The Ravenite Transcripts PART 3: Why You Should Never Talk About The Murders You Ordered

We got nothing but troubles… You know what I want you to do, Frank? We gotta both buy chemotherapy with the money I got.”

The secret meeting place above the Ravenite.

We’re approaching the more incriminating stuff...

John Gotti uses his mouth to dig graves for himself, Frank Locascio – and for whatever was left of the underworld career of Salvatore (Sammy the Bull) Gravano, the underboss who escaped the indictment by flipping.

Should we fault Gotti entirely? (Of course, but an argument could be made that a mitigating biological factor exists. As we continue to stretch the boundaries of science -- we further enrich our understanding of humanity's intrinsic need for stories. For those interested in this: Stories “are our earliest sciences, a kind of people-physics. Their logic is how we naturally think. They configure our biology, and how we feel, in ways long essential for our survival. Like our language instinct, a story drive—an inborn hunger for story hearing and story making—emerges untutored universally in healthy children. Every culture bathes their children in stories to explain how the world works and to engage and educate their emotions. Perhaps story patterns could be considered another higher layer of language. A sort of meta-grammar shaped by and shaping conventions of character types, plots, and social-rule dilemmas prevalent in our culture. “Stories the world over are almost always about people with problems.” They display “a deep pattern of heroes confronting trouble and struggling to overcome.” Stories are “simulated experiments” that free us from the prison of our own direct experience. Gotti did lots of simulated experiments, it could be said.)

The reader also notices that, with the absence of Gravano from the apartment above the Ravenite, the dynamic of the conversations has changed. Frank Locascio speaks so rarely, you forget he’s in the room. And John Gotti complains about the number of companies that Gravano creates and controls.

Gotti, sickened by déjà vu, worries about how Gravano’s “greed” might transport the family back in time to the days of the white collar-blue collar factions that emerged during Paul Castellano’s reign. (And of course it has been speculated that Gotti’s arguments against Gravano were — er — more subjective than objective in nature.)

Gravano, Gotti feared, was “creating an army inside an army.” 


Consigliere Locascio agrees; there was a lurking danger of “creating another faction.”

“That’s what made me hate Paul,” Gotti says. 



DECEMBER 12, 1989
FILE NUMBER: 183A-3507
PLACE: Apartment above the Ravenite Social Club, located at 247 Mulberry Street in Little Italy, Manhattan
TIME: 7:13 P.M.
PARTICIPANTS: JOHN GOTTI FRANK LOCASCIO 

GOTTI: Today I go and have lunch. I mixed up about four lunches at once, you know? You know, Frankie, I, I, I don’t like you—I love you. I don’t like Sammy—I love him. As far as this life, no one knows it better than me. If a guy offends me, I’ll break him—that’s the fuckin’ end of it. But not for me. It’s this “thing of ours.” It’s gotten to be a circus. I’m not gonna leave a circus when I go to jail, Frankie. I don’t wanna be a phony. I ain’t gonna talk about a guy behind his back. Um, Louie was a fuckin’ coffee boy. Know what a coffee boy was? A motherfuckin’ coffee boy. 

LOCASCIO: You told me once (inaudible). 




