Gotti’s toes crushing them. After spending most of the summer of his fourteenth year in the hospital, Gotti was back on the street with a new gait that would last him for life.

By the time he was sixteen Gotti quit school for good and became a member of the Fulton-Rockaway Boys, a teenage gang named for an intersection in Brooklyn. Gotti rose rapidly to leadership. The Fulton-Rockaway Boys differed from other “turf-minded” teen gangs in that they were into a higher level of criminality. Gang members stole automobiles, fenced stolen goods and rolled drunks.

Also, with brothers Peter and Richard, Gotti teamed up with two other young men who would become life-long friends. The first was Angelo Ruggiero, a hulking youth whose penchant for non-stop chatter earned him the nickname “Quack-Quack.” The second was Wilfred “Willie Boy” Johnson, an amateur boxer whose father was of American Indian descent. Johnson was constantly teased and degraded about his roots, and because of it, he could never become a "made" member of the Mafia because of it.

Between 1957 and 1961, while a member of the Fulton-Rockaway Boys, Gotti was arrested five times. Each time the charges were dismissed or reduced to a probationary sentence."

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by 1034398800 »
 

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Re: "JOHN GOTTI....THE ILLEST"
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2001, 05:24:00 AM »
"...Around 1960, when he was twenty, Gotti met and fell in love with Victoria DiGiorgio. The petite, raven-haired beauty was born to a Jewish father. Her parents divorced when she was still an infant and she later took the last name of her stepfather. Two years younger than Gotti, DiGiorgio dropped out of high school during her senior year. The two were married on March 6, 1962 almost a full year after the birth of their first child, Angela. The marriage proved to be a stormy one, with many fights and periods of separation. Yet despite their problems, the couple went on to have two more children in rapid succession: a second daughter, Victoria, and John A., who became known as “Junior.”

Around this time, Gotti actually tried his hand at legitimate work-- a coat factory presser and a truck driver’s assistant – before ultimately turning all his energies toward a life of crime. Victoria Gotti disparaged her husband’s career. She disliked how it made her live.  Once, when Gotti was away serving a three-year stretch, she was forced to apply for public welfare. Another time she took her husband to court for non-support. Years later FBI bugs would pick up conversations where Gotti talked about his wife, stating, “The woman is driving me crazy!”

Gotti spent his first time in jail, a 20-day period, in 1963 when he was arrested with Salvatore Ruggiero, Angelo’s younger brother.  They were in an automobile that had been reported stolen from a rental car agency. Gotti’s crimes during the early to mid-1960s were mostly petty in nature – larceny, unlawful entry, and possession of bookmaking records. In 1966 as well, he would spend several months in jail for an attempted theft.

Yet 1966 proved to be a banner year for the Brooklyn hood. Gotti became an associate of a Mafia crew headed by Carmine Fatico and his brother Daniel. Operating out of a social club called the Bergin Hunt and Fish Club in Ozone Park, Queens, the Faticos answered to Gambino Family underboss, Aniello Dellacroce. Gotti’s criminal career as hijacker began as a member of the Bergin crew. The crew’s target, as well as the target of the other New York crime families, was the massive John F. Kennedy International Airport.

While not a great hijacker, Gotti was successful enough to move his family to a nicer apartment in Brooklyn. He and Victoria soon had their fourth child, a second son, whom they named Frank.

On November 27, 1967 Gotti and another crew member – either Angelo Ruggiero or another of Gotti's brothers, Gene – forged the name of a forwarding company agent and then took a rented truck to JFK's United cargo area and drove off with $30,000 worth of merchandise, a good portion of it in women’s clothes. Four days later, the FBI was watching as Angelo and Gotti loaded up again with women’s clothing, this time at a Northwest Airlines cargo terminal. Once outside the airport, an automobile containing Gene Gotti pulled alongside. The FBI swooped in and arrested the three men, finding Gotti in the rear of the truck hiding behind several boxes. During the subsequent investigation, United employees identified John Gotti as the man who had signed for the earlier stolen merchandise. He was arrested for the United hijacking in February 1968. In April, while out on bail, he was arrested a third time for hijacking---this time for stealing a load of cigarettes worth nearly $500,000 outside a restaurant on the New Jersey turnpike.

At the urging of Carmine Fatico, the Gotti brothers and Angelo hired defense attorney Michael Coiro to represent them. John pled guilty to the Northwest hijacking and was sentenced to four years at the Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary in Pennsylvania. Prosecutors dropped the charges in the cigarette hijacking, and Coiro was able to get the judge to let Gotti plead guilty in the United theft, while allowing his Lewisburg time to serve as the penalty. Gotti served less than three years of his sentence at Lewisburg, from May 1969 to January 1972.

After his release from prison, the first order of business for Gotti was to get a legitimate job. John was put on the payroll of Victoria’s stepfather’s construction company. While Victoria may have wished that her husband would begin a new life, she was resigned to the fact that she could never change him. Shorty after his return she was pregnant with the couple’s last child, another son whom they named Peter. Years later, Victoria would tell a detective inquiring into her husband’s activities, “I don’t know what he does. All I know is, he provides.”

The crew Gotti returned to at the Bergin club consisted mainly of associates. The made members had grown old and a Mafia edict in 1957 had prevented the making of any new ones. Gotti possessed the most moxy of the crewmembers, and when Carmine Fatico was indicted for loansharking and stopped frequenting the club, he used Gotti to oversee the day-to-day activities there. At the age of 31, Gotti became the acting capo of the Bergin crew, with the blessing of Dellacroce."


« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by 1034398800 »
 

C_R_O_N_I_C_I

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Re: "JOHN GOTTI....THE ILLEST"
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2001, 05:24:59 AM »
"...The Bergin crew under Gotti was young and hungry. Looking to make money, they naturally gravitated toward dealing in narcotics. The unwritten law of the underworld as it pertained to drugs was, “You deal, you die.” This had allegedly been decreed at the infamous Apalachin Summit in November 1957, and was carried forward by Carlo Gambino. The more practiced rule was that you could not get caught, and if you did, you faced certain death. A portion of the money from drug deals was always kicked up to the bosses, who chose to look the other way as long as the money rolled in and no one associated with the family ended up in jail.

By May 1972, as Gotti assumed control of the Bergin crew, several members had already become confidential informants for the FBI, or were on their way to it. This group included Willie Boy Johnson and William Battista. Over the years, the government received conflicting reports from these informants as to John Gotti’s actual involvement in narcotics. Johnson always maintained that Gotti was not involved and that he toed the line on the no-drug policies of Gambino, and later, of Paul Castellano.

Gotti’s first step up the mob ladder came at the expense of Carmine Fatico’s legal woes. Gotti’s next step would come in a similar manner, but this time it was Dellacroce’s problems with the law.

Aniello Dellacroce and John Gotti hit it off right away. In many ways they were like two peas in a pod. In Gotti: Rise and Fall, authors Jerry Capeci and Gene Mustain give this insight into Dellacroce’s personality: “…he was Carlo’s bad cop. He was fierce, violent, foul-mouthed and clever, and Carlo relied on him when a mix of treachery and trickery was needed to settle some contentious matter.” Operating out of the Ravenite Social Club on Mulberry Street in the heart of Manhattan’s Little Italy, Dellacroce was highly visible in the neighborhood – so much so that a 1972 Senate committee investigating organized crime actually identified him as the boss of the Gambino Family.

Another thing Dellacroce and Gotti had in common was their bad habit of losing big in gambling. In 1968, Dellacroce was indicted for income tax evasion after reporting an income of $10,400 when his actual income exceeded $130,000. In addition, the IRS discovered that, while on a three-day vacation in Puerto Rico, Dellacroce had lost more in gambling then he claimed as income for the entire year. Dellacroce was sentenced to a year in prison, and then after he refused to testify before a grand jury, five more were added on, even though he was granted immunity.

With Fatico keeping a low profile and Dellacroce in prison, Gotti, still in the status of an associate, began making regular visits to family boss Carlo Gambino. Years later, Gotti would be overheard on a bug calling Gambino a “rat mother fucker” and a “back door mother fucker” for never promoting him, but in 1973 the young hood stood in awe of “Don Carlo.”

A student of Niccolo Machiavelli, the Italian philosopher, Gambino had a habit of quoting from “The Prince.” Later while in prison, Gotti would also study the writings of Machiavelli, to the point where he could quote whole parables. Gotti strutted proudly in front of the Bergin crew as he relayed orders from the revered family boss. Although Gambino’s edict to stay clear of drug dealing fell on deaf ears, other orders were obeyed. One of the rulings that came down from Gambino was that family members were to stop the practice of kidnapping other criminals, which at the time was “in vogue.” Gambino put the ban in effect after the kidnapping and murder of Manny Gambino, Don Carlo’s nephew.

The killing of Manny Gambino, and the subsequent murder of Irish mobster James “Jimmy” McBratney, would become part of the Gotti myth. "

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by 1034398800 »
 

C_R_O_N_I_C_I

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Re: "JOHN GOTTI....THE ILLEST"
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2001, 05:26:02 AM »
"...The Death of Manny Gambino
In the early 1970s a wave of kidnappings took place in New York City. Incredible as it may seem, the victims were members and associates of the city’s crime families. In Tough Guy: The True Story of “Crazy” Eddie Maloney, co-authors William Hoffman and Eddie Maloney discuss the kidnappings Eddie and his gang were involved in. Maloney also details his friendship with Jimmy McBratney.

The two men met when both were incarcerated at Greenhaven State Prison in New York. Maloney described McBratney as a devoted family man who stood six-foot-three and weighed 250 pounds. A weight lifter, McBratney could bench-press 400 pounds. Maloney continues: “Jimmy McBratney was locked up for armed robbery. He was quiet, a listener and learner, and soon we were discussing heists we might do together. He knew about guns and wanted to become a collector, but closest to his heart were his wife and two small children and their house on Staten Island, and his goal of saving enough to own a nightclub. I learned Jimmy was very loyal to his wife, and that all the talk in the yard about 'broads' upset him. His wife visited regularly and wrote every day.”
In October 1972, Maloney became part of a kidnapping ring with McBratney.  It was the brainchild of two wiseguys from the Gambino Crime Family - Flippo and Ronnie Miano. Claiming they only wanted ten percent of the ransoms, Flippo told Maloney that his motive for the kidnappings was revenge. “The guys I’m setting up have fucked me and my people on business deals in the past. It’ll give me pleasure to see those greedy fucks suffer,” Miano boasted.

The kidnapping gang consisted of Maloney, McBratney, Tommy Genovese, a distant relative of Vito’s, Warren “Chief” Schurman, and Richie Chaisson. The first kidnapping was of a Gambino capo called “Frank the Wop.” The escapade went off without a hitch and the gang got away with $150,000. Over the next two months, the gang completed three more successful body snatches. However, on December 28, 1972 their luck changed. McBratney outlined a plan to grab a Gambino loanshark named “Junior.” Late on this bitter cold afternoon, Maloney stuck a gun in Junior’s stomach and ordered him into a car. When Junior put up a fight, Maloney used a gun to hit him over the head a couple of times before shoving him into the back seat and taking off. Two young witnesses to the crime followed them for a while before they were scared off, but not before they recorded the license number and turned it over to a relative with mob connections.

