Feature Articles

February 2006

Last Days of the Gotti Gang

Part Eight: A Father�s Sins

By J. R. de Szigethy and Lou Eppolito Jr.

     Will the �Sins of the Father� be visited upon the son, or did the son in question commit his own Sins without any prompting from his infamous Father?

     That is the question to be answered in the morality play currently unfolding in Manhattan Federal Court, as John "Junior" Gotti, son of former Gambino Godfather John Gotti, faces a second trial for allegedly ordering the kidnapping and near-murder of Curtis Sliwa, who had angered the Gottis by exercising his Constitutional right to Freedom of Speech by speaking out against the Gotti Gang in his popular radio program. This event occurred back during the dark days of the Administration of New York City Mayor David Dinkins, during which time criminals such as the Gotti Gang flagrantly violated the law and crime reached unprecedented levels.

     Six years after Dinkins was voted out of office, "Junior" Gotti defied his famous father by pleading guilty to racketeering charges, in the hopes, his attorney claims, that he could leave behind his family�s criminal legacy and secure a better future for his faithful wife and 5 children. A 6th child is on the way.

     A defiant Curtis Sliwa, who has already received �vindication,� given that it is generally agreed by most that his shooting in 1992 was not a �publicity stunt� but rather a brutal attack against someone who had the courage to speak out against organized crime and it�s impact on Americans, particularly America�s children, is now seeking - indeed demanding - Justice. Sliwa is hopeful that an anonymous jury will send Junior Gotti to prison for the rest of his natural life.

     This second trial involving the plot against Sliwa is much different than the one last year, in which jurors may have been confused over the myriad of charges involving three separate Defendants. Junior Gotti was not convicted of any of the various charges in that trial and the current case focuses on the plot against Curtis Sliwa. The previous jury was deadlocked on this charge.

     Had Sliwa died of his gunshot wounds received in a stolen cab hijacked by members of the Gotti Gang, who picked him up outside his Manhattan apartment in June, 1992, Junior Gotti could be facing murder charges, for which there are no statutes of limitations. However, since Sliwa survived, the Feds are forced to invoke racketeering laws, which have a 5-year statute of limitations. The Feds allege that Junior Gotti continued in the �racketeering enterprise� of the Gotti Gang that stretches back to the shooting of Sliwa. However, Junior�s attorneys are arguing that the Gotti scion gave up the mob when he pleaded guilty in 1999, and thus he no longer participated in the Gotti racketeering enterprise while in prison.

     Similar questions regarding the statute of limitations of alleged racketeering enterprises have emerged in the case of the two accused "Mafia Cops," Stephen Caracappa and Lou Eppolito Sr., who will soon go on trial in Brooklyn Federal Court on charges of 8 (originally 10) Mafia murders, racketeering, bribery, and other charges, on behalf, the Feds allege, of former Luchese Family Underboss Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso. Even should Federal Judge Jack Weinstein throw out the entire case because of his perceived problems with the 5-year limitation on racketeering charges - which he has threatened to do on several occasions - both former police detectives would still face a Federal trial in Las Vegas on drug trafficking charges, as well as the income tax evasion charges Eppolito and his second wife Fran are also accused of.

     Also facing charges are Eppolito�s son Anthony, accused of trafficking the drug �crystal meth� at the direction of his father. The Feds allegedly have this all on videotape, and those tapes will likely determine if the Sins of Father Eppolito will be visited upon his youngest son.

To be continued

Related Features

Partners in Crime: The Mafia Cops
Part Thirteen: The Dueling Mob Turncoats

Last Days of the Gotti Gang
Part Seven: �Plan B; to �Get Gotti�

Last Days of the Gotti Gang
Part Six: Homecoming for Junior Gotti

Last Days of the Gotti Gang
Part Five: Junior�s Trial Intersects �Mafia Cops� Trial

Last Days of the Gotti Gang
Part Four: Curtis Sliwa Gets His Day In Court

Last Days of the Gotti Gang
Part Three: "Dirty Dozen" Trial of Junior Gotti Begins

Last Days of the Gotti Gang:
Part Two: Peter Gotti Convicted, Junior Awaits Trial

Last Days of the Gotti Gang
Part One: The Two Godfathers vs. the Two Ladies

Ends of Evil: The Final Days of Sammy "The Bull" Gravano


James Ridgway de Szigethy can be reached at:

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