'A Cosa Nostra till I Die...'

Peter Zuccaro
Peter Zuccaro
A former Gotti underling speaks out about the infamous Gambino boss who brought down the family built by and named for one of the greatest mob bosses of the 20th century, Carlo Gambino, who at the pinnacle of his career was widely considered to be the unofficial "boss of bosses," --  a title done away with following the slaying of the last man to officially hold it, Salvatore Maranzano, back in the 1930s.

Although the title is often bandied about in describing some mob bosses throughout Cosa Nostra's history, Gambino, however, truly fit the bill, at one point secretly controlling at least three of the five bosses on the Commission, always based in New York, Mafia ground zero.

Gotti had a big mouth.
Carlo's single greatest mistake was a whopper, though. And that was the decision to make "Big Paul" Castellano, who was both his cousin and brother in law, his successor. This led to Castellano's murder in the mid-1980s and the rise of John Gotti, who with little more than his big mouth, eventually brought down the Gambinos and the Mafia to such a low, Italian organized crime likely will never recover. Gotti's worst legacy was Sammy the Bull's informing, setting a precedent which many Mafiosi didn't bat an eye in following when their own back was pressed to the wall. "If Sammy could do it, so can I..."

Anyone who knows anything about the mob knows the role Gotti played in destroying it. But in case you don't, this is taken from the NYPOST.com:

John Gotti whacked the mob.

The publicity-loving “Dapper Don’’ — who could never keep his mouth shut — played right into the hands of law enforcement by transforming the Mafia from a secret society into a public spectacle, a fellow mobster said yesterday.

“He ruined everything,” Peter “Bud” Zuccaro lamented in Brooklyn federal court.

“He publicized everything that was going on. He brought everything that was supposed to be a secret society right out to the forefront, right into the press,” said Zuccaro, a longtime Gambino associate who flipped in 2005 to become an FBI informant.

Gotti took the helm of the Gambino family after orchestrating the very public execution of his predecessor, Paul Castellano, outside Sparks Steak House in December 1985.

And after that, nothing was the same. What had been a secret criminal culture, Zuccaro said, was transformed into a swaggering enterprise — with flashy wiseguys ignoring omerta and bragging about their exploits.

Older mob leaders had stayed under the radar, blending into the workaday world by pretending to hold legit jobs while they conducted their criminal business in quiet meetings.

But Gotti was seduced by the celebrity life — and turned into more of a diva than a don.

He loved posing for cameras and thrived in the spotlight — and soon Mafia secrets became public knowledge.

Quiet meetings in small groups at diners became a thing of the past.

Suddenly mob business was conducted by “guys reporting to the [Ravenite Social] Club while the FBI is surveilling you,” Zuccaro said, speaking of the clubhouse in Little Italy where the nattily dressed Gotti held court....

Read more: Fame-loving Mafia boss John Gotti’s public persona brought down the mob, according to testimony by a Gambino underling - NYPOST.com


  1. I totally agree. John Gotti was probably the worst mob boss in Cosa Nostra history. He put himself first before the organisation and spoke a lot about "my public". Deep down, Gotti seems to have been a guy with extremely low self-esteem who allowed and pushed his ego to take over his personality once in office. And his paranoia was the root of many of his bad decisions.

    Ed, I love the way you are putting together a post. Keep on feeding us with information mixed with your personal comments and info!



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