A friend of Maloney’s, in whose apartment they were holding Junior, and through whose mother they had rented the abduction car, spilled his guts to the wiseguys after some hoods showed up at his mother’s house asking questions. McBratney was in a panic when he realized the mob had his name, as well as Maloney’s and Schurman’s. After a relatively small ransom, $21,000, was paid, McBratney arrived at the apartment to pick up Schurman and return the victim. Schurman was supposed to have taped Junior’s eyes before covering them with sunglasses, but the slow-witted hood had failed to do it right.

After driving a few blocks McBratney suddenly realized Junior’s eyes weren’t taped.  Enraged, he brought the car to a screeching halt. Junior bolted out of the back seat and ran for his life as McBratney fired several shots at him. Meanwhile, Schurman jumped out of the car and retreated to Maloney’s automobile, which was following them. Schurman was sure McBratney would kill him if he ever saw him again, a fact Maloney confirmed.

Maloney suggested to McBratney that he leave the city. McBratney declined the advice and instead decided to keep a machine gun in his car. Just before Maloney was sent back to prison on a parole violation, he and Schurman were drinking in a bar one night when two guys that he described as “stone killers” came in looking for them. The bar manager, a friend of Maloney’s, told the pair he hadn't seen them in a while. While away in prison, Maloney saw a newspaper article about the arrest of McBratney’s killers, featuring the pictures of John Gotti and Angelo Ruggiero. He claimed that they were the two “stone killers” who had been looking for him that night in the bar.

In his book, Maloney never mentions the kidnapping and killing of Manny Gambino, the murder that McBratney allegedly paid for with his life.

So what really happened to Manny Gambino? In the book, Brick Agent, former FBI Special Agent Anthony Villano talks in detail about the alleged abduction. Villano was tipped off that Manny Gambino, the son of Carlo’s brother Joseph, had been kidnapped. Villano’s attempts to help the family were at first rebuffed. A few days later, an attorney for the family called him and asked the FBI to get involved.

Villano reported that the kidnappers asked for $350,000, but the Gambino family claimed they could only come up with $40,000. The agent figured that either Joe Gambino’s side of the family was poor or that having $350,000 in cash on hand might arouse the attention of the IRS.

After receiving new ransom orders, Tommy Gambino, Manny’s brother, was told where to drive to and he took off with Villano on the floor in the backseat. The money drop was made before agents tailing Villano could get into position to observe it. However, one of the agents recorded the license number of a van that was seen in the area. The group went back to the Gambino home, only to be disappointed when Manny had not returned by the promised hour. Over the next several months, Villano continued investigating. Through a contact, he found out the following:

“Manny had fallen in love with a show-biz blonde. He wanted to leave his family because the girl refused to have anything more to do with him unless he gave up his wife and went full-time with her. Manny was advised by his betters in the clan to grow up and forget the blonde. In his circles it was okay to have a mistress but it was bad form to leave your wife, particularly if you were a nephew of Carlo Gambino.”

Villano also found out that Manny had a few financial problems, most likely due to maintaining two households. Since he was heavy into loanshark operations, many in the family felt that Manny had too much money on the street. Through a snitch, Villano found out that one of the people who was into Manny for a large sum was gambler Robert Sentner, an ex-associate. Upon hearing the name, Villano realized the van that was spotted the night the ransom was paid had been rented to a Robert Sentner.

Manny Gambino’s car was found at the Newark Airport. Villano reports that before his body was brought to the burial site, rigor mortis had set in. He was found buried in the sitting position in a New Jersey dump, near the Earle Naval Ammunition Depot. Robert Sentner and John Kilcullen were arrested on December 4, 1972, and charged with kidnapping. Senter later confessed to the murder of Gambino, revealed the names of his other two accomplices, and testified against Kilcullen.  On June 1,1973, he pled guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to fifteen years in prison.

Despite his detailed account of the incident Villano never mentions Jimmy McBratney’s name in the book."

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by 1034398800 »
 

C_R_O_N_I_C_I

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Re: "JOHN GOTTI....THE ILLEST"
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2001, 05:26:49 AM »
"...In all likelihood, Jimmy McBratney was identified as a member of the team that abducted Junior, and murdered because of his involvement. McBratney was obviously not an innocent, law-abiding citizen. He had committed armed robbery, kidnapping, and possession of illegal weapons, and – if his aim had been better – may have wounded or killed the Staten Island loan shark. However, it is certain that McBratney did not kidnap and murder Carlo Gambino's nephew, thus showing to be false the fabled notion that Gotti had taken vengeance on him for killing the nephew of the highly respected mob boss. This event, like so many others involving John Gotti, has been twisted to enhance the romanticized image of this popular mob icon, and to boost his popularity.

On the night of May 22, 1973 McBratney was sitting in Snoope’s Bar & Grill on Staten Island. Around 11:00 John Gotti, Angelo Ruggiero and Ralph “Ralphie Wigs” Galione entered and surrounded McBratney. They tried to convince him that they were police detectives. The plan was to take him to the parking lot and kill him outside the sight of witnesses. Despite the fact that Galione aimed a gun at him and Ruggiero was holding a pair of handcuffs, McBratney wasn’t buying the ruse. “Let’s see a badge,” he demanded.

With that, Galione fired a round into the ceiling. Bar patrons, who hadn’t already run outside or into the cellar, were ordered to stand against the wall. It was now prison muscle against prison muscle, and although McBratney was stronger, he was up against two men, Gotti and Ruggiero. McBratney dragged the two thugs down past the end of the bar before Galione shot him three times at close range, killing him instantly.

In July, Ruggiero and Galione were identified from a police photo-spread by a barmaid and a customer from Snoopes, and the men were then apprehended. However, Gotti had not been identified. A month later, he was overheard by Willie Boy Johnson bragging about the killing. Johnson passed the information along to his FBI handlers. The FBI reported their information to the New York Police Department, which quickly dispatched a detective with Gotti’s mug shot to show the witnesses. On October 17, Gotti was indicted by a grand jury for murder.

Gotti, who had been strutting around in the wake of the murder, immediately went into hiding. A little over a year after the McBratney killing, on June 3, 1974, he was finally arrested by FBI agents inside a Brooklyn bar and handed over to the New York Police Department. The information as to his whereabouts had been supplied by Johnson, who was secretly paid $600 for his betrayal.

John Gotti’s in-laws were instrumental in putting up the collateral for his release on a $150,000 bail. Victoria’s family, which had already provided John with a visible means of support, also purchased a home for the couple in Howard Beach. Once out, Gotti went right back to the Bergin to attend to the overseeing of the crew and his new holdings, which included a restaurant and motel. Gotti was also reported at the time to be the hidden owner of a Queens’ disco.

On December 21, 1973, before Ruggiero and Galione could be tried for the McBratney killing, “Ralphie Wigs” was murdered in Brooklyn. When the state brought its case against Ruggiero the defense produced a host of witnesses who swore that Angelo was in New Jersey the night of the murder. The trial ended in a hung jury. Gotti hired Roy M. Cohn as his defense lawyer. A well-known attorney, Cohn handled many high-profile clients in New York, including Dellacroce. Gotti and Ruggiero were to be tried together in a second trial. Knowing that the earlier trial ended in a hung jury, Cohn surmised correctly that the prosecution might be willing to deal – and Cohn cut a great one. Gotti and Ruggiero pled guilty to attempted manslaughter.

On August 8, 1975, Gotti was sentenced to four years in prison and sent to the Green Haven Correctional Facility located 80 miles north of Queens. Joining Gotti there was Willie Boy Johnson, who, despite his FBI informant status, had been sent away on an armed robbery conviction. Gotti passed the time at Green Haven playing cards, lifting weights and attending courses on Italian culture.

He was released from prison on July 28, 1977, having served less than two years for the murder of McBratney.  It was ironic, since he'd once served three years for hijacking women’s clothing. To celebrate his return the Bergin crew purchased a brand new Lincoln Mark IV for him. He soon found out that, while he was away, there had been a change in the leadership of the Gambino Family."

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by 1034398800 »
 

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Re: "JOHN GOTTI....THE ILLEST"
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2001, 05:27:12 AM »
"...On October 15, 1976, the grandfatherly-looking Carlo Gambino died of natural causes. Before his death, he let family consigliere, Joseph N. Gallo, and key capos, James “Jimmy Brown” Failla and Ettore Zappi, know that he wanted the leadership of the family to pass to his cousin, Paul Castellano. Yet there was one sticking point to this change: Aniello Dellacroce, the current underboss. On Thanksgiving Day in 1976, Dellacroce was released from prison. Many Gambino Family members believed Dellacroce should have been named boss. His years of loyalty to the family, and the respect and admiration that the street soldiers had for him, were just a few of the reasons.

In December, the upper echelon of the Gambino Family met at the home of capo Anthony “Nino” Gaggi to officially name a new boss. It was a tense situation. Not knowing what might transpire, Gaggi taped a gun under the kitchen table prior to the meeting. He then armed his nephew, Vietnam veteran Dominick Montiglio, with an automatic weapon. Montiglio took up a position in an upstairs apartment, which overlooked a doorway leading out to the driveway of Gaggi’s house.

“If you hear any shots from the kitchen,” Gaggi instructed Montiglio, “shoot whoever runs out the door.”

But there was no shootout. Castellano agreed to keep Dellacroce as family underboss. In accepting Castellano’s leadership proposal, Dellacroce was given several crews to oversee, including the Bergin crew of Carmine Fatico.

Then Gotti came home. According to the terms of his parole, he had to have a legitimate job, so in the summer of 1977, he became a salesman for Arc Plumbing & Heating Corporation. Years later, when the president of the plumbing concern was asked at a hearing what function Gotti performed, he replied, “What John does is point out locations.”

Gotti set his sights on climbing into Carmine Fatico’s position as head of the Bergin crew. Fatico had recently beaten two loansharking cases, but he and his brother Daniel, along with crewmembers Charles and John Carneglia, had been convicted of hijacking. The Faticos pled guilty, hoping to receive probation. One of the government informants reported that Gotti was hoping that his former mentor would be sent away, enabling him to move ahead. Carmine Fatico received five years probation, but his reign as capo of the Bergin crew was over, because the terms required that he not associate with known criminals. Occasionally Gotti was to seek the elder Mafioso’s counsel, but they would never meet at the Bergin.

Gotti was still considered an associate and could not officially become the “acting capo” of the crew until he became a made member of the Gambino Family. Some time during the first half of 1977, Angelo Ruggiero (paroled earlier than John) and Gene Gotti (who acted as crew boss in his brother’s absence), were both made. According to an informant, another induction ceremony was planned for later that year upon John’s release from the Green Haven Correctional Facility. In this second rite, Gotti and eight other men took the Mafia oath of omerta.

Now a made member of the Gambino Family, Gotti’s hijacking career officially came to an end. He avoided what were considered “riskier crimes” and settled instead on mob staples, such as gambling and loan sharking. Since Gotti was still on probation, he ordered Bergin crewmembers “not to bring heat on the club.” They were told to “stop loitering in front of the Bergin and to park their cars elsewhere.” This was a far cry from what his attitude would be years later.

