For four decades the name Gotti has been synonymous with organized crime in the minds of the public, who were told stories about them with varying degrees of accuracy. But now in “Shadow of My Father,” the real story of the King of the Volcano is revealed for the first time.

John A. Gotti, who survived four trials and a parole violation hearing, in four years, without a guilty verdict, now takes up his pen to tell the story of his father’s unwavering dedication to the street, and how, as his son, he entered that life, and then, with his father’s permission, left the life of crime, and put the “Family” behind him to live a legitimate life with his real family.

It is a saga of betrayal and redemption, and an insider’s view of how, at times, those who are tasked with upholding the law readily broke it to further their careers.



John Angelo Gotti III (born February 14, 1964)[1] known as “Junior” Gotti, is a former New York City mobster who, according to law enforcement claims, was acting boss of the Gambino crime family from 1992 to 1999 after his father, John J. Gotti, was sent to prison. Between 2004 and 2009 Gotti was a defendant in four racketeeringtrials which all ended in mistrials. In January 2010, federal prosecutors announced that they would no longer seek to prosecute Gotti for those charges. He has been referred to as “Teflon Jr.” for evading conviction like his father. He has also been referred to as “Dumbfella” in the press.[2][3] and called a “Spoiled Brat” by former Gambino enforcer John Alite. He has stated that he is no longer associated with organized crime.

Early life

Gotti is one of five children born to an Italian American mobster, John Joseph Gotti Jr. and Victoria DiGiorgio Gotti, whose father was of Italian descent, and mother was of Russian ancestry.[4] He grew up in the Italian-American neighborhood of Howard Beach, a section of Queens, New York, and attended New York Military Academy in Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York.

He has two sisters, Victoria and Angel, and two brothers, Peter and Frank (deceased).[citation needed]

After leaving the school,[when?] Gotti’s father helped him start a trucking business, Samson Trucking Company and after the business failed, helped him get a position in the Carpenters Union.[5]

Leadership of the Gambino crime family

Thomas Cacciopoli (left), Gotti (middle) and John Cavallo in an FBI surveillance photo.

According to federal prosecutors, Gotti was inducted into the Gambino crime family in 1988.[6] He was named a caporegime (captain) in 1990, and is believed to be the youngest capo in the Gambino family’s history.[7][8]

In April 1992, his father, John J. Gotti, received a life sentence for racketeering and related offenses. Prosecutors say he made his son the head of family operations with a committee of captains to assist him. As a family member, he was one of the few people allowed to visit his father and Gotti is believed to have relayed his father’s orders to the organization from prison.

Remembering how his father had been brought down by FBI bugs, Gotti adopted a more secretive way of doing business. He discussed mob business mainly through “walk-talks,” or conversations held while walking alongside trusted capos. He also tried to pose as a legitimate businessman. However, several of his button men didn’t think much of him, thinking he was incompetent. He was not nearly as good a negotiator as his father had been, and the Gambinos lost out on several disputes with the other families. TheGenovese family was so unimpressed with Gotti that it refused to deal with him at all.[9]

In a 1997 search of the basement of a property owned by Gotti, the FBI found a typed list of the names of the “made” members of his organization, as well as $348,700 in cash, a list of the guests who attended his wedding, along with the dollar amount of their wedding gifts (totaling more than $350,000), and two handguns. Also found was a list of several men who were inducted into other families in 1991 and 1992; a longstanding rule in the New York Mafia calls for prospective wiseguys to be vetted by the other families before being inducted. However, normally these lists are destroyed almost as soon as the inductions take place. The discovery enraged Gotti’s father as well as the other bosses, since it put dozens of other mafiosi at risk of government scrutiny.[8][10] The episode earned him the nickname ‘dumbfella’ in the New York media.[11][12]

