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The Teflon Don

Reprinted by Permission from:
Tidbits, Issue #257
Published by Makebux Publishing
P.O. Box 751
Parker, CO 80134
Phone: (303) 627-0043
Fax: (303) 680-7357
Email: makebux@attbi.com

Tidbits from the life of the late Mafia mob boss John Gotti

Mafia mob boss John Gotti was nicknamed the “Teflon Don” after escaping unscathed from several trials during the 1980s. He died on June 10, 2002 at the age of 61 from complications of head and neck cancer.

At the height of his power, in the days when he was regularly seen strutting the Little Italy streets with his retinue, John Gotti was overheard on an FBI bug describing his organizational ambitions this way: “This is gonna be a Cosa Nostra ‘til I die. Be it an hour from now, or be it tonight, or a hundred years from now when I’m in jail. It’s gonna be a Cosa Nostra.”

Gotti, who had been described by police and prosecutors as the leader of the Gambino crime family, was convicted, Apr. 2, 1992, in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn of crimes that included murder, extortion, and obstruction of justice. A co-defendant, Frank Locascio, was convicted of racketeering and murder.

Gotti had been acquitted of other charges in 3 previous trials. In this instance, however, Salvatore Gravano, a former associate of Gotti, testified to Gotti’s involvement in 10 murders. Gravano said he and Gotti watched on a New York City street in 1985 the killing of Paul Castellano, reputed head of the Gambino crime family at that time. For cooperating, Gravano, who admitted to involvement in 19 murders himself, was assured he would serve no more than 20 years in prison (he was later released after a 5-year stay). As evidence, the government also presented tape recordings in which Gotti and others discussed criminal activities. On June 23, 1992, Gotti and Locascio were sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Solitary Cell

Gotti served a life sentence without the possibility of parole. His existence had become 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. John Gotti’s confinement at the maximum-security facility amounted to over nine years, making it the longest stay in the prison’s history.

Tests later revealed that Gotti’s cancer was no longer in remission and had reemerged and spread aggressively. In September of 2000, he was again transported from Marion, to the prison hospital in Springfield, Missouri. John Gotti died there on Monday, the 10th of June, 2002.

John Gotti Quotes

“Always be nice to bankers. Always be nice to pension fund managers. Always be nice to the media. In that order.”

“Don’t carry a gun. It’s nice to have them close by, but don’t carry them. You might get arrested.”

“If you think your boss is stupid, remember: you wouldn’t have a job if he was any smarter.”

A spoof website promotes John Gotti for President. It states, “You want social security? We got it in spades. More than 200 years experience providing protection. What’s amatta you? It’s better than you got. We’ve been around longer than those other gangs. With us you know what you got.”

Al Capone Quotes

“I don’t even know what street Canada is on.”

“I am going to St. Petersburg, Florida tomorrow. Let the worthy citizens of Chicago get their liquor the best they can. I’m sick of the job – it’s a thankless one and full of grief. I’ve been spending the best years of my life as a public benefactor.”

“Vote early and vote often.”

“You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.”

Willie Sutton Quote

On being asked why he robbed banks, he replied: “Because that’s where the money is.”


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