John Gotti Jr

Victoria Gotti (below), widow of John Gotti Sr. is being sued by Valerie Palleschi.  The two were involved in a traffic accident on Montauk Highway in 2009.

Many assume the Gotti widow is wealthy but the Gotti Sr. crime fortune was never recovered.  There are many possible reasons.  Some believe that John Gotti Sr’s brothers were supposed to deliver her money that the late John Gotti had provided and set aside, but that they did not.  The government is also very interested in any possible money that Gotti may have left his heirs.

Above you can see a 9 minute video of Victoria Gotti, discussing primarily her sons legal tribulations with the government.  Gotti talks about being an artist.  Her paintings have received quite an audience and earn her an income.

Above is a painting Victoria did of John Gotti Sr.  You can check out her paintings at  They sell for $200 a print.

And to read more about the accident and suit:

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John Gotti Jr., pictured outside federal court in Manhattan (L).  Gotti with ace criminal attorney, Charles Carnesi (R).

John Gotti Jr. gave his only in depth interview to date last week to Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes.  Here’s a recap of some of the more interesting things he said.  On his upbringing:

I’m from Howard Beach.  We were taught from a young age that we don’t call the police.  For nothing.  We take care of our own problems.

On being inducted:

Proudest moment of my life.

On getting out of the life:

Kroft: you can’t get out.

Gotti: who says?

Kroft: the movies, the federal government.

Gotti: what makes them an authority on this?

Junior told Kroft that his father loved everything about being a gangster.  And that it came before his real family.

We were second.

Junior spoke of his father’s state after his 12 year old brother Frank was killed in a car crash:

He didn’t show much emotion but the vent in my bedroom was connected to his study, and I would hear him cry.  I would hear him cry.

Gotti, with lawyer Charles Carnesi at his side, who beat two of Gotti’s 4 raps in the last 5 years, also talked about his father’s suspicious nature and sense of ethics.  On mobster’s saving money:

My father thought there was only two possibilities on how you end up.  Behind bars or dead.  That was it.  when he’d see a wiseguy putting money away, he’d say, “What’s he thinking?”

On following the code:

If you’re not doing the right thing you’re gonna get whacked.  Just like if I’m not doing the right thing, somebody’s gonna put two in my hat.

Carnesi sat with Gotti, as it was explained, to keep him from saying anything that could get him indicted.  He only spoke once, to interject to Kroft, that Junior Gotti had never accepted the title of boss or underboss, and that it was more of a title the government looked to attach to him.  On the whole, John Gotti Jr. handled himself very well, was well spoken, and his reverence for John Sr., to this day, is resounding.  On whether he ever feared being whacked:

Every day.  You know, it was a possibility.

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John Gotti Jr. today sports a different look than the one we see above from his youth.  Gotti sports a cerebral look these days, donning–no pun intended–horn rimmed glasses that seem more appropriate attire for a banker than a convicted felon.

Think what you want about the man, but he is a cerebral type.  If he wasn’t, he’d never have beaten the government at trial so many times–and with so many different lawyers.  Obviously, the burden of proof rests with the prosecution but in the case of John Jr., the prosecution spared no expense, took years sometimes between mistrials or hung juries to re-examine their conviction strategies, and in the case of the last trial, found a fresh set of witnesses to say they took orders from John after he left the family business, or who heard him talk about how leaving the family business was the “only way to beat a RICO case” against the government.

One witness tied Gotti to Vinny “Gorgeous” Basciano, head of the Bonanno crime family doing life at the Metropolitan Correctional facility, testifying that Gotti and Basciano had discussed this strategy as the ultimate defense.  It had come up, supposedly, as the two met in order to sort out execution orders for an associate of the two men, who were in all likelihood the most powerful Italian mobsters in NY.

A movie is set to debut about Gotti, and in promoting the film, we are lucky enough to get an up close glimpse of the man on tonight’s 60 Minutes on CBS.  Gotti never took the stand when tried by the government.  This interview is going to be as close we come to seeing John Jr. cross-examined.

I am particularly interested to hear Gotti speak about his legal counsel, and how he was able to change lawyers with such confidence after his legal team had won his freedom, if temporarily.  To me, it shows that Gotti was receiving incredible advice and had for a layman, an expert knowledge of the law–changing legal teams to deal with the changing tactics of the prosecution.

Your choice of lawyer may be the biggest decision you ever make.  Gotti has chosen successfully on at least 3 separate occasions.  We all have that to learn from him.  This interview should be fascinating on many levels.  Even our friend Chris Fabricant should have a healthy interest.  Try to catch it tonight at 7 pm.


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