GOTTI: Never did nothin’, I’m telling you again. Never did nothin’. He’s a billionaire now. Billionaire, now! Owns buildings. Throws a half million into fuckin’ factories, and, and bars. And all the rest of them. Yeah, yeah, make the faces. But, anyway, this is all well and good. I got guys around me aren’t making five cents. This is my back! When “Di B” got “whacked,” they told me a story. I was in jail when I “whacked” him. I knew why it was being done. I done it, anyway. I allowed it to be done, anyway. He got there. I saved that whole fucking industry. I got a piece of the company. For a year—an arrangement—a year! They haven’t got a fucking job! One job! I got them a job. They got a run-around. I was sent for, you sent for my partners. To the (inaudible). “Johnny Blowjob” sends for him. And they give him a runaround. Come down on the figures. Dupe this guy, dupe that. So, they, they told him taking him, they going to a party. (Inaudible) fuck them! Those Irish motherfuckers! Fuck them. They don’t mean nothing to me. I send this “Joe Crotty” here, he’s a good friend of ours. He’s taken care of dozens of people is in the jail. He done nothing but good things for us. He’s in the carpet business. Joe Gallo brought him to me about eight years ago. I put my vote here to get these jobs. “If my name could help you in any point in time, go ahead.” He goes there, two months ago. He got thrown out! “Johnny Gotti wants Johnny G. to have it.” Where’s this guy come in the carpet business? They’re in [the] rebar business. There’s a conc, there’s a builder up in the Bronx. A billionaire builder. The guy’s with me, through ARC Plumbing. Sammy sends me word. You were there. Where they told me. Says, “I had the plans ahead of time. Everybody gets the plans when you build, when you bid for it.” I sat with the fuckin’ owner of the building today. They don’t know who the fuck Sammy is. And they don’t know who fuckin’ Marathon is (inaudible). They knew Marine and them way before that. They were told, this is where I wanted it to go. So it went to Marathon. “Who’s Marathon?” he says today. “That’s Sammy.” Where are we going here? Where the fuck are we going here? Where are we going here? Every fucking time I turn around there’s a new company popping up. Rebars, Building, Consulting, Concrete. And every time we got a partner that don’t agree with us, we kill him. You go to the “boss,” and your “boss” kills him. He kills ’em. He okays it. Say it’s all right, good. Where are we going here, Frankie? Who the fuck are we? What do I get out of this here? Better not become a clown. Where am I going? What do I do with the rest of the borgata? You throw ’em in the fuckin’ street? The rest of the borgata. What are we going to do with the rest of this borgata? Hah? Twenty-five capodecinas, we got twenty-two, twenty-five “beef” to me. What do I do here, Frankie? Sammy tells me you and him, took a walk, about a concrete plant in New Jersey? Somewhere? I told him when do youse decide to tell me about it? 

LOCASCIO: There’s nothing for sure. I just got the plans and I asked him.…

 GOTTI: Yeah, but I told him, “Don’t I have the right? Frankie’s my ‘acting underboss.’ Supposed to tell me first, then I’ll tell you if it’s okay to go ahead or not. I told him, “Now, Sammy, Don’t you people listen here?” I mean, where are we going here?

 LOCASCIO: This was the plant (inaudible).

 GOTTI: Frankie, I won’t stop ya, Frankie. I would give ya, I’ll go take it in the ass and give ya the money (inaudible). 

LOCASCIO: There was nothin’. I just, he said he was gonna meet with, ah, Carl. I says, “Here, show him this. See if he knows this spot …”

GOTTI: Frank, I didn’t say you did anything underhanded. 

LOCASCIO: I would never do anything like that! 

GOTTI: I didn’t say that. I know you better than that, Frankie. Don’t you understand? I want you to own five hundred plants, and I don’t tell no one (inaudible) about a plant. But I wanna know about it, Frank. I got “beef,” guys “beefin’ ” at me every fuckin’ hour every day. Yesterday one of them fuckin’ capodecinas sent, they sent for me for a glory fuckin’ meeting. On Sunday. And the people think that this is my fuckin’ green eyes. 

LOCASCIO: (Inaudible) 

GOTTI: Couple of our capodecinas. You think it’s my green eyes. You think this is me doing this! This is not me, Frankie! What do I get outta this fuckin’ shit? 

LOCASCIO: Which building, er, is this? 

GOTTI: It’s a big building. I don’t know where. Six, six million, twenty million, whatever it is. But what, what, where are we going here, Frankie? Frankie, where the hell did all these new companies come from? Where did five new companies come from? Ah, I mean, when, when Nasabeak died, you were nothing. Louie [Milito] had Gem Steel. You, you told me that the guy talked behind my back. Now you got Gem Steel. The other thing, you told me Di B cried behind my back. Now you got all that! And you got, uh, Bobby Sasso. (Inaudible) Hey, Frankie, you’re not, are, are, are you gonna, are you in with me, Frank? I’ll walk outta here, and we’ll terminate our friendship. Is that the way this, is that what our “marriage” is? That’s not the way it’s gonna be, Frank. I give you my word, Frank. (Pause) I, I love you guys. I don’t, I don’t fabricate no part of it.

 LOCASCIO: Why don’t you pull him and—

 GOTTI: And there— 

LOCASCIO: —pull his coat. 

GOTTI: —that’s why I wanted to end tonight here. I wanted it to end tonight. I just (inaudible).

 LOCASCIO: (Inaudible) you want me to go and get him? I’ll bring him.

 GOTTI: No, no, no. No, no, no.

 LOCASCIO: I’ll go and get him. 

GOTTI: This is bullshit! These people are being taken away from him. He’s not a capodecina. He wants to be a capodecina, I’ll take him down from consigliere, and I’ll make him a capodecina. He can have all the fun he wants to have. Frankie, this shit ain’t gonna take it. 