During the late 1970s and early 1980s, the FBI’s snitches reported that Gotti lost heavily at gambling and crewmembers were growing concerned because they were unable to make money. It was not unusual for Gotti to drop $30,000 in one night. In February 1981 Gotti opened a gambling den on the second floor of the Bergin club for “family” men only. The game operated every night except Saturday, closing down around 4:00 am. In early March, the game moved to Manhattan, to a location on Mott Street around the corner from Dellacroce’s Ravenite Social Club. The game was very popular and drew many gamblers from throughout the city. The crew finally made money even though Gotti continued to lose heavily. Since he was overseeing the game Gotti could borrow money from the house. In a move typical of him, he became concerned about those who borrowed from the house and ordered an accounting, only to discover that he owed the most – some $55,000. Bugs and taps on the telephone of a crewmember revealed the contempt in which others held Gotti, including Angelo Ruggiero and John’s own brother Gene.

One night, a Queens’ detective squad watched as Wilfred Johnson handed a package to a drug dealer in exchange for a paper bag that he threw into the trunk of his car. Detectives followed Johnson to his home in Brooklyn. When Willie Boy opened the trunk to get the bag, the detectives approached him. The bag contained $50,000, which Johnson quickly claimed came from the gambling operation. Still on probation after having served less than four years of a ten-year sentence, Johnson got scared. He told the officers to take the money, because if his parole officer found out about it he would go back to prison.

Johnson, who was already working as a confidential informant for the FBI, now agreed to do the same for the New York City Police Department. In June 1981, he ratted out the Mott Street gambling club and approximately thirty men were arrested. After spending the night in the Manhattan Criminal Court, the men---represented by attorney Michael Coiro---pled guilty to misdemeanor gambling charges, and were fined $500 and released. The following night, a new operation opened across the street from the raided location. However, the game never regained its former popularity."

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by 1034398800 »
 

C_R_O_N_I_C_I

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Re: "JOHN GOTTI....THE ILLEST"
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2001, 05:27:46 AM »
"...The Tragedy of Frank Gotti
Frank Gotti was the fourth child of John and Victoria Gotti, their second son. Frank Gotti led the life of an average twelve-year-old. He was a good student and enjoyed sports. On March 18, 1980, he borrowed a friend’s motorized mini-bike and took a ride around his Howard Beach neighborhood. At the same time, John Favara, a service department manager for a furniture manufacturer, was on his way home from work. Favara was a neighbor of the Gottis. His house on 86th Street was directly behind the Gotti home on 85th Street. Favara’s adopted son, Scott, was a friend of Gotti’s son, John, and had enjoyed sleepovers in the Gotti home. With the sun going down in the late afternoon, young Frank Gotti and the 51 year-old Favara were about to have the proverbial “appointment with destiny.” In Mobstar, by Jerry Capeci and Gene Mustain, the authors describe what happened next:

“On 157th Avenue, near 87th, a house was under renovation. A dumpster had been placed in the street to collect the debris. It was on Favara’s right. Favara did not notice the boy on the mini-bike dash into the street from the other side of the dumpster, and his car struck and killed Frank Gotti.”

The death of her son was a crushing blow to Victoria Gotti. She lived for her children. Frank Gotti’s funeral was heavily attended by friends. Favara was advised by a local priest not to make an appearance. FBI agents, who normally held surveillance at wakes and funerals, stayed away out of respect for the death of a child.

Two days after the accident, a woman called the 106th Precinct house and said, “The driver of the car that killed Frank Gotti will be eliminated.” That same day, Favara received a death threat in the mail. On March 23, a detective visited the Favara home to warn him about the phone threat. Favara told the detective, “That kind of stuff only happens in the movies.” Naïve to the danger he was in, Favara could not understand why the Gotti family didn’t realize the child’s death was a tragic accident. A woman’s phone call to the Favara home on March 24 spelled out another death threat.

On April 13, Favara’s car, which had not been repaired, was stolen. It was recovered less than a mile from his home on May 1. Nineteen days later, a funeral card from the services for Frank Gotti was left in Favara’s mailbox. The following day a picture of Frank Gotti was placed in the mailbox. The next day, May 22, the word “Murderer” was spray-painted on the Favara automobile. Favara had been a childhood friend of Anthony Zappi, whose father, Ettore, had been a capo in the Gambino Family. Favara went to Anthony Zappi for advice. Zappi told Favara to move out of the neighborhood and get rid of his automobile, because Victoria became enraged every time she saw it.

While contemplating his decision, he was helped along by Victoria, who attacked him on May 28th with an aluminum baseball bat. Favara was treated at a local hospital, but refused to file charges. Favara took Zappi’s advice and put his home up for sale. On July 28, three days before he was to close on the sale of his house, Favara was abducted while leaving work. Several people watched as Favara was clubbed over the head and thrown into a van. He and his car were never seen again. A diner owner who witnessed the attack and described it to police soon received a visit from three hulking hoods who sat silently for fifteen minutes staring at him. The diner owner avoided the police, sold his business and moved away.

John and Victoria had conveniently been in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, when the abduction took place. The FBI canvassed their informants for information. William Battista reported that while “Gotti did not initially want revenge,” an alleged eyewitness had claimed that Favara had been speeding and had run a stop sign just prior to hitting Frank. Battista claimed that since Victoria had been “so distraught” over the death of her son, John promised her revenge. When the couple returned from the south, detectives questioned them. About Favara, Victoria claimed, “I don’t know what happened to him. I am not sorry if something did. He never sent me a [sympathy] card. He never apologized. He never even got his car fixed.” John’s response was similar, if not rehearsed. “I don’t know what happened. I am not sorry if something did happen. He killed my kid.”

Frank Gotti would have turned 13 on October 18, 1980. Victoria took the opportunity to place two “In Memoriam” notices, one from her children and a second from her and John, in the New York Daily News. Every year since, on the anniversary of Frank’s death, the notices appear. As the children began their own families, the number of notices grew. Each of Frank Gotti’s siblings named a son in his memory.

On March 8, 2001, Jerry Capeci’s “This Week in Gang Land,” ran an exclusive account of the John Favara disappearance. In the article, Capeci states that the story was put together from information from present and former law enforcement people who were connected with the case. Capeci identifies eight crewmembers – Angelo Ruggiero, Willie Boy Johnson, Gene Gotti, John and Charles Carneglia, Anthony Rampino, Richard Gomes and Iggy Alogna – as having played a role in the abduction and slaying.

It played out like this: as Favara approached his automobile he spotted the men and turned to run. John Carneglia dropped him with two shots from a .22 caliber, silencer-equipped pistol. Favara gasped, “No. No. Please, my wife,” as he struggled to get off the ground. Gomes, a former hood from Providence, Rhode Island, who had joined the Gotti crew in the late 1970s, cracked Favara over the head with a two-by-four, picked him up and threw him in a van. Another crewmember took the victim’s keys and followed in Favara’s car.

Favara and his car were driven to a salvage yard in East New York operated by the Carneglias. There Favara’s body was stuffed into a barrel that was then filled with cement. While Charles Carneglia disposed of the barrel in the ocean off Brooklyn, his brother John crushed Favara’s car at the salvage yard. No one was ever arrested for the abduction and murder. In 1983, Favara’s wife had him officially declared dead."

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by 1034398800 »
 

C_R_O_N_I_C_I

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Re: "JOHN GOTTI....THE ILLEST"
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2001, 05:28:14 AM »
"...John Gotti was building the inner circle of his Bergin crew into a powerful outfit. Those closest to Gotti were Angelo Ruggiero, who was looked upon as the number two man; brother Gene, who at times could be just as brutal as his older brother; John Carneglia, who ran the auto-salvage business; Anthony “Tony Roach” Rampino, whose physical features led to his nickname; and Willie Boy Johnson. Rampino and Johnson served as Gotti’s chief loan collectors. Gotti also employed his other brothers, Peter and Richard. Peter took care of the Bergin club, while Richard was assigned the Our Friends Social Club, located around the corner from the Bergin. Gotti insisted that all his men put in regular appearances at the Bergin and got irritated if anyone failed to check in within 48 hours.

During this period, from the late 1970s into the early 1980s, the FBI was building a crew of their own – a crew of informants. In addition to the aforementioned Willie Boy Johnson and William Battista, the bureau had also turned Salvatore “Crazy Sal” Polisi, Matthew Traynor and Anthony Cardinale, a heavy drug user whom Angelo Ruggiero had met in Attica. Despite carrying on crimes, this quartet of murderers were constantly feeding new information about Gotti’s activities to their FBI handlers. Gotti, on the other hand, was not blind to the efforts of law enforcement and knew that several of the telephones the gang used were tapped. Cautious with the information he shared with crewmembers over the bugged lines, he never hesitated when it came to placing his bets. In addition to the telephone taps and informants, listening devices (“bugs”) had been installed in the Bergin club, which were picking up a variety of conversations from the hoodlums that congregated there."

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by 1034398800 »
 

C_R_O_N_I_C_I

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Re: "JOHN GOTTI....THE ILLEST"
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2001, 05:28:39 AM »
"...After the death of his son, John Gotti’s gambling habits became more reckless. This was an observation that William Battista passed along to the FBI. The government informant was not alone in his opinion.  Paul Castellano, the boss of the family, voiced his own concerns to Dellacroce. Although Dellacroce passed it off as Gotti’s way of dealing with grief, Castellano was still unhappy. Jerry Capeci and Gene Mustain discuss Castellano’s position in Gotti: Rise and Fall:

“Still, Gotti’s gambling made Paul question his fitness for leadership. With typical Sicilian bias for people of Neapolitan origin, Paul already had a low opinion of Gotti’s fitness. Like his ancestors, he thought Neapolitans were brash, garish, unreliable, too emotional.”

Both Gotti and Dellacroce questioned Castellano’s leadership skills. Castellano, who was never considered a “street” person, didn’t understand Gotti or the men who made up his crew – and never took the time to try. Castellano retreated to his palatial home on Todt Hill on Staten Island, where he preferred to deal with a few chosen family members. During the early half of the 1980s, the relationship between Castellano and the Dellacroce/Gotti crew would continue to deteriorate steadily. "
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by 1034398800 »
 

C_R_O_N_I_C_I

  • Guest
Re: "JOHN GOTTI....THE ILLEST"
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2001, 05:29:20 AM »
"...As information was obtained from the FBI’s confidential informants, a picture of the drug dealing going on by the Bergin crew began to unfold. Yet it was never clear how big a role John Gotti played in the crew’s drug involvement. Outwardly he was still pushing the family line of no drugs, but there is little doubt that he prospered from the enormous profits crewmembers earned.
By the early 1980s, the government was beginning to investigate New York’s five organized crime families. FBI Special Agent Bruce Mouw was selected to head what was called the “Gambino squad.” The determined agent worked to develop confidential informants inside the family and managed to identify the hierarchy of the Gambino Crime Family. Starting with information supplied by “Source Wahoo” (the secret FBI code name assigned to Willie Boy Johnson) that Angelo Ruggiero’s home telephone was safe, the FBI proceeded to “launch an electronic assault” against the mobster known as “Quack Quack.” On November 9, 1981, a tap was placed on the home phone of Ruggiero. One of the reasons Ruggiero was chosen was because his brother, Salvatore, had become a millionaire from dealing drugs on his own and was currently a fugitive from justice.