In 1998, Gotti was slapped with a wide-ranging RICO indictment charging that he was not only the acting boss of the Gambino family, but received millions of dollars from numerous Gambino rackets. Many of the charges related to attempts to extort money from the owners and employees of Scores, an upscale strip club in Manhattan. According to the indictment, the Gambinos had forced Scores’ owners to pay $1 million over a six-year period in order to stay in business, with Gotti’s share of the loot totaling $100,000. In addition to the lists seized in the 1997 raid, prosecutors obtained transcripts of prison conversations in which he received advice from his father on how to run the family. Faced with overwhelming evidence, Gotti pleaded guilty to reduced charges of loansharking, bookmaking and extortion.[8] He was sentenced to 77 months in prison and was released in 2005. Federal prosecutors say his uncle, Peter Gotti, became head of the Gambino organization after his nephew was sent to prison.[13][14]

2004 racketeering and kidnapping charges

In 2004, months before he was released from prison, Gotti was charged in an 11-count racketeering indictment which included an alleged plot to kidnap Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels, as well as securities fraud, extortion and loansharking.[15] A radio talk show host for WABC, Sliwa had allegedly angered the family by denouncing the elder Gotti as “Public Enemy #1″ on his show. During the trial, two former associates, Michael DiLeonardo and Joseph D’Angelo testified against Gotti. Through his attorney, Gotti admitted that he had been involved in the Gambino crime family in the 1990s, and had even been slated to lead the organization after his father was sent to jail in 1992, but claimed he had left criminal life behind after his conviction in 1999.[16][17] Three juries eventually deadlocked on the charges, the last in 2006, and federal prosecutors decided not to pursue a fourth trial.[18]

2008 racketeering charges

In August 2008, Gotti was arrested and indicted on racketeering and murder conspiracy charges brought in Florida.[19] The charges stemmed from an alleged drug trafficking ring Gotti operated along with former associate-turned informant John Alite and others, and with the murders of two men associated with the ring. Prosecutors charge that the ring distributed at least five kilograms of cocaine in the late 1980s and early 1990s.[20][21] Gotti’s trial was later moved to New York, where he pleaded not guilty, and began in September 2009.[22][23]

In January 2008, Alite pleaded guilty to two murders, four murder conspiracies, at least eight shootings, and two attempted shootings as well as armed home invasions and armed robberies in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida, stemming from his alleged involvement in a Gambino crew in Tampa, Florida.[24] Alite agreed to testify in the trial of Gambino family enforcer Charles Carneglia, who was found guilty of four murders and is now serving a life sentence. He then served as a key prosecution witness against Gotti.[25]

During the trial, Gotti allegedly threatened Alite by mouthing the words “I’ll kill you”, and engaged in a shouting match with his former associate. After the incident, Victoria Gotti told The New York Daily News that Alite was “a pathological liar – a rat caught in a proverbial trap, caught in his own lies…”[26] Alite testified that Gotti was responsible for at least eight murders, among other crimes.[27]

On December 1, 2009, the 12 jurors announced that they had failed to reach a unanimous verdict on all the charges and the judge declared a mistrial.[28] Federal prosecutors have indicated that they will not seek another trial against Gotti.[29] After the trial, jurors said that they did not find witnesses, particularly Alite, to be credible.[27] Gotti, Federal Bureau of Prisons Register # 00632-748, was released on December 1, 2009.[30]

In November 2013, Gotti was stabbed while breaking up a fight in Syosset, New York.[31]

Personal life

In 1990, Gotti married Kimberly Albanese, daughter of Joseph Albanese, a carpet installer. They have six children and live in Oyster Bay Cove on Long Island’s North Shore.[32][33][34]

14 thoughts on “About”

  1. For what it’s worth: many people have their opinions of what you’ve done, what you’re doing, or what you’re not doing. You may as well make money (the legal way) however you can. They’re not going to feed your family or pay your bills. Besides, you can’t shame your family by living a clean, legitimate life. If you can legitimately make money off the mob, then more power to you! I know I am.

