If He Didn't Give You a Nickname, You Were Dead

Sunday is Mafia day at the New York Post, with reporter Brad Hamilton pumping out a longish feature story a week about goings-on in the mob. His reportage is interesting, though he usually strolls down well traveled paths, noting the new foliage that has sprung up here and there.

Gotti used pet names for
guys in his inner circle.

This week's offering centers on Lewis Kasman, John Gotti's self-proclaimed "adopted son" who wore a wire against "dad" -- may have stolen millions from him, according to one source -- and helped destroy the upper echelon of the Gambino family back in the Gotti days.

On the Curtis Sliwa show -- to listen, click here -- Kasman offered such fables as how in the early 1990s, Gotti and Jackie "Nose" D'Amico rode the Long Island Rail Road into the city two-three days a week to show up at no-work jobs in midtown.

Additionally Kasman, who became a paid FBI informer against the imprisoned-for-life mob boss in 1997, has already taken some potshots at Gotti family members, including Gotti’s brother Richard, a Gambino capo (whom Gotti referred to as "Pee-pee brain." Seriously).

Even mafia writer/expert Jerry Capeci has spilled ink regarding Kasman's doings.

"Lewis Kasman -- remember him? -- says he saved my life so I shouldn't write bad things about him. For all I know, he may be right. So, in that spirit, I will take things down a notch and just report that the self-described 'adopted son' of the late John Gotti is back, six months after he quietly slithered out of town free as a bird after double crossing Gotti and the feds," Capeci wrote for the Huffington Post over a year ago.

"The fast-talking stool pigeon is again spewing venom on judges and lawyers from New York to Florida. This time, one of his targets, Garden City-based attorney Barry Levin, is fighting mad, to say the least. Levin says that since Kasman got a free pass for crimes he committed while working for the feds, he has been trying to extort money from lawyers involved in a contentious divorce battle between Kasman and his ex-wife."

Anyway here are some new gems from the Post story, but remember the source, as they say:

  • Kasman offers his insight into the whacking of John Favara, the Gotti neighbor who accidentally struck with his car and killed John Gotti's first-born son (the motorbike the young Gotti was riding was provided by a young man who was affiliated with psychotic hitman/body disposer Charles Carneglia, sentenced to life recently for his brutal crimes.) "Gotti didn’t think Favara deserved it," the article reports, quoting Kasman as saying: “John didn’t want to do it — he was pushed into it... He was devastated but knew it was an accident. But his wife, Victoria, took it very bad. Some thought [the murder] was a terrible mistake. Afterward, I think John did have regrets, though he’d never admit that." [Ed. Note: Former cop John Coffey says Gotti personally chainsawed Favara in half while he was alive.]

  • Gotti also gave a thumbs down to the plan to take out radio host Curtis Sliwa. “That was Junior’s idea,” he says of Gotti’s oldest son, John Jr. “He came to his father with this in jail, and John said no, but Junior went ahead anyway. He didn’t listen.” 
  • "Gotti was in favor of whacking Jackie 'The Nose' D’Amico, a top captain. “He wanted to kill him every day,” Kasman says.Kasman knew he wasn’t serious, however, because Gotti had a nickname for D’Amico. “He called him ‘Cripple’ because John would stress him out so much he couldn’t function,” Kasman says. “If he didn’t have a nickname for you, you were in trouble.” 

  • Blaming Gotti’s "oddball imagination," Kasman said Gotti's brother Richard was called “Pee-pee brain.” And Tommy Gambino, son of Carlo, was called ‘Boinky’ owing to an eye twitch.

  • Gotti liked to hang out on Long Island in Montauk, at the Gurney’s Inn Resort.While his crew was soaking up some rays or diving into cold water, "John would drink martinis like they were water" -- and we have his exact drink, via Kasman anyway: “Bombay Sapphire, straight up, ice cold." 

    "Kasman began cooperating with the feds after he got out of prison in 1996 following his perjury conviction," the Post reports. "What upset him was the leadership of Junior, 'who was out of control,' Kasman says."

    Senior and Junior never got along well, Kasman tells us, adding that Junior stole from his pops and also was planning to take out a judge and some Feds -- which is what prompted Kasman to wear a wire. Well, it's a nice story anyway, although we have no proof to back up anything Kasman says. We do know he wore a wire.


    1. Kasman's a garbage pail. Why does anyone even pay attention to him?

    2. I agree - but I do find him humorous... Kicked out of WitPro, wonder why? Saying Gotti rode the LIRR five days a week... doesn't know his ass from his elbow. Hires Navy Seals! He is worse than a rat, ingratiaing himself with a man's blood family, not his mob family, which has gotta be worse. There must be a level on Dante's inferno for the likes of this guy...

      1. Kasman was NEVER "kicked" out of the "WITSEC" program ---- He never went in BUT was accepted. Kasman was PROMISED by the FEDS a "RELOCATION PKGE" - After the FEDS are done with you --- they balk on many promises.... I am told was done in this matter.... Still better than the mafia.....

      2. True, according to the Post, which wrote:

        "Kasman had a couple of conditions: He would never testify against the Gottis themselves, and he wanted a “relocation package” — meaning a new identity and cash, but without having to enter witness protection. ...

        "But he says a verbal agreement fell through, and he never got a new identity."

        Some, including me, misunderstood the distinction -- and if it is accurate I will be the first to admit to it. I will do some of my own checking and rewrite story to reflect this.

        If you KNOW Mr. Kasman, ask him if he'd do an interview with me -- we could do via email if he wants, though I'd prefer a meet or phone conversation...

    3. Kasman is a good guy --- Got a real screwin from the Gotti clan after the "BOSS" passed..... Lot of envious folks over the years with Kasman.... I worked for Lewis in Phil's Clubs - Channel 80, Hudson & McCoy & Speaks --- Great guy! Wish him all the BEST!

      1. I admire a man who sticks up for his friends. Doubt you will win over any converts, but I'd like to speak with you and do a story about Kasman as you know/knew him. Email me at eddie2843@gmail.com if you are interested,


    4. I worked at Hudson & McCoy in Freeport, NY --- Met Kasman many times with the Basile's --- Very respectful and funny guy... Was very close to Frank Basile and his father Phil.... Lewis was always a respectful guy... G-D speed and all the best!


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