One day after Angelo talked to Gene Gotti, using the word “babania” (a street name for heroin), the Gambino Squad approached a judge for a warrant for further electronic surveillance. . During the early part of 1982, Ruggiero had moved from Howard Beach to Cedarhurst, Long Island. Agents disguised as construction workers, with information again supplied by Willie Boy Johnson, planted listening devices in Ruggiero’s kitchen, dining room and basement den, and tapped the Princess phone in his daughter’s bedroom. In addition, they increased physical surveillance, even allowing Angelo to spot them in hopes that this would instigate more discussion from him.

On May 6, 1982, Salvatore Ruggiero chartered a private plane at an airport in New Jersey to fly him and his wife to southern Florida to look at some investment property. Salvatore, a fugitive from the government for six years, had been hiding out in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of southern Georgia, killing everyone on board. Salvatore’s death set off a chain of events that would result in an internecine war in the Gambino Family and propel John Gotti into leadership. After being notified of the fatal accident, Angelo, Gene Gotti and John Carneglia quickly descended on Salvatore’s New Jersey hideout to remove paperwork, valuables and all the heroin they could find.

Attorney Michael Coiro, who had represented Angelo in the past, arrived from Florida two days after Salvatore’s death to help Angelo resolve legal issues involving his brother’s estate. While the two were meeting at Angelo’s home, Gambino Family capo Frank DeCicco arrived to offer his condolences. As agents listened in, Coiro told DeCicco, “Gene found the heroin.”

Several weeks after the memorial service for Salvatore, Coiro was still around helping Angelo. During a bugged conversation at Angelo’s home, the FBI picked up the following exchange between Angelo, Coiro and Gene Gotti as Ruggiero talked about unloading the heroin:

Ruggiero: If I get some money, will you hold it?
Coiro: Yeah.  
Gene: Nobody is to know but us. You’re not our lawyer, you’re one of us as far as I’m concerned.  
Coiro: I know it, Gene, I feel that way too.  

As the months dragged on, so did the tape recorders picking up all the incriminating evidence pouring out of the mouths of Angelo Ruggiero and the visitors to his home. During this period the heroin was sold, to which Ruggiero was heard exclaiming, “There’s a lot of profit in heroin.” With those profits Gene Gotti and John Carneglia flew to Florida and made a heroin purchase from one of Salvatore’s former suppliers.

Bruce Mouw held off making any arrests in hopes that he could catch John Gotti at Ruggiero’s home or on one of the phone taps discussing the heroin. It didn’t happen. It was claimed that Gotti felt that as acting capo he should never visit the home of a “soldier.” On August 8, 1983, seventeen months after Salvatore Ruggiero’s death, the Gambino Squad arrested Angelo, Gene Gotti, John Carneglia, Michael Coiro, and Mark Reiter. In addition to the heroin discussions caught on mountains of tapes, the bugs and phone taps picked up Ruggiero making a plethora of disparaging remarks about Paul Castellano. The battle Castellano waged to get these tapes would eventually lead to his demise.

By the early 1980s, the government was beginning to investigate New York’s five organized crime families. FBI Special Agent Bruce Mouw was selected to head what was called the “Gambino squad.” The determined agent worked to develop confidential informants inside the family and managed to identify the hierarchy of the Gambino Crime Family. Starting with information supplied by “Source Wahoo” (the secret FBI code name assigned to Willie Boy Johnson) that Angelo Ruggiero’s home telephone was safe, the FBI proceeded to “launch an electronic assault” against the mobster known as “Quack Quack.” On November 9, 1981, a tap was placed on the home phone of Ruggiero. One of the reasons Ruggiero was chosen was because his brother, Salvatore, had become a millionaire from dealing drugs on his own and was currently a fugitive from justice.

One day after Angelo talked to Gene Gotti, using the word “babania” (a street name for heroin), the Gambino Squad approached a judge for a warrant for further electronic surveillance. . During the early part of 1982, Ruggiero had moved from Howard Beach to Cedarhurst, Long Island. Agents disguised as construction workers, with information again supplied by Willie Boy Johnson, planted listening devices in Ruggiero’s kitchen, dining room and basement den, and tapped the Princess phone in his daughter’s bedroom. In addition, they increased physical surveillance, even allowing Angelo to spot them in hopes that this would instigate more discussion from him.

On May 6, 1982, Salvatore Ruggiero chartered a private plane at an airport in New Jersey to fly him and his wife to southern Florida to look at some investment property. Salvatore, a fugitive from the government for six years, had been hiding out in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of southern Georgia, killing everyone on board. Salvatore’s death set off a chain of events that would result in an internecine war in the Gambino Family and propel John Gotti into leadership. After being notified of the fatal accident, Angelo, Gene Gotti and John Carneglia quickly descended on Salvatore’s New Jersey hideout to remove paperwork, valuables and all the heroin they could find.

Attorney Michael Coiro, who had represented Angelo in the past, arrived from Florida two days after Salvatore’s death to help Angelo resolve legal issues involving his brother’s estate. While the two were meeting at Angelo’s home, Gambino Family capo Frank DeCicco arrived to offer his condolences. As agents listened in, Coiro told DeCicco, “Gene found the heroin.”

Several weeks after the memorial service for Salvatore, Coiro was still around helping Angelo. During a bugged conversation at Angelo’s home, the FBI picked up the following exchange between Angelo, Coiro and Gene Gotti as Ruggiero talked about unloading the heroin:

Ruggiero: If I get some money, will you hold it?
Coiro: Yeah.  
Gene: Nobody is to know but us. You’re not our lawyer, you’re one of us as far as I’m concerned.  
Coiro: I know it, Gene, I feel that way too.  

As the months dragged on, so did the tape recorders picking up all the incriminating evidence pouring out of the mouths of Angelo Ruggiero and the visitors to his home. During this period the heroin was sold, to which Ruggiero was heard exclaiming, “There’s a lot of profit in heroin.” With those profits Gene Gotti and John Carneglia flew to Florida and made a heroin purchase from one of Salvatore’s former suppliers.

Bruce Mouw held off making any arrests in hopes that he could catch John Gotti at Ruggiero’s home or on one of the phone taps discussing the heroin. It didn’t happen. It was claimed that Gotti felt that as acting capo he should never visit the home of a “soldier.” On August 8, 1983, seventeen months after Salvatore Ruggiero’s death, the Gambino Squad arrested Angelo, Gene Gotti, John Carneglia, Michael Coiro, and Mark Reiter. In addition to the heroin discussions caught on mountains of tapes, the bugs and phone taps picked up Ruggiero making a plethora of disparaging remarks about Paul Castellano. The battle Castellano waged to get these tapes would eventually lead to his demise. "

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by 1034398800 »
 

C_R_O_N_I_C_I

  • Guest
Re: "JOHN GOTTI....THE ILLEST"
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2001, 05:31:39 AM »
"...Nearly six years would pass before a conviction would occur as a result of the indictments issued against Angelo Ruggiero, Gene Gotti and the others. By that time Paul Castellano was long gone and John Gotti had become the “Teflon Don.”

Castellano’s problems had begun to mount in the early 1980s, as the government set their sights on the mob bosses of New York City’s five organized crime families. With the recent drug indictments of members of Gotti’s crew, Castellano felt he needed to act. To calm the situation, Ruggiero convinced Aniello Dellacroce to approach the irritated boss with a contrived story that they were only sorting out Angelo’s brother’s affairs. Salvatore was neither a member nor an associate of the Gambino Family, and not being a subordinate to Castellano, could not be held accountable for disobeying any family rules. This plan would hold Castellano at bay until the actual FBI tapes could be handed over to defense attorneys.

Castellano did not realize that the information Ruggiero spread across the telephone lines, recorded by FBI phone taps, provided the government with enough probable cause to enter and bug his palatial estate. By early 1984, the Gambino Family boss was facing an indictment as the result of an investigation into another crew, that of former capo Roy “the Killing Machine” DeMeo. Despite the fact that Castellano had DeMeo killed, when the indictment was issued, the boss and DeMeo crewmembers were facing charges of “murder for hire, drug dealing, an international car-theft operation, child pornography, and prostitution.”

In addition, Castellano’s attorneys informed him he was also facing indictment in two other RICO cases. The first was referred to as the “hierarchy” case, which would eventually result in the convictions of Gambino Family underboss Joseph “Piney” Armone and one-time consigliere Joseph N. Gallo. The second case was known as the “Commission” case, for which Castellano would be indicted.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by 1034398800 »
 

C_R_O_N_I_C_I

  • Guest
Re: "JOHN GOTTI....THE ILLEST"
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2001, 05:32:26 AM »
"...It wasn’t just Castellano who was under siege in the spring of 1985, it was the entire Gambino Crime Family. In addition to the “hierarchy” case, indictments were issued against John and Gene Gotti, Neil Dellacroce and his son Armond, John Carneglia, Willie Boy Johnson, Anthony “Tony Roach” Rampino, and several others. Using the RICO statute, the mobsters were indicted for crimes ranging from murder to loansharking. The indictments were the culmination of several years of work by assistant United States attorney Diane Giacalone, who represented the Eastern District of New York. Described in Mob Star as “outspoken, strong-willed and occasionally tempestuous,” the 31 year-old former tax attorney had grown up in the Ozone Park neighborhood, and while attending school, had passed by the Bergin Hunt and Fish Club daily.

One of the things Giacalone discovered was that Willie Boy Johnson was a confidential FBI informant. She quickly tried to convince Johnson to become a government witness and to testify against his long-time friend John Gotti and his Bergin crewmates. Johnson was in fear for his life, as well as the safety of his family. “I’ll be killed," he told the prosecutor. "My family will be slaughtered.” Gotti was soon made aware of Johnson's treachery. In Gotti: Rise and Fall, Capeci and Mustain reveal his reaction:

‘“I’m gonna give you a pass, and I give you my word no one will bother you,” Gotti told Willie Boy. “After we win this case, you won’t be able to be in the life again. But you’ll get a job, you’ll have your family, and you’ll be all right.’”

Despite Johnson’s plea to be granted bail with the others, Giacalone convinced the judge to keep Willie Boy in protective custody, where he would remain for over a year before the case came to trial. Meanwhile, government informant William Battista found out that Giacalone was looking to bring him into the case. Battista responded by grabbing his wife and fleeing the area, and they have not been seen since.

In the spring of 1985, Paul Castellano turned 70. He would not see 71. Still demanding to hear the Ruggiero tapes, the aging leader backed off again when it was revealed that Neil Dellacroce was dying of cancer. Castellano figured that when Dellacroce died, he could press for the tapes without incurring the wrath of his underboss. When Castellano finally got to hear the tapes during the late summer of 1985, he formulated a plan of action, but still held off while Dellacroce remained alive
Nearly six years would pass before a conviction would occur as a result of the indictments issued against Angelo Ruggiero, Gene Gotti and the others. By that time Paul Castellano was long gone and John Gotti had become the “Teflon Don.”

