John Alite Did Not ‘Know’ John Gotti Sr.
John Alite has told some fascinating tales about his relationship with John Gotti Sr. but what he has not done is provide any proof that he actually ‘knew’ John Gotti Sr.
From the moment he became the Gambino family boss after the assassination of his predecessor Paul Castellano in December, 1985 until he was arrested for the last time in December, 1990 John Gotti became the New York FBI’s number one target as well as the New York media’s and squads from various law enforcement agencies. In fact, he even grew to become a target of Washington, D.C., making John Gotti, as multiple law enforcers would refer to him, “The most surveilled man in the country.”
The Gotti home in Howard Beach was under constant surveillance with cars parked outside– sometimes at the same time– from the FBI, the Organized Crime Strike Force, the Organized Crime Task Force, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office in addition to the Queens District Attorney’s Office while simultaneously? Wiretaps from different agencies were placed inside Gotti’s various hangouts just as video cameras filmed 24/7 outside Gotti’s social club, The Bergin Hunt & Fish Club in Ozone Park and his Manhattan headquarters, the Ravenite Social Club in Little Italy and The Fact that there are no known pictures or recordings of Alite on film or wiretaps with Gotti especially since Alite continually trashes Gotti for having always appeared on them is proof that Alite is a liar.
From Shadow of My Father:
Did Alite ever meet John Gotti? Probably.
“My father used to stand outside the Bergin and shake random people’s hands when they came up to him to say hello,” his son, John A. Gotti said. “Alite even came by the Ravenite twice, maybe three times. If my father was standing outside at the same time, he would have said hello. But Alite didn’t come by the Ravenite to hang out, he came by because I shylocked his sportsbook for 50 grand and he owed me money. This was sometime in 1989 or after. Before that, before 1989 he was only a freelancer bouncing around from crew to crew. Then I made him an associate of mine from sometime in 1989 until I chased him in November, 1991. But, he was only an associate of mine. Not my father’s, not any of my uncles, just mine. I put him on record with me after I started building my crew and sometime after that I financed his book, but, he was living all the way out in South Jersey by then so rather than have him come all the way into Queens he’d meet me in Manhattan, out of convenience. I’d meet him by the Ravenite and we’d go down the street and have coffee and he’d give me an envelope, but, he was never one of those guys you’d see on the surveillance hanging out front and commiserating with my father. There was never a relationship of any kind, none at all between a John Alite and my father.”
However: in my interviews with the Gotti family they did say that Alite was inside their house– TWICE.
Once, on Christmas Eve, 1984 when Carmine Agnello, the newlywed husband of Victoria Gotti Jr. came by like he was supposed to, albeit with several uninvited guests. While Agnello obviously stayed behind, after paying their respects Alite and the “approximately three others” were asked to leave as John Gotti Sr. did not want strangers in his house.
The second time, said John A. Gotti, was on April 21, 1990, the day of his wedding when Carmine Agnello who was by then a Gambino associate and in charge of all the associate’s in John A. Gotti’s crew rounded up “about 15 guys” who came by the house in different cars to serve as “blockers” to stop the press from following the limos and finding out where the wedding location was.
A far cry from Alite and Anastasia’s claims that he spent many nights “sleeping over” on the Gotti family couch through the 1980s.
John A. Gotti told me, “Alite never slept over at my house. My own cousins never slept over at my house. No one ever slept over at our house.” When I asked him why? “That’s just the way it was. The way my father wanted it. It was his policy.”
And if his father wanted Alite around a surveillance picture of them together would have been presented as evidence at the 2009 Gotti trial to make Alite a more credible witness and then it probably would have ended up on the cover of and definitely inside Alite’s book to give it substance.
Notice how Gotti’s Rules has pictures of John Gotti Sr. in it, just not a picture of John Alite with John Gotti Sr. in it?
John Alite may have met John Gotti Sr. but he did not know John Gotti Sr.
“Just about every person of importance, anyone that mattered from that time was surveilled with my father at one point or another, and Alite wasn’t one of them,” Gotti said. “Mutts like Alite weren’t even allowed in the same room as my father.”
And if Alite was as close to Gotti Sr. as he claims three places where he definitely would have shown up on surveillance– that Alite could easily retrieve to rebut this due to all his FBI contacts– were the following:
1- The December, 1988 Gambino family Christmas party which, according to Jerry Capeci of GangLandNews.com, John Gotti threw “for about 1,000 mobsters, associates, wives, children, and other guests” at the El Caribe Beach Club costing “an estimated $200,000.”
When I asked John A. Gotti why Alite didn’t attend?
“It was because he wasn’t invited. That party was for people that mattered.“
2- The June, 2002 wake and funeral for John Gotti Sr. and more importantly the June, 1992 wake and funeral for John Gotti Sr.’s father, which, according to law enforcement records was attended not just by nearly every free wiseguy in the tri-state area, but, many more who flew in from around the country out of respect for Gotti who had just been sent to USP Marion to serve a life sentence in solitary confinement.
Since Alite was chased from the Gambino family in November, 1991 and no longer an associate after that time he was welcome at neither.