LOCASCIO: I’ll go and get him, for you and … 

GOTTI: No, I’ll send them. They’re gonna do it. This is not the way this is gonna be, Frank. I’ll see him tomorrow, and I’m gonna tell him tomorrow. I told him the other fuckin’ day, Saturday. I see eight of our fuckin’ kids, none of our kids supposed to be future prospects, like fuckin’ bum “junkies,” in the hall of the fuckin’ house. Where are we going here, Frankie? Where are we going here? This is not my teaching. None of my teaching. (Pause)

LOCASCIO: Talking about a house for liars (inaudible). He knows what he’s doing. 

GOTTI: He’s not gone, he’s home in bed. (Inaudible) He’s home. He’s home at his house. I’m on that, Frank. I’m on every fuckin’ thing. (Tap sound) Selling half-million, four-hundred-thousand-dollar deal. You know, Frankie, you could love me, he loves me, I know he does. But Jesus fuckin’ Christ! This is not your candy store! You take a cocksucker like a fuckin’ Johnny G., you make this guy rebel against his own cousin. You heard him just now downstairs, the cousin, capodecina. I never rehearsed this. I haven’t spoken one word to this guy. Gets near you, he rebels against him? I think, he’s in charge of, ah, two unions. You got him, Johnny G., working hand in hand with Joe Brewster, in Local 23. You convinced me that’s good for me. You got Joe Francolino working hand in hand. Don’t you see this or am I, am I talking to myself, Frank? Am I lying, am I out of order here? Correct me! You’re my fuckin’ “underboss.” Correct me, Frankie.

 LOCASCIO: I agree with ya.

 GOTTI: Am I wrong, Frankie? If I’m wrong, correct me. 

LOCASCIO: Fuck, ah, John, it’s up to you to pull him up.

 GOTTI: Yes, but am I wrong, I’m saying? 

LOCASCIO: No, you’re not wrong! 

GOTTI: But Jesus motherfuckin’ Christ, I’m with some people today. Ah, but I was Marine Construction. I said, “Maybe it’s because—

LOCASCIO: Well— 

GOTTI: —it’s my company.”

 LOCASCIO: … you said it two weeks ago, with Marine Construction (inaudible). 

GOTTI: You, was he sitting there when I told him? 

LOCASCIO: Yeah. 

GOTTI: He got nothing! They got no job. If Angelo was sitting next to me, would they have a job? If Angelo was handling Bobby Sasso, would they have a job? You tell me. Right or wrong?

 LOCASCIO: (Inaudible) they would get all the jobs. 

GOTTI: Guaranteed! And I don’t want that, Frank. You know me better than that, I don’t want that. I said, “Give him one job.” Now, I told him— 

LOCASCIO: You get Bosco off your back, ’cause he keeps on breaking your fucking balls (inaudible). 

GOTTI: (Inaudible) Frankie, the guy gives Joe Watts nine thousand every two weeks. He takes a third, and I get two thirds. Don’t I get two thousand a week? Don’t I get two thousand a week pay? Who gives you two thousand a week? (Inaudible) 

LOCASCIO: But he should, he shoulda done something. 

GOTTI: Nothing! And, since March! That’s too many months in a fuckin’ year, Frank. And I’m not gonna go for this shit. And another thing, this shit about your “decina” is on welfare. And another fuckin’ “decina” is on, on easy street. I purposely done that tonight with Jackie and this “Butterass.” He gives me this Arpège, this fuckin’ Jackie with this fuckin’ guy. I purposely told “Butterass,” “Bring the guy down, Tuesday.” And I told Jackie, (coughs) “Can ya get the guy?”

LOCASCIO: When he comes, chase him.

GOTTI: No, I told Jackie, “Can you get the guy?” He says, “No, I can’t reach him.” “You can’t reach him? Ain’t he with you?” “Yeah,” “And you can’t reach him?” “No.” So, I showed him. (Low voice) (Inaudible) You follow me, Frank? I mean, this guy’s with you. Frankie, you’d think they’d know how to get him. Okay. Them two get “pinched.” You follow what I’m trying to say, Frankie? Where are we going here, with this (inaudible)? This is the new game. You gotta (inaudible). We got tough guy’s tough guys with us. They look at me like I’m fuckin’ nuts. And you think that I was, I’m reaping billions of dollars, Frankie. I, I, I don’t want none! I don’t want a fuckin’ thing! And this guy, I mean, what’s—I love you. Where are we going here? You know what’s frightening to me, Frankie? I love him. I don’t give a fuck, because I know I blast him a little bit and he’ll slow it down. What happens when I go away, or I’m gone? When I’m dead, Frankie? Youse two guys are the fuckin’ guys I, nothin’! Fuck me! The whole “Family” gotta go and find out. Is this what we gonna invite? This is probably what happen? I’ll throw myself in front of a fuckin’ … (pause) I’m sick, Frankie. I’ve been sick over the whole weekend. You know what I mean? I love the guy. I go up to the hospital, I see his kid. I find out he bought the fuckin’ moped.