Castellano’s problems had begun to mount in the early 1980s, as the government set their sights on the mob bosses of New York City’s five organized crime families. With the recent drug indictments of members of Gotti’s crew, Castellano felt he needed to act. To calm the situation, Ruggiero convinced Aniello Dellacroce to approach the irritated boss with a contrived story that they were only sorting out Angelo’s brother’s affairs. Salvatore was neither a member nor an associate of the Gambino Family, and not being a subordinate to Castellano, could not be held accountable for disobeying any family rules. This plan would hold Castellano at bay until the actual FBI tapes could be handed over to defense attorneys.

Castellano did not realize that the information Ruggiero spread across the telephone lines, recorded by FBI phone taps, provided the government with enough probable cause to enter and bug his palatial estate. By early 1984, the Gambino Family boss was facing an indictment as the result of an investigation into another crew, that of former capo Roy “the Killing Machine” DeMeo. Despite the fact that Castellano had DeMeo killed, when the indictment was issued, the boss and DeMeo crewmembers were facing charges of “murder for hire, drug dealing, an international car-theft operation, child pornography, and prostitution.”

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by 1034398800 »
 

C_R_O_N_I_C_I

  • Guest
Re: "JOHN GOTTI....THE ILLEST"
« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2001, 05:33:02 AM »
"...In addition, Castellano’s attorneys informed him he was also facing indictment in two other RICO cases. The first was referred to as the “hierarchy” case, which would eventually result in the convictions of Gambino Family underboss Joseph “Piney” Armone and one-time consigliere Joseph N. Gallo. The second case was known as the “Commission” case, for which Castellano would be indicted.

It wasn’t just Castellano who was under siege in the spring of 1985, it was the entire Gambino Crime Family. In addition to the “hierarchy” case, indictments were issued against John and Gene Gotti, Neil Dellacroce and his son Armond, John Carneglia, Willie Boy Johnson, Anthony “Tony Roach” Rampino, and several others. Using the RICO statute, the mobsters were indicted for crimes ranging from murder to loansharking. The indictments were the culmination of several years of work by assistant United States attorney Diane Giacalone, who represented the Eastern District of New York. Described in Mob Star as “outspoken, strong-willed and occasionally tempestuous,” the 31 year-old former tax attorney had grown up in the Ozone Park neighborhood, and while attending school, had passed by the Bergin Hunt and Fish Club daily.

One of the things Giacalone discovered was that Willie Boy Johnson was a confidential FBI informant. She quickly tried to convince Johnson to become a government witness and to testify against his long-time friend John Gotti and his Bergin crewmates. Johnson was in fear for his life, as well as the safety of his family. “I’ll be killed," he told the prosecutor. "My family will be slaughtered.” Gotti was soon made aware of Johnson's treachery. In Gotti: Rise and Fall, Capeci and Mustain reveal his reaction:

‘“I’m gonna give you a pass, and I give you my word no one will bother you,” Gotti told Willie Boy. “After we win this case, you won’t be able to be in the life again. But you’ll get a job, you’ll have your family, and you’ll be all right.’”

Despite Johnson’s plea to be granted bail with the others, Giacalone convinced the judge to keep Willie Boy in protective custody, where he would remain for over a year before the case came to trial. Meanwhile, government informant William Battista found out that Giacalone was looking to bring him into the case. Battista responded by grabbing his wife and fleeing the area, and they have not been seen since.

In the spring of 1985, Paul Castellano turned 70. He would not see 71. Still demanding to hear the Ruggiero tapes, the aging leader backed off again when it was revealed that Neil Dellacroce was dying of cancer. Castellano figured that when Dellacroce died, he could press for the tapes without incurring the wrath of his underboss. When Castellano finally got to hear the tapes during the late summer of 1985, he formulated a plan of action, but still held off while Dellacroce remained alive
Nearly six years would pass before a conviction would occur as a result of the indictments issued against Angelo Ruggiero, Gene Gotti and the others. By that time Paul Castellano was long gone and John Gotti had become the “Teflon Don.”

Castellano’s problems had begun to mount in the early 1980s, as the government set their sights on the mob bosses of New York City’s five organized crime families. With the recent drug indictments of members of Gotti’s crew, Castellano felt he needed to act. To calm the situation, Ruggiero convinced Aniello Dellacroce to approach the irritated boss with a contrived story that they were only sorting out Angelo’s brother’s affairs. Salvatore was neither a member nor an associate of the Gambino Family, and not being a subordinate to Castellano, could not be held accountable for disobeying any family rules. This plan would hold Castellano at bay until the actual FBI tapes could be handed over to defense attorneys.

Castellano did not realize that the information Ruggiero spread across the telephone lines, recorded by FBI phone taps, provided the government with enough probable cause to enter and bug his palatial estate. By early 1984, the Gambino Family boss was facing an indictment as the result of an investigation into another crew, that of former capo Roy “the Killing Machine” DeMeo. Despite the fact that Castellano had DeMeo killed, when the indictment was issued, the boss and DeMeo crewmembers were facing charges of “murder for hire, drug dealing, an international car-theft operation, child pornography, and prostitution.”

In addition, Castellano’s attorneys informed him he was also facing indictment in two other RICO cases. The first was referred to as the “hierarchy” case, which would eventually result in the convictions of Gambino Family underboss Joseph “Piney” Armone and one-time consigliere Joseph N. Gallo. The second case was known as the “Commission” case, for which Castellano would be indicted.

It wasn’t just Castellano who was under siege in the spring of 1985, it was the entire Gambino Crime Family. In addition to the “hierarchy” case, indictments were issued against John and Gene Gotti, Neil Dellacroce and his son Armond, John Carneglia, Willie Boy Johnson, Anthony “Tony Roach” Rampino, and several others. Using the RICO statute, the mobsters were indicted for crimes ranging from murder to loansharking. The indictments were the culmination of several years of work by assistant United States attorney Diane Giacalone, who represented the Eastern District of New York. Described in Mob Star as “outspoken, strong-willed and occasionally tempestuous,” the 31 year-old former tax attorney had grown up in the Ozone Park neighborhood, and while attending school, had passed by the Bergin Hunt and Fish Club daily.

One of the things Giacalone discovered was that Willie Boy Johnson was a confidential FBI informant. She quickly tried to convince Johnson to become a government witness and to testify against his long-time friend John Gotti and his Bergin crewmates. Johnson was in fear for his life, as well as the safety of his family. “I’ll be killed," he told the prosecutor. "My family will be slaughtered.” Gotti was soon made aware of Johnson's treachery. In Gotti: Rise and Fall, Capeci and Mustain reveal his reaction:

‘“I’m gonna give you a pass, and I give you my word no one will bother you,” Gotti told Willie Boy. “After we win this case, you won’t be able to be in the life again. But you’ll get a job, you’ll have your family, and you’ll be all right.’”

Despite Johnson’s plea to be granted bail with the others, Giacalone convinced the judge to keep Willie Boy in protective custody, where he would remain for over a year before the case came to trial. Meanwhile, government informant William Battista found out that Giacalone was looking to bring him into the case. Battista responded by grabbing his wife and fleeing the area, and they have not been seen since.

In the spring of 1985, Paul Castellano turned 70. He would not see 71. Still demanding to hear the Ruggiero tapes, the aging leader backed off again when it was revealed that Neil Dellacroce was dying of cancer. Castellano figured that when Dellacroce died, he could press for the tapes without incurring the wrath of his underboss. When Castellano finally got to hear the tapes during the late summer of 1985, he formulated a plan of action, but still held off while Dellacroce remained alive.
Thinking that Castellano would have them killed Gotti and Ruggiero began plotting “Big Paulie’s” demise. They first lined up support in their own family from Gravano, DeCicco, Armone and Robert DiBernardo---an independent operator without his own crew, who was a good earner for the family. The conspirators then “reached out” to the Bonanno, Colombo and Lucchese Families. The Genovese Family, led by long-time Castellano ally Vincent “the Chin” Gigante, was not included in the Gambino Family’s restructuring plan.

When Neil Dellacroce died on December 2, 1985, Castellano refused to go to the wake, claiming he wanted to avoid government surveillance. This breach of mob family etiquette only strengthened resistance against him. Castellano then named his driver/body guard, Thomas Bilotti, to the position of underboss. Castellano announced he was going to close Dellacroce’s Ravenite social club and reassign the old Fatico Bergin members to other crews.

Castellano’s reorganization plans would meet a swift and deadly response. "


« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by 1034398800 »
 

C_R_O_N_I_C_I

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Re: "JOHN GOTTI....THE ILLEST"
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2001, 05:34:08 AM »
"..."I Forgotti!"
The newly crowned boss of the Gambino Family was busy preparing for two trials. The first was for assaulting Romual Piecyk, a refrigerator repairman.

On September 11, 1984 the beefy looking, 6-foot-2 Piecyk, 35, found his car blocked by a double-parked automobile outside the Cozy Corner Bar in the Maspeth section of Queens. No stranger to criminal acts, Piecyk laid on his horn until the owner of the offending vehicle appeared. Frank Colletta, a Gambino Family associate, smacked Piecyk in the face and ripped $325--the repairman’s weekly pay---from his shirt pocket. Piecyk jumped out of the car and began fighting with Colletta. Just then John Gotti exited the bar and entered the fray by slapping Piecyk across the face. Gotti then made a motion to withdraw something from his waistband, and as he did, he warned Piecyk, “You better get the fuck out of here.”

Gotti and Colletta returned to the bar while Piecyk went to notify the police. He then returned to the Cozy Corner in the company of two officers, who arrested the two Gambino hoods. A few days later Piecyk testified before a grand jury. Gotti and Colletta were indicted and charged with felony assault and theft. More than a year would pass before the case came to trial. By that time, Gotti’s face had been seen all over the newspapers and television in the wake of the Castellano/Bilotti murders.

With the trial approaching Piecyk was in fear for his life. He purchased a handgun and temporarily moved his pregnant wife out of their home. A week before the trial was to get under way, a sergeant from the Queens District Attorney’s detective squad stopped at the Piecyk home to discuss the case.

“I ain’t testifying,” Piecyk told the sergeant.

In his report, the detective noted that Piecyk was afraid of Gotti’s men. He had received anonymous phone threats and said the brakes on his work van had been cut. The threats prompted Queens District Attorney John J. Santucci to request an anonymous jury. The trial, scheduled to begin March 2, 1986, was delayed five days while Justice Ann B. Dufficy considered, and then denied, the prosecution’s request. On March 5, Piecyk spoke to a New York Daily News reporter. He denied receiving any threatening phone calls or having his vehicle tampered with. Piecyk then stated that he would appear as a witness for John Gotti.

“I am not going to go against Mister Gotti," he said. "I’m going in his behalf. I don’t want to hurt Mister Gotti.”

