Did Chin Really Target John Gotti? Angel Replies....

Angel Gotti, John Gotti's daughter, sent me a response to a recent story about her father. (Basically, I wrote a short preamble focused on Costabile Gus Farace, then posted the New York Times obituary.)

"The Chin" and Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso both tried to take Gotti out, supposedly over the "unsanctioned" hit on former Gambino boss Paul Castellano.
John Gotti in his prime.
She offered an interesting anecdote that I am publishing here. Embedded within it is a a criticism of factual information that made me dig a little further into some transcripts regarding the allegedly planned assassination of John Gotti (and his brother Gene) by the Genovese crime family.

According to mob lore, "The Chin" and Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso both tried to take Gotti out, supposedly over the "unsanctioned" hit on former Gambino boss Paul Castellano.

First, Angel's response:

The story is not 100% accurate...

I don't care what anyone on this planet says, John Gotti was not afraid of anyone, not Gigante, not anyone.

He lost his son and I will tell you this: he never feared death.

I lived down the block from my parents so I had to take my kids down every single day to see him and sometimes after reading an article in the paper about him, I would get upset and worried.

One time after something appeared in the paper I kissed him goodbye and said "Be careful."

Man, oh man, did he get mad...

"'Be careful of what???!!!!' was his response!

Needless to say I never said that to him again.

Men like John Gotti (rare as they are) need to shield loved ones from even a hint of violence. (The very dynamic that fueled years of Sopranos episodes.) That is, if they want to ensure their loved ones' peace of mind (as well as their own).

But the truth is, Gotti was a marked man. And Vincent "The Chin" Gigante, to whom Angel referred above, likely constituted the largest threat to the Gotti reign.

Or did he?

There's a slightly different interpretation of those Genovese conversations, according to John A. Gotti, in his book Shadow of My Father.

But let's first play the tape (or, let's publish some transcripts of wiretap recordings).

The following dialog, said the Feds, shows that Gotti's life was in danger.

Plots against Gotti Or Conspiracy Theories?
Louis "Bobby" Manna's base of operations was in New Jersey in Casella’s Restaurant. From there, he managed gambling, loansharking, labor racketeering, corruption and pier thefts in the region. Based on investigative findings, Manna also controlled portions of Hudson County once believed to be under John DiGilio's purview.

Authorities said the plot to kill the Gottis surfaced in 1987 during a joint FBI-New Jersey State Police investigation into Manna's Mafia activities. Dozens of secretly recorded conversations were obtained after the FBI placed a listening device in Casella's Restaurant. The taped conversations occurred between August 1987 and January 1988.

What sounds like the starkest threat against Gotti was a conversation between Manna and James Napoli, in which Manna said: ''Gene Gotti's dead.''

''When are you gonna hit him?'' Napoli asked.

''Gene Gotti's dead,'' Manna repeated.

''We're gonna be paying for this, you know, for the rest of our lives,'' Napoli said.

Sounds pretty cut and dried.

Now, John A. Gotti's Shadow of My Father:

"Vincent “Chin” Gigante, was a man who was used to being in control. With a whispered voice, and a point to his chin to signal that orders came from him, Gigante ruled over the Genovese family."

... Gigante’s method of command contrasted from that of my father. My father was up front and out there with his people. He was accessible... Gigante, enshrouded in his bathrobe, played the part of the crazy man.

John A. Gotti goes on to acknowledge that "there was a belief, in 1987, that a move by the Genovese Family was in the works to kill my father. Gigante’s New Jersey faction, based in Newark, according to reports, was given the go ahead to eliminate my father and my Uncle Gene."

Having listened to the Manna recordings, Bruce Mouw and other FBI agents paid Gotti a visit to warn him, officially.

 Gotti "responded with a noncommittal shrug, wished the agents a nice day, and closed the door to them."

A sitdown was arranged between my father and Gigante, with security being arranged by my Uncle Gene for my father, and I was told that Gigante’s security was arranged by Quiet Dom Cirillo.

At the meeting, Gigante denied any knowledge of any plot against my father, and said, if it were true, he would kill Louis “Bobby” Manna, the head of his Jersey faction, for attempting such a plot.

Gigante explained that tape recordings regarding my father and my uncle being dead, did not refer to any hit attempt, but referenced the strong likelihood of their conviction at the trial they were facing in 1987.

With Gigante’s word, an agreement was made and all parties left satisfied. My father, ever the wise strategic thinker, investigated the facts behind Gigante’s explanation. He issued instructions to his Newark, New Jersey captain Bobby “Cabert” Bisaccia, to monitor the actions of Genovese’s capo, Manna, and his crew.

The investigation was short circuited when Manna was convicted and sentenced to 80 years in prison.

Shadow further notes that according to Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso, "Gigante did at times lend support to the aims of Casso and Vic Amuso."

Casso had made claims that he had a sort of fifth column within the Gambino Family in the personages of Jimmy Brown Failla and Danny Marino...
With DeCicco dead, and should my father get a life bid, and should there be a further elimination of loyalists, then it could be Failla and Marino who could control the Family, in alliance with Casso’s people. This Machiavellian maze of treachery was to continue in existence into the nineties..."