LOCASCIO: He did?

 GOTTI: Yeah! No (inaudible).

LOCASCIO: But did you tell him that he (inaudible)?

 GOTTI: He’s got them, he’s gotta tell, if your kid done that, you would’ve, you would’ve—

LOCASCIO: Thank God that he’s all right. You would’ve thought—

GOTTI: Good he’s all right. But then you wanna kill him for what he done, right? I mean, right or wrong, he’s got to whack the kid down.


LOCASCIO: You done good.

GOTTI: Yeah! So, I told him, “You didn’t do a nice thing, son?” But then I kept my respect. I didn’t, I didn’t know what I said. I told him, “He didn’t do a nice fuckin’ thing. You’re being buddies, that makes you happy? She’s gotta cry? Make you happy he’s gotta be sick. We gotta be sick? Dozens of your father’s friends? That makes you happy?” I told him, “I had a son like you. Make a little tough for the guy. I go and visit him every Saturday, Sunday, eleven o’clock in the morning. That what you want your mom and dad to do? They’ll do it. You’ll have your fuckin’ home in the cemetery.” I mean where we going here? We’re creating … (inaudible) these fuckin’ kids. You know, Frankie? I’m not a jerkoff. If I see kids go, I should never (inaudible) I hate them, Frankie. I hate them. Nobody had it worse than I had it in life. And I didn’t need that shit. You know what I mean. I didn’t need that shit. Take a couple of Scotches and go fuck yourself, know what I mean?

LOCASCIO: Well, I wanna see what, what’s happening. We got that tire disclaim coming up. ’Cause if …

GOTTI: (Coughs)

LOCASCIO: —I wanna see how he’s gonna act during that. I’ll fight it tooth and nail down the line, you know, because it’s …

GOTTI: There’s nothing to fight, Frankie. It’s (inaudible) said. LOCASCIO: It’s my people against his people.

GOTTI: Yeah, but no, Frankie.

LOCASCIO: But you—

GOTTI: That’s no good. I don’t even want none, part of it.

LOCASCIO: (Inaudible)

GOTTI: I gotta be honest with ya. I don’t want any part these kind of things here because I could see, we ain’t got our, we ain’t got the borgata in hock no more. Now we got ourselves gain (inaudible). And that’s not for me. That’s not John Gotti. At least I hope that’s not me. Maybe I see myself in the light that I’m not in, I don’t know. But that’s what I feel I am. But, but, but, he’s gonna get it off me pretty good tomorrow. And I wanna know everything that every one of these guys are in. What businesses they’re in. I wanna know when they got in them, and how they got in them! That fuckin’ guy.

LOCASCIO: That’s it, the key. That’s the key …

GOTTI: I wanna know when and how they got in them. These are all businesses that nobody had a fuckin’ year ago, Frank! On my back? I got a million (inaudible) good guys. My son didn’t open no new companies up. My brothers didn’t. My son-in-laws didn’t. Nobody opened no new companies up. They took it upon themselves. “Joe Piney” and, and, and Sammy, he made my brother Pete get involved with that fuckin’ asshole with the “Windows.” Never made a dime. He’s going to jail for it. Well, tell me something that one of my family got that they never had it before. I’ll make ya fuck me in the ass. But that ain’t what I’m getting at, Frankie. That’s not the way this is run. And you should know better than that. You’ve been around long enough. This is not the way a fuckin’ borgata is run. And I shouldn’t break my fuckin’ heart. When, when I hear you’re (inaudible).

LOCASCIO: In reality (inaudible). In reality, you put everything on him.

GOTTI: Yes.

 LOCASCIO: If it’s anything to do with construction.

GOTTI: Why did I do that? (Tap sound) What, what did, what did I do that for, Frankie? What did I do that for, Frankie?

LOCASCIO: You might be able to, the way you said before—(inaudible).

GOTTI: (Inaudible)

 LOCASCIO: —fuckin’ (inaudible).




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