Testimony finally began on March 19. The next day when Piecyk was scheduled to take the stand, he didn't show. Members of Santucci’s staff went to pick him up, but he could not be located. Despite his disappearance, law enforcement believed he had not met with foul play but rather was too scared to appear in court. Assistant District Attorney A. Kirke Bartley, Jr. told the judge that the prosecution was unable to proceed, due to the absence of the People’s witness.

Late on Thursday, March 20, Piecyk was located at Mercy Hospital in Rockville, Long Island. The reluctant witness had gone there to have elective surgery performed on his right shoulder, thinking that he could avoid having to testify. At Friday’s court session, Bartley told Justice Dufficy that Piecyk would appear in court on Monday. Gotti’s defense attorneys, who claimed that Piecyk had assaulted Colletta and that their client had simply come to his aid, called the story a “sham.” Bruce Cutler, appearing for the first time in defense of the soon-to-be christened “Dapper Don,” claimed, “We don’t know where he is, what hospital, who his doctor is.”

Gotti’s other attorney, Michael Coiro, Jr., who would later be found guilty of helping Angelo Ruggiero hide drug profits, told the court, “I think it’s obvious the complaining witness is reluctant to testify.”

On Saturday morning when Piecyk check out of the hospital, detectives from the Queens district attorney’s office took him into protective custody as a material witness. On Monday afternoon, sporting dark glasses and with his right arm in a sling, he took the witness stand to begin two hours of direct examination by prosecutor Bartley. In the hushed, packed courtroom in State Supreme Court in Queens, Piecyk was asked if he saw in the courtroom the men who had assaulted him.

“I do not,” Piecyk replied.

When pressed to describe the men who had assaulted him, Piecyk stated, “To be perfectly honest, it was so long ago I don’t remember.” He claimed that his pocket had been ripped and his cigarettes and money taken, but he could not recall what had happened beyond that.

With this testimony, Justice Dufficy declared Piecyk a “hostile witness” and the trial was recessed. On March 25, prosecutor Bartley tried to resurrect the case by asking to introduce Piecyk’s grand jury testimony. Dufficy denied the request and dismissed the assault and robbery charges against the two defendants. The New York Daily News printed its famous headline, “I FORGOTTI” in front page trial coverage. The Queens district attorney’s office considered filing perjury charges against Piecyk but ultimately declined.

Yet this was not the last to be heard from Romual Piecyk. On August 27, 1986, during the jury selection for Gotti’s RICO trial, prosecuted by Giacalone, Piecyk appeared at the Federal Courthouse in Brooklyn. After being denied the opportunity to speak in the courtroom, Piecyk held an impromptu press conference outside the courthouse. He told reporters that Gotti was being treated unfairly by the media, who had portrayed him as a “human monster.” Piecyk’s appearance coincided with an affidavit he'd prepared for Gotti’s lawyers that admitted the mob boss had never threatened or intimidated him. These actions took place after Gotti had been denied bail. In that decisionl, Federal Judge Eugene H. Nickerson had cited the fact that Piecyk had been “frightened” into changing his mind during Gotti’s assault trial.

The Piecyk assault trial, the first of four trials, was over. The second trial, Giacalone’s RICO trial, was scheduled to begin on April 7, 1986 just two weeks after the conclusion of the Piecyk case. Meanwhile, the basis for the third trial---the assault of a carpenter’s union official---commenced with the wounding of John F. O’Connor on May 7, 1986."
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by 1034398800 »
 

C_R_O_N_I_C_I

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Re: "JOHN GOTTI....THE ILLEST"
« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2001, 05:36:23 AM »
"...Last Arrest
On the night of December 11, 1990 FBI agents and New York City detectives swooped down on the Ravenite social club and arrested Gotti, Sammy Gravano and Frank Locascio. Thomas Gambino was also arrested, but at another location. Following his arrest, the New York Times published an editorial that would show that sympathy for the mob boss went beyond his hired cronies. The editorial read in part:

“They arrested John Gotti the other night the same way they arrested him before, flamboyantly and theatrically…why all the melodrama, including handcuffs and a platoon of 15 FBI agents? The only obvious purpose is for the prosecution to preen for the cameras.

“Angered by the Times editorial, James M. Fox, the assistant director of the FBI’s New York office replied in a letter that did not appear until January 19, 1991. The note pointed out that

while it was true 15 law enforcement officers were dispatched to make the arrest, Gotti was surrounded by 26 underlings;
only one photographer (from the New York Post) was present;
that every FBI prisoner is handcuffed in compliance with regulations;  
the federal government was only involved in one previous arrest of Gotti.}
Although this was the fourth indictment since Gotti’s bloody rise to leadership, it was the first time he was charged with the murders of Castellano and Bilotti. Bolstering the government’s claim in these accusations would be the testimony of Philip Leonetti, the former underboss of the Philadelphia Crime Family. Leonetti had become a government witness and was prepared to testify that Gotti bragged at a meeting of Philadelphia crime leaders that he had ordered Castellano’s execution.
A week after the arrests, defense attorney Gerald Shargel was in court requesting that the tapes from the Cirelli apartment be kept from the public, claiming they would damage the defendant’s right to a fair trial. Shargel told Judge I Leo Glasser that the three defendants (Gambino had been released on bail) were confined to their cells for 24 hours a day, interfering with their right to meet with counsel.

Four days before Christmas 1990, Judge Glasser denied bail for Gotti and the other two men, claiming, “There are no conditions of release that will reasonably assure the safety of any person in the community.” Meanwhile, after months of arguing between law enforcement agencies as to who would prosecute the case, a new controversy arose when it was revealed that the tapes had recorded Gotti discussing fixing the jury in the O’Connor trial. Morgenthau, whose office lost the case, was enraged that this information, recorded during the trial, was not brought to his attention until a year later. The Manhattan district attorney claimed the information could have led to a mistrial or separate state charges of jury tampering. The FBI’s response to withholding the information included the possibility that the “disclosure of the bugging might have compromised” their investigation and subsequent indictment.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by 1034398800 »
 

C_R_O_N_I_C_I

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Re: "JOHN GOTTI....THE ILLEST"
« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2001, 05:37:01 AM »
"...On January 18, 1991 Judge Glasser ordered an MCC official to end the “punitive conditions” under which the three defendants were forced to exist, which included 23-hour lockdowns. The official pointed out that the “administrative detention” was in part due to the judge’s denial of bail, because of the violent charges against them. Judge Glasser responded that his directive was intended to protect the outside community, “not the population at the MCC.”

At the same hearing Prosecutor John Gleeson presented a sealed motion to remove defense attorneys Bruce Cutler, Gerald Shargel and John Pollok from the case, claiming that they were caught on the Ravenite tapes and could be called as witnesses to testify. Judge Glasser gave the defense three weeks to respond. Leaving the courthouse, Cutler told reporters, “We’re optimistic that we’re going to remain as lawyers for these men.”

On February 22, the three defense attorneys, represented by counsel, appeared before Judge Glasser. Gleeson presented several tape recordings from Gotti’s Ravenite headquarters. Calling the lawyers “house counsel” for the Gambino Crime Family, Gleeson played a tape where Gotti complained, “Where does it end, the Gambino Crime Family? This is the Shargel, Cutler and who-do-you-call-it crime family.” Gleeson claimed the three should be disqualified, not only because their taped conversations were evidence but also because the tapes “raised a specter of improper conduct.” The prosecutor further argued that “the lawyers had conflicts of interest because they had previously represented other defendants who could be witnesses in the Gotti trial.” One tape had Gotti calling the lawyers “high-priced errand boys.” After his court appearance Cutler stated, “We are proud of the way we have represented these men.”

Despite the fact that Gotti was behind bars and could possibly remain there for the rest of his life, Vincent Gigante and Anthony Casso were still seeking revenge for the murder of Castellano. Just weeks before Gotti’s arrest, Edward Lino, one of the shooters at Sparks Steak House, was gunned down. On April 13, Bartholomew “Bobby” Boriello, a close friend, confidant and chauffeur to both John Gotti and his son, Junior, was murdered outside his Bath Beach home in Brooklyn. In each killing, Gotti was unaware that it was a Gigante plot.

Federal prosecutors won a tactical victory on July 26, when Judge Glasser disqualified Cutler, Shargel and Pollok from representing the defendants. The defense lawyers claimed the taped conversations fell under the attorney-client privilege, but Glasser disagreed. One legal expert reviewing the judgement said the decision was “not common.” The trial’s commencement, scheduled to for September 23, was now in doubt (it would eventually be rescheduled for January 21).

On June 2, after constant pressure from the news media, Judge Glasser unsealed the FBI tapes of conversations recorded in the Ravenite, the club’s hallway, and from the Cirelli apartment. Gotti’s recorded conversations with Frank Locascio and Sammy Gravano spilled out into the newspapers and onto the six o’clock news. Included in these gems were the private conversations between Gotti and Locascio about Gravano, which would later lead to his defection.

In early August, Gotti, Gravano and Tommy Gambino appeared before Judge Glasser. The judge wanted to know if they had obtained new counsel. Gotti whined about having Cutler removed from the case. Calling Gleeson a “bum,” Gotti stated, “He can’t handle a good fight, and he can’t win a fair trial.” When Glasser asked Gravano if he had a new lawyer, Sammy responded with an incredulous, “In five days? It took six months to get rid of my lawyer, and you give me five days to find a new one? From the MCC, that’s pretty hard.” Glasser gave the men another week and told them he might consider appointing counsel if they didn’t have representation by then.

There was much speculation as to who would take the case. Names being thrown around included F. Lee Bailey, Albert Krieger, Jay Goldberg, Benjamin Brafman, James LaRossa, William Kunstler and Alan Dershowitz. When asked by reporters if he were interested, Kunstler replied, “No lawyer worth his or her salt should take this case while Gotti’s being deprived of Bruce Cutler. It’s wrong, politically and legally. But someone will succumb to the money or the publicity or both.”

Some lawyers, speaking anonymously, didn’t want to touch the case, due to Gotti’s demeaning attitude towards attorneys. In addition, Gotti had been recorded on tape bragging about how he had made the careers of both Cutler and Shargel. Once, when he was upset with Shargel, Gotti stated that he had “a better way than an elevator” to show Shargel out of the attorney’s law office, which happened to be on the 32nd floor of an office building on East 58th Street. On August 20, Gotti selected Albert J. Kreiger as his attorney and Benjamin Brafman to represent Gravano. Thomas Gambino would be severed from the case and tried separately.

Against the objections of defense counsel Judge Glasser ordered that the jurors in the case would be sequestered and their names kept secret to “protect the integrity” of the trial. Along with this setback, the defense counsel had a more pressing issue to deal with – the defection of Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano on November 8, 1991. "
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by 1034398800 »
 

C_R_O_N_I_C_I

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Re: "JOHN GOTTI....THE ILLEST"
« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2001, 05:37:35 AM »
"...Final Trial
On the first day of jury selection, January 20, 1992, the prosecution called for the removal of another Gotti defense team member. George L. Santangelo, who was representing Frank Locascio, was accused by the government of being another of Gotti’s “house counsel.” The defense reacted by seeking the removal of John Gleeson, claiming he had “an intense personal interest in the case” due to losing the earlier RICO trial. When Glasser ruled in favor of the prosecution and removed Santangelo, Locascio pointed to the flag behind the judges bench and shouted, "That’s the American flag – not a swastika!” Santangelo was replaced by Anthony M. Cardinale.

