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John gotti the man behind the mob

John Gotti: The Man Behind the Mob

You are about to hear about the life of John Gotti,

from his birth in New York, to his becoming the head of

the largest Mafia family in history. I will tell you about

his life from the time of his birth until his conviction

for murder. There is not enough information available to

tell you everything, but I will tell you what I can.

John Joseph Gotti was born into one of the poorest

families in New York on October 27, 1940. His father was a

sanitation worker, his Mother didn't work. John was the

youngest of five children. Their was barely enough food to

go around, and meat was a luxury, only to be eaten once a

week. The only clothes he had, were hand-me-downs from his

older brother (Davis 60-61).

As a child John impressed his teachers as having

an uncontrollable temper. A trait which he would someday

value. He was constantly getting into fights with older

boys who tried to take his lunch money. He soon got the

reputation as one you didn't cross for fracturing an

older boys skull in a classroom. Gotti began running with

smalltime gangs at the age of twelve, after noticing a

mobster named Albert Anastasia. He soon joined a street

gang called the Fulton-Rockaway Boys (Davis 61-63).

At the age of 16 Gotti dropped out of school, and

began to model his life after Anastasia. John got a job

with the gang he had earlier joined, as a debt collector.

He was required to bust a lot of heads to complete his job.

This got him noticed by Angelo Bruno, who was a soldier

under none other than Anastasia. John was required to do

many odd jobs for Bruno.(Davis 63-64).

In 1957 Carlo Gambino had Anastasia killed(Davis 72).

Gambino took in Gotti as an apprentice at the age of twenty.

John soon married Victoria DiGiorgio. The two later had

four children. He now began to spend his life in and out

of prison which was nothing new to him(Davis 125-126).

In 1977 Gotti got his wish. He was formally inducted

into the Gambino crime family. John was inducted into the

family by Neil Dellacroce under the authorization of "Big"

Paul Castellano. Castellano was the new head of the family

after the death of Carlo Gambino. Gotti was appointed his

own crew, the Bergin-Hunt crew. His crew soon became the

highest earning crew in the family (Davis 161-162). Gotti

began enforcing the ban on selling drugs in his crew, and

he rarely carried a gun. This earned him respect and power,

greatest demonstration of his power occurred in 1980. John's

youngest son Peter was accidentally struck by a car and

killed. Peter was riding his mini bike when a car came out

of nowhere and hit him (Dorigo 104-105). John had the

driver of the car, Frank Favara brutally murdered(Gross 76).

On December 16, 1985 Gotti had Castellano murdered.

This was done by four men outside sparks steak house. John

sat across the street to watch it done(Gross 73). The murder

was very public. It was done at 5:25 p.m. while the

streets were covered with shoppers. Though Gotti watched

it all he conveniently had an alibi. As far as anyone knew

he was at his Cape Cod home with his family(Silverman 23).

On the evening of December 30, 1985 his lifelong

dream would come true. In the basement of a lower Manhattan

apartment complex the heads of New York's five families

would meet to decide who would now lead the Gambino family.

It was unanimous "Johny Boy" was the new "Godfather".

Though Gotti now had the position he had dreamed of since

childhood it would not be as easy as he had previously

anticipated. The Mafia was not the only ones to hear of

John's newly acquire position. The state organized crime

task force would also quickly find out about what went on.

They would now place bugs everywhere. Not only was Gotti

receiving more money than ever he was also receiving a lot

of unneeded publicity from the press(Davis 245).

Gotti was from a new breed of Godfathers. He was

about to show the underworld something it had ever seen,

nor would ever see again. John would mix the old styles

with new to form his own style. He would take on the swagger

of Anastasia, but double the ruthlessness. Gotti brought

out a business sense that no one could ever compare to. He

dressed like something out of a storybook. The new

Godfather wore two thousand dollar, hand tailored, double

breasted, silk suits. With white, French cuffed dress

shirts with matching silk ties and pocket handkerchiefs.

His shoes were gleaming three-Hundred dollar Italian

leather loafers. Anytime you would see him he would have a

smile on his face and a diamond ring on his pinky. He

would soon be known by the press as the "Dapper Don". He

was more flamboyant than any "Godfather" before him.

Gotti's only downfall would be the media attention that he

had grown to love(Davis 245-250).

In 1985 the "Daper Don" would find himself sitting

in a courtroom for a federal RICO case, which would gain

him even more publicity. Even with all the evidence they

had against him, one year later all charges were dropped.

The "Dapper Don" would now be known as the "Teflon Don".

With Gotti beating the feds the FBI would crack down even

harder. The "Teflon Don" must be stopped. Though he

outwardly showed confidence he knew he would soon be

busted for the Costellano hit. The majority of Gotti's

"Family" were now going to prison(Davis 250-275).

Shortly after the RICO case Gotti would once again

find himself back in the courtroom. This time the charges

were for assault. This was a charge that even the Police

found ridiculous. Everyone knew that you never took a man

of Gotti's stature to court over assault. The FBI no longer

cared they just wanted "Johny Boy" behind bars. Once again

the press turned out bigger than ever to see if he could

beat the odds again. With the FBI's non legitimate tapes

and testimonies from convicted liars and killers, they

barely had a case. In the end Gotti was found not guilty

for the second time in a row. The press got what they

wanted. The "Teflon Don" had done it again, and he soon

became invincible(Davis 284-314).

The people now saw Gotti not as a mobster, but as

a hero. He would give large sums of money to the churches

charities. He was a modern day Robin Hood, or so they

thought. On the fourth of July, which was Gotti's favorite

holiday, banners were flown throughout NewYork saying

"We Love Gotti". This made the FBI even madder. They

couldn't believe what was going on. They couldn't stand

seeing a crime boss become a public hero so they once

again the cracked down even harder. The even bugged his

son John Jr.'s wedding. they also knew that John Jr. had

joined the family to follow his Father's footsteps, which

made his father very proud(Davis 315-317).

On December 12 1990 the "Teflon Don" and his

underboss Sammy "The Bull" Gravanno were arrested. This

time it was for the Costellano hit. In 1992 the case

went to trial. To Gotti's dismay the FBI's star witness

was none other than Sammy Gravano(Davis 319 and 345)

A hush grew over the courtroom as Gotti's underboss,

Sammy Gravano, took the stand. Gravano confessed to 19

murders alone all ordered by Gotti. He also confessed to

helping Gotti plan the execution of Costellano(Hewet 40-42).

This was all the jury needed. The "Teflon Don" had been

busted. The court found John Joseph Gotti guilty of all

charges. He is now behind Bars serving life without parole

in the Marion control unit of Illinois(Davis 413).

To sum it up, the life of John Gotti is a perfect

example of how one person with a little ambition can do

anything. Even though he was born poor he became a

millionaire, and even though he has lost his freedom, he

hasn't lost his pride. In his own words "Nobody rolls

seven's, an eleven's forever".

Works Cited

Davis, John. Mafia Dynasty the Rise and Fall of the

Gambino Crime Family New York. Harper Collins, 1993.

Dorigo, Joe. Mafia a Chilling illustrated History of

Underworld New Jersey. Charwell books, 1992

Gross, Km. "Cold-Blooded King of a Hill Under Siege" .

People 12,Nov 1991:76

Hewet, Bill. "Bad Fellas". People 23,March 1992: 40-42

Silverman, Burt. " Hitting the Mafia". Time 29,

september 1986:23

Source: Essay UK -

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