From John Alite’s testimony at the 2009 Charles Carneglia trial (Direct, 3484):
But: He didn’t.
In his book and increasingly since its publication John Alite has attempted to vilify John Gotti Sr. as a disloyal monster, which, makes no sense because if John Gotti Sr. was only half the creature Alite makes him out to be he never would have become the still-revered boss of the Gambino family whose funeral procession (pictured above) was attended by thousands of people who lined the streets of Queens.
However: John Alite has now gone a step further, saying in various interviews that John Gotti Sr. was stupid, a coward, and not a real tough guy– even though he spent nearly a decade in 23-hour lock-down before he died from cancer choking on his own blood, handcuffed to a bed because he refused to cooperate with the authorities– and that “no one ever put a gun in his hand”, that Gotti never killed anyone personally and was a lesser man because of it.
When, actually: An untold number of law enforcement officers, government informants and alleged organized crime figures have contradicted this publicly, like:
John Alite’s Facebook friend, ex-Gambino associate turned cooperator Dominick Montiglio who said in a 3/3/2016 interview: “John Gotti Sr had a lot of good points. He was a mans man, he was loyal, he was tough and he was uncompromising.” [sic]
John Alite’s personal hero, former Gambino underboss turned cooperator Sammy “The Bull” Gravano who said in his 1997 book, written with Peter Maas, Underboss on page 108 that: Castellano didn’t hesitate to use Gotti on a hit contract and on page 167: “I knew John did a lot of hits for Paul” (Castellano).
After which Gravano went on national television to promote it and told Diane Sawyer that Gotti was “a tough guy in the street… If I have 19 (murders) he has, forget about what he’s got.”
And, when Sawyer asked him if Gotti knew “how to run things?”
Gravano said, “Oh he’s smart, there’s no question.”
But while former Colombo capo Michael Franzese wrote on Facebook on 1/27/2016 that “I respected John. He was who he was and didn’t pretend to be anyone else. He believed in our life. And I will tell you this, on John’s worst day he was a far superior man then Sammy “The Bull” could ever hope to be.”
Former Colombo associate Frank Castagnaro said on the History Channel’s The Definitive Guide to The Mob in 2013:
“I have so much respect for John Gotti, that I don’t want to talk about him… there’s a guy who did it from the day he was born, until the day he died, he did it the way it’s supposed to be done.”
Similar to Vincent Basciano, the alleged former boss of the Bonanno family who in 2004 was caught on Bonanno capo turned cooperator Louis Tartaglione’s wiretap stating: “You know what? He did it the way he wanted, and he died the way he wanted.”
While former Gambino associate turned cooperator Dominick Lofaro who wore a wire on and then testified against Gotti in 1987 said on HBO’s Mob Stories in 1993:
“John Gotti, if he had to, [would] kill you in a heartbeat.”
Former NYPD Detective Tommy Dades said in Channel 4 UK’s The Real Sopranos in 2006 about John Gotti:
“Whatever he was, whatever he wasn’t, you gotta give the guy a little bit of credit because he was really treated like, um, the lowest form of dirt in prison and he never broke. You admire that kind of quality in somebody ’cause he backed up what he said.”
In Fox News’ The Last Godfather in 1992 Jules Bonovolonta, the former head of the FBI’s New York organized crime section said Gotti “was a tough guy, he was a street guy, with tremendous ambitions” while former FBI Agent George Gabriel who was put in charge of the Long Island office said “people loved him, neighborhoods loved him, the soldiers loved him, he kept everybody happy.”
Tommy Gallagher of Gallagher’s Gym in Ozone Park spoke about how John Gotti helped save his boxing club when it was in financial trouble.
Not to mention: Deceased Gambino Joe DeCicco, who grew up with Gotti, said on camera, among other statements, “John never feared nobody in his life, nobody. I don’t care who it was, small, big, or what. He was that kind of a kid. And that’s why I always respect him, loved him, and told you I love him.”
Whatever John Gotti was or wasn’t, who the hell is John Alite, a miscreant of a federal informant, a fountain of never-ending lies and excuses to ever say one bad word about him? Especially when the truth is he didn’t even know him…
“He knew me only,” John A. Gotti said, “and when I really got to know John Alite, who he really was? He was chased. End of story.”
UPDATE — 4/8/2017:
While researching a separate project I came across the following Fact.
Unlike what John Alite keeps saying– that “no one ever put a gun in his hand…” That no one ever testified that John Gotti shot anyone, etc., well? That is not the case. At the 2011 Vincent Basciano trial former Bonanno boss turned witness Joseph Massino testified that he was actually present in the 1970s when a young up and coming John Gotti, as a personal favor to then Gambino boss Paul Castellano, shot and murdered Vito Borrelli, his daughter’s boyfriend, a job that surely no slouch would ever have been given.
NOTE: At that time Gotti was fresh out of prison for taking part in a killing as a personal favor to the previous Gambino boss, Carlo Gambino, to avenge the kidnapping-murder of his nephew Manny Gambino, something that also no slouch would have been involved with.
(Click images to enlarge.)
Basciano (Direct, 4723-25):