As the jury selection process got under way, approximately 500 prospective jurors were handed a 21-page questionnaire to complete. A week later, while the selection was still going on, prosecutors asked the judge to limit the cross-examination of three government witness by the defense. The prosecution was trying to prevent the defense from “inflaming the jury” by having the witnesses describe the graphic details of the murders they were involved in. The three witnesses were Gravano, Philip Leonetti and Peter Chiodo, a Genovese Family capo who had admitted involvement in four murders. During the trial, Chiodo’s sister would become the target of mob hit men. She was wounded after returning home from dropping her children off at school.

One day while the completed questionnaires were being reviewed, Judge Glasser informed Gotti that flyers depicting Gravano as a “rat who lies” had been left on automobiles around the courthouse and in the neighborhood around the Ravenite. Glasser advised Gotti, “It might be a very good idea if you could put an end to it.”

The jury selection proved to be a tedious one, as outside influences affected the process. Most of the problems were caused by the print media, who published what was supposed to be sealed information regarding six additional murders Gotti was rumored to be charged with. In addition, the New York Post published a headline article claiming that jurors were “petrified” of serving. In the courtroom on February 6, an irritated Judge Glasser let the defense know, “I am giving serious thought to moving the trial to another venue if this kind of media coverage and poisoning of the jury pool continues.”

An angry Gotti, seated with his attorneys, waited for the judge to leave before blurting out, “Where is he going to move it, Stuttgart, West Germany?” Gotti then called the judge a faggot. Turning to the prosecution table, the well-coifed mob boss complained, “When was the last time those punks washed their hair?”

On February 11, a jury was finally seated and on the following day, the opening statement by US Attorney Andrew Maloney was delivered. Maloney told the jury, “This is not a complex case.  These defendants will tell you in their own words what it’s about.” In describing Gravano’s anticipated appearance, the prosecutor stated, “He is no different and no better than John Gotti.” He then broke the news to the jurors that Gravano had been involved in 19 murders.

Defense attorneys Krieger and Cardinale delivered their opening remarks on February 13. Krieger began by apologizing for his client for the language the jurors were going to be subjected to on the government’s tapes, claiming Gotti had grown up on the streets and that, “he learned to speak what they speak.” While the lawyer admitted that profanity laced every sentence, he assured the jurors that, “It never intruded on his conversations with women and children.” Of Gravano, Krieger described the government’s key witness as “a little man full of evil…cunning, conniving, selfish and greedy…who has tried to clear his slate by admitting to 19 murders.”

The early days of the trial were taken up by the testimony of FBI Agents George Gabriel and Lewis Schiliro, who described the Gambino Crime Family organization to jurors and explained the various audio and video tapes from the Ravenite Club surveillance. On February 19, Deena Milito testified. Fighting back tears, she described her relationship with her father Louis Milito, whose body was never recovered after he disappeared on May 8, 1988. Prosecutors claimed Gotti ordered his death. Also called to the stand was Jack Zorba a gambler whose small operation was closed after a pointed message, caught on tape was, was delivered to him, “You tell this punk, I, me, John Gotti, will sever his mother-fuckin’ head off.”

The jury next heard in Gotti’s own words how he told Locascio about how he had ordered the murders of Robert DiBernardo, Louis Milito and Louie DiBono. This conversation had been recorded in the Cirelli apartment above the Ravenite on December 12, 1989. It was this tape, where Gotti blamed Gravano for requesting these murders, which chased Sammy into becoming a government witness. Gotti’s defense lawyers tried to elicit from FBI Agent Schiliro that the mob boss did not speak with “Churchillian” eloquency and used exaggerations routinely in his speech.

During the last week of February, the prosecution slowly put their case together on the Castellano murder charge. Beginning with the tapes, where Angelo Ruggiero is caught discussing heroin sales with Gene Gotti and John’s former attorney Michael Coiro, the prosecution moved on to talk about Castellano’s ruling on drugs. This sets the scene for Gotti to want to murder the Gambino Family boss to save his brother and friend Angelo. Two witnesses then testified that they saw John Carneglia and Anthony Rampino, associates of John Gotti, in front of Sparks Steak House the evening of the shooting. Both witnesses kept what they saw a secret for over a year and a half after the killing, out of fear for their lives.
"
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by 1034398800 »
 

C_R_O_N_I_C_I

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Re: "JOHN GOTTI....THE ILLEST"
« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2001, 05:38:15 AM »
"...On Monday, March 2, 1992 the moment everyone anticipated arrived: Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano was sworn in.

There are three side notes to events that took place while Gravano’s testimony was going on. On March 3, the trial was interrupted when an elderly women let out a mournful wail in the courthouse corridor. Anna Carini said she had come to spit in the face of Gravano because she held him responsible for the deaths of her two sons, Enrico and Vincent. The two, however, did not appear on Sammy’s hit list. The following day, Judge Glasser dismissed two jurors. Although Glasser sealed the record on his decision, it was rumored that one, a 20 year-old man, asked to be dismissed because his girlfriend was frightened. Finally, as in an earlier Gotti trial, a bomb threat was called in which temporarily halted the proceedings.

The prosecution’s case after the Gravano testimony was anti-climatic. Videos were shown to back up much of Gravano’s claims and then prosecutors moved forward to bolster the other charges in the indictment. Chief among these was the obstruction of justice charge involving New York Police detective William Peist, who through Gambino associate George Helbig provided intimate details of the police intelligence department’s activities to the mob.

During this stretch in the case, additional audiotapes were played, including conversations that included attorneys Gerald Shargel and Bruce Cutler. The last charge the prosecution covered was a count to defraud the government. Called to the stand was an IRS supervisor who testified that Gotti had not filed taxes for the previous six years.

Near the end of the prosecution’s case, the defiant and arrogant attitude that Gotti had expressed during previous trials spilled out, and Judge Glasser admonished him. The judge interrupted the testimony of a witness, ordered the jury out of the courtroom and then stood and glared down at Gotti from the bench. “Mr. Gotti, this is addressed to you. If you want to continue to remain at this trial and at that table, I am going to direct you to [stop] making comments which can be heard in this courtroom, [and making] gestures which are designed to comment upon the character of the United States attorney,” the judge sternly said, “I will have you removed from the courtroom. You will watch this trial on a television screen downstairs. I am not going to tell you that again.”  

On March 23, amid yet another bomb threat to the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse, Andrew Maloney announced that the government was resting its case. The long awaited Gotti defense was a total shambles. The only defense witness lawyers were permitted to call was a tax attorney who claims he advised Gotti not to file tax returns while under indictment. Five other witnesses were ruled ineligible for a number of reasons, causing an outburst from attorney Cardinale that resulted in a contempt charge issued by Glasser. “What happened to our defense?” a disappointed Gotti inquired. “I should have put on a little song and dance.”

John Gleeson began the government’s summation on March 27, telling the jury that the combined evidence – Gotti’s taped words and Gravano’s testimony – provide “absolutely overwhelming evidence” to convict John Gotti. Describing the “Dapper Don” as the leader of the Gambino Crime Family, Gleeson stated, “Murder is the heart and soul of this enterprise.”

Both defense lawyers attacked Gleeson and Gravano in their summations. Cardinale described Gleeson’s attitude as, “get Gotti at any cost” and claimed the prosecution’s case was “nothing but a gloried frame-up.” Krieger called Gravano a “sick serial killer,” and said he delivered “John Gotti’s head on a silver platter.” Krieger told the jurors Gravano would receive a minimal sentence of no more than 20 years for his part in 19 murders as “long as he fulfilled his sick and distorted and manic promise to supply the testimony that you heard here.”

On March 30, the prosecution gave its rebuttal summation. John Gleeson, who had handled the bulk of the prosecution’s case, asked the jury to, “Look at all the evidence as a whole.” He pointed out that during the defense’s summations, they ignored the evidence and instead attacked him and Gravano.

In a move that almost proved disastrous U.S. Attorney Maloney completed the government’s summation. He pointed to the defendants and told the jurors, “this is the leadership of the Gambino Crime Family. If you accept the proof of what you are dealing with here, the boss of a murderous and treacherous crime family and his underboss, you would be less than human if you didn’t feel some personal concern.” Defense lawyers jumped to their feet, screaming objections, which Judge Glasser quickly sustained. After the jury left the courtroom defense attorneys angrily demanded a mistrial. Glasser rejected their demands.

The following day, after a third juror was dismissed at the request of the prosecution, Judge Glasser spent nearly four hours giving final instructions to the jury. As the day’s court session ended, Gotti stood, pointed toward the prosecution table and called out to reporters, “the 1919 White Sox,” indicating that the prosecutors had fixed the case."

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by 1034398800 »
 

C_R_O_N_I_C_I

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Re: "JOHN GOTTI....THE ILLEST"
« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2001, 05:38:53 AM »
"...The "Velcro" Don
The jurors began their deliberations on the morning of Wednesday, April 1. After just 13 hours, the jury returned the following day, having found Gotti guilty of all the charges and Locascio guilty of all except one gambling count. James M. Fox, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York office, uttered his famous line, “The don is covered with Velcro, and every charge stuck.” This was followed by Andrew Maloney’s comment, “It’s been a long road. Justice has been served and it feels awfully good.” Meanwhile, prosecutor Gleeson told reporters, “We are very proud of what we’ve done. We have a great deal of admiration for a very courageous jury.” Judge Glasser set his sentencing date for June 23.

The calls of guilty were not yet through ringing in the courtroom when the organized crime pundits were selecting a new boss for the Gambino Crime Family. The New York Times was already reporting that law enforcement authorities had revealed that 73-year-old capo James Failla was appointed acting boss by Gotti when he was arrested in December 1990. In addition to Peter Gotti and John’s son, Junior, whom the “experts” claimed would not be good choices, other names being bandied around were Thomas Gambino, Joe Arcuri, Joseph “Butch” Corrao, Nicholas Corozzo, Robert Bisaccia and Daniel Marino.

Appeals for new trials normally take place after the defendant has been sentenced. However, John Gotti was no normal defendant. A veritable dream team of lawyers took up his cause a day before sentencing was to take place. The team of attorneys, in addition to Krieger, Cardinale, Mitchell and Cutler, included William M. Kunstler and Ronald L. Kuby. The group was requesting a delay in the sentencing and a motion to set aside the verdict due to affidavits from two jurors who came forward to claim the conviction verdict was unfair. One juror, the last one to be removed, stated she was replaced because she claimed she saw FBI Agent George Gabriel, while sitting at the prosecution table, “flash” a signal to fellow agent Louis Schiliro on the witness stand. The other juror was alleged to have been concerned about his wife’s health, but was kept on the jury and pressured into a quick verdict. Judge Glasser rejected the appeal.