  2. It’s my understanding that the paperback version will be coming out soon. Would love to know if Mr. Gotti will be doing a book tour and if I could get an autographed copy of the book. Thanks!

    1. Mr Gotti,
      I have followed the Gambinos since the 1980s. I introduced my daughter to this magnetic family and your father was the main reason. His whole persona symbolized a life that intrigued me to no end. I read and watched everything I could get my hands on. I mourned when Mr Gotti received his life sentence. I felt it was the end of an era. I read your book and it brought back times that I remembered happening. Your book offers the behind the scenes I wasn’t privy to before. It filled in a lot of missing pieces. Thank you for igniting that fire in my interest once again. This time around, it’s more than just brotherhood and loyalty that attracts me. It’s your way of carrying yourself in difficult times and being your own man. This book will have a place on my bookshelf and will be reread over and over. I visit NY occasionally and to shake your hand one day would be quite an honor.

  3. Hi John I sincerely wish you well if in fact you have left all aspects of your former life behind you, we as humans are lucky enough at times to get another shot at things and I know from what you have said publicly that you believe a jury of your peers believed that as well and you are in fact a free man. The question I pose to you is if John Alite is so uncredible why waste time and energy trying to discredit what he is saying.

  4. John,
    Great job on the book. We did time together in Raybrook. I a Joe LaFatta. I to recently wrote a book and mention you in it. My book is called Dirty Money and if you look at the books people bought that also bought yours mine is listed on your page. I was shocked to hear that your proffered but then realized you didn’t hurt anyone so how bad of a proffer could it be. Please take a look at my book and let me know what you think. I always respected you for the way you handled yourself when I was with you in the FEDS. I wish you all the best.
    Joe LaFratta

  5. First off thank you for purchasing the book. The second we work out a signing schedule it will be posted to the site.

  6. Junior,
    I met your dad on Mott and Bleaker st some 25 years ago. Great man! My cousin in Arthur “Artie” Nigro. I am sure you or your dad knew him. Your dad did a lot of good, which was always pushed aside by the persona they painted of him.
    I just ordered the book. Can’t wait to read it!!!
    God bless you and your family, and good luck in the future!

  7. Hi, just got the book today via amazon (U.K.) really looking forward to reading it. Same question as many others…… Would still like/and would buy a SIGNED copy. Respect to you Mr Gotti. Peace. Ken

  8. I left a similar comment on Amazon reviews. As a former criminal defense attorney, I found your account of the prison system to be spot on. I think you book now creates a new identity and legacy for you as a muckraker regarding the prison system. I wanted to refer youto the article I read today – http://bangordailynews.com/2015/05/14/the-point/10-destructive-myths-about-solitary-confinement/
    Thank you for this book. I wish you and your family much luck in the future. And as courageous as you were in holding to your principles and dignity when everyone tried to destroy them and you, you have my condolences for what you and your family went through after you made your deal. Damn them.

  9. Hey John,

    I saw that you were on Coast to Coast Am with George Noory. In many ways I am very connected to that show through my friendship with Dr. J Andy Ilias. Dr. J is the associate producer for legendary late night radio show host Art Bell. In fact Art Bell had over 15 million listeners on over 500 affiliate stations worldwide every night. Art is the creator and founder of Cost to Coast Am. Do you have a contact email or number that I can call you about regarding you appearing on the radio with Dr J? Thank you so much for your help.

  10. Hey John I would like a copy of your book. Can’t wait for the plans we made. I’m still at the same place in Ottawa. Love you pal

  11. John, Jr:
    I admired your father and even wrote to him sending a SASE hoping to get a reply/autograph.
    The SASE was returned.
    When he passed, I felt your loss.
    Went to church, lite a candle and said a prayer for your father.
    It would be an absolute honor to attend a book signing and shake your hand.
    Anything planned for NJ?
    God bless you and your family, and continued success.
    BTW….we share the same BD.

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