On June 23, 1992, John Gotti and Frank Locascio stood before Judge Glasser to receive their sentence. The session lasted less than ten minutes. Asked if he had anything to say, the 51 year-old Gotti silently shook his head, no. Bruce Cutler, barred from representing his famous client during trial, was permitted to stand with him during the sentencing. Cutler responded for Gotti, “No, your honor.” Judge Glasser told Gotti, “the guidelines in your case require me to commit you to the custody of the Attorney General for the duration of your life.”

When asked if he had anything to say before sentence was pronounced, Frank Locascio produced a handwritten statement. “First, I would like to say emphatically that I am innocent.” After denying every charge against him, Locascio continued, “I am guilty though; I am guilty of being a good friend of John Gotti. And if there were more men like John Gotti on this earth, we would have a better country.” Judge Glasser handed down a repeat sentence: life in prison without parole. After the sentencing, Gotti patted his co-defendant on the shoulder and said, “We have just begun to fight.”

In September 1998, the New York Daily News reported that Gotti put out a murder contract on his former consigliere. By now Gravano’s book, Underboss, had been released, and Gotti was infuriated about comments Sammy related about Locascio, after an incident when the three were in the MCC in 1991. Gotti had belittled Locascio in front of other inmates after he had stolen some oranges and gave one to Gravano before offering one to Gotti. According to Gravano, an emotionally upset Locascio claimed, “The minute I get out, I’m killing this motherfucker.”

Meanwhile, outside the courthouse a riot, allegedly organized by John A. “Junior” Gotti, was in full force. An estimated 800 to 1,000 demonstrators, who arrived in 12 chartered buses, began with flag-waving and chanting. When the sentence was announced, violence began. The rioters targeted cars parked in front of the courthouse. Some were turned over, others the crowd jumped upon and shouted, “Free John Gotti!” Eight police officers were injured during the melee and a dozen protestors were arrested."
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by 1034398800 »
 

C_R_O_N_I_C_I

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Re: "JOHN GOTTI....THE ILLEST"
« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2001, 05:39:11 AM »
"...Years in Layaway
John Gotti had been in prison less than a year before the government began investigating his son. Although not a true junior to his father, he still bore the nickname. In March 1993, a grand jury was probing Junior’s role in the Gambino Family hierarchy. The younger Gotti, a power weight lifter, met with his crew on Wednesday nights at the Our Friends Social Club in South Ozone Park, Queens. During the investigation, about twelve gang members were subpoenaed. One of those called was Carmine Agnello, who was married to Junior’s sister, author Victoria.

Agnello, who ran a scrap metal operation in Queens, claimed that “scar tissue near his brain has dulled his powers of recall so badly the feds might as well subpoena one of his rusted-out clunkers for all the help he would provide.” While seemingly humorous, Agnello’s memory problems were actually documented in sealed court papers filed with Judge Nickerson, who presided over the Giacalone RICO trial.

In August 1996, the HBO movie Gotti aired. Gotti was played by actor Armand Ansante while two future Sopranos stars had key roles; Vincent Pastore played Gotti sidekick Angelo Ruggiero and Tony Sirico was Gene Gotti. While Ansante made an excellent Gotti, little about the film was factually correct. The producers were set on portraying Gotti as a hero, with Sammy Gravano, played by William Forsythe, as the villain. They even had Gravano avenging the killing of Frank Gotti by shooting the John Favara character to death. Gotti, in his fourth year at Marion at the time, was not permitted to view the film.

During the mid-1990s many stories made the news regarding Gotti in prison. The fact that the mob boss was jailed for life did little to keep him, his family or his followers out of the newspapers and public eye. These stories discussed how many hours Gotti was in lockdown each day. Some reporters claimed he was allowed out of his cell for only one hour each day. Other reports had him being transferred to the new “super security” federal prison in Florence, Colorado. One story had Gotti being beaten to a bloody pulp after using a racial slur around another prisoner. A New York Times article in October 1996 said at a recent meeting of the Commission, members decided that, since Gotti had no chance of ever receiving a parole, he was about to “abdicate” his leadership of the Gambino Family. It was difficult to determine how much truth there was to these stories, because Bruce Cutler, now relegated to the role of mouthpiece for the Gotti family, denied every rumor and report.

Gotti’s continued leadership of the Gambino Crime Family was the hot topic of discussion in the late fall of 1996. On November 24, Jerry Capeci, in his New York Daily News role, reported that his sources had confirmed that, “Under pressure from the Commission,” Gotti was ready to relinquish control of the family. Supposedly, Junior Gotti was serving as acting boss of the family, with Peter Gotti, John “Jackie Nose” D’Amico and Nicholas Corozzo (a Gotti co-defendant in the Giacalone trial), serving as advisors. Capeci’s sources stated that the new Gambino leader was to be Corozzo.

If Corozzo did indeed ascend to the throne of the Gambino Family it was a short reign. On December 18, Corozzo was indicted on racketeering charges in Florida that included attempted murder, loansharking and arson. Represented by his nephew, Joseph Corozzo, Jr., who would later represent Gotti, Nicholas “Little Nicky” Corozzo was held without bail. In August 1997, Nicholas Corozzo pled guilty to federal racketeering charges in Florida; he received a term of five to ten years. Later that year, he again pled guilty in a Brooklyn courtroom to charges of racketeering and bribing a jail guard.

While Gotti continued to waste away in prison, his one-time underboss Sammy Gravano was living the high life. Fresh from prison, after testifying and ending the three-trial win streak Gotti had held against law enforcement, the man who had admitted to taking part in 19 murders had co-authored a book.  He also had a movie deal in the works. At the same time relatives of Gravano’s victims were preparing to sue him in a civil action, while a New York State victims' rights attorney was looking to separate Gravano from his profits under the “Son of Sam” law. Years later, a judge would rule against the victim’s families, claiming the law was a state statute and Gravano had been convicted of federal crimes. In July 1997, Gravano would make his last appearance as a government witness by testifying against Genovese Family boss Vincent “the Chin” Gigante. Gravano’s testimony helped convict the mob boss, known as the “Oddfather,” who for years feigned insanity as a means of avoiding prosecution.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by 1034398800 »
 

C_R_O_N_I_C_I

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Re: "JOHN GOTTI....THE ILLEST"
« Reply #23 on: August 22, 2001, 05:40:31 AM »
"...The Years Were Not Kind
The last half of the 1990s were not good ones for the former Teflon Don…or for his family. The government was in hot pursuit of Junior and they watched his every move. In March 1997, State Organized Crime Task Force investigators raided Junior’s social club in Queens and seized over $350,000 in cash, which the officers suspected came from illegal operations. Junior gave them the implausible story that it was money he received from his 1990 wedding to Kimberly Albanese.

Even John Gotti’s old social club, the Ravenite, couldn’t escape the law. In October 1997, U. S. Marshals seized the building and threw out whoever was in the club. Later sold, the building was refurbished and the once infamous clubhouse was turned into a boutique.

In January 1998, Junior was arrested along with 39 others, in a massive federal indictment that charged him with a plethora of crimes, from the mob basics, loansharking and extortion, to a modern day telecommunications scam. Adding insult to injury – at least in the view of the Gotti family – was a June 2 indictment charging Junior in a November 1996 robbery of a drug dealer, in which he allegedly stole two kilos of cocaine, four guns and $4,000 in cash. This time Junior’s mother came to his defense. In a rare interview, Victoria Gotti called the New York Daily News and stated sarcastically, “He doesn’t have enough money, so he gets involved with drugs? Please! Can’t they come up with something better than that? ...I wish every mother in America had a son like mine.”

Junior’s indictment and subsequent legal woes proved to be a family affair, with mom, dad and his two sisters playing key roles. Prosecutors first approached young Gotti with a deal, worked through Gravano nemesis Ronald Kuby, who was representing one of Junior’s co-defendants. The deal was contingent upon all the defendants accepting it. Gotti family legal stalwarts – Cutler and Shargel – initially represented Junior, but later, attorney Sarita Kedia emerged as his main counsel.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by 1034398800 »
 

C_R_O_N_I_C_I

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Re: "JOHN GOTTI....THE ILLEST"
« Reply #24 on: August 22, 2001, 05:40:48 AM »
"...Junior nixed the prosecution’s first deal, but with one of his co-defendants becoming a government witness, the acting boss of the Gambino Family was having second thoughts. In early July 1998, Federal Judge Barrington Parker set a January 1999 trial date. Junior had already been in jail for over five months and his lawyers were determined to get bail for him. This long legal battle was finally resolved, and on October 1, Junior was allowed to return home. The Gottis had to come up with a $10 million dollar bail, the bulk of which came from Victoria and her husband Carmine Agnello’s Old Westbury, Long Island mansion. The balance was provided by sister Angel and 25 other family members and friends. There were other conditions that had to be met as well, as Junior was whisked away to his Mill Neck, Long Island home in Victoria’s Mercedes. The New York Daily News reported:

“He will wear an ankle bracelet and be unable to leave his home under almost any conditions. The only exception is for legal strategy meetings with his co-defendants at lawyers’ offices, and that would have to be approved by White Plains Federal Judge Barrington Parker.

“FBI agents will make random searches of his home, and approved visitors – with the exception of immediate family members – will be kept in one monitored room.

“Gotti’s home phone will be tapped, and he won’t be allowed to use either a fax machine or cell phone, but he’ll have a second phone for private talks with attorneys. Still, he’ll have access to his swimming pool and tennis courts.”

The government prosecutors had frozen Junior’s properties, causing him to claim that he was on the brink of insolvency. Outside the Federal Courthouse in White Plains, New York, Junior railed at reporters, “Who’s the racketeers.”

Part of the bail agreement was that Junior had to pay for a 24-hour private security firm to monitor his every move. The cost of the security was $21,000 a month. Due to the government’s seizures, by early December Junior was screaming poverty. This, along with new charges being generated by the government, was beginning to wear the 34-year-old Gotti down.

As Junior began to give more consideration to a new plea deal from the government, he started to receive pressure from both his mother and father to go to trial. Just after Christmas, Junior rejected the government’s latest deal. By early January of 1999, three key defendants, including John D’Amico, had accepted plea agreements. With the additional charges the prosecutors were putting together, the January trial date was pushed back to April 6. By mid-March, only Junior and one other Gambino associate were left to stand trial, out of the 40 men originally indicted. On April 1, Junior told Judge Parker he could no longer afford the 24-hour security and asked to be sent back to jail.

On April 6, the day jury selection was to begin, Junior shocked his family and friends by accepting a government offer to serve 77 months for extortion, loansharking, gambling, mortgage fraud and tax evasion. In addition, he forfeited $1.5 million in cash and property. On October 18, 1999, over six months after pleading guilty, John A. “Junior” Gotti entered a medium-security federal prison in Ray Brook, New York, 300 miles from home and family.

In the middle of Junior’s long legal wrangling, it was suddenly announced that his father had been transferred to the United States Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Missouri. John Gotti had been diagnosed with throat cancer. Acting as spokesperson for the family, Cutler stated, “Doctors found a tumor near his tonsils and lymph nodes at the back of Gotti’s throat. It’s serious. It’s life-threatening.”

In late September 1998, The Dapper Don was operated on. Doctors removed a cancerous tumor, but were optimistic that a full recovery would take place.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by 1034398800 »