MORBID CURIOSITY: Celebrity Tombstones Across America | home
AALIYAH | Lucille Ball | Milton Berle | Les Brown | Karen Carpenter | Charles Chaplin's Son (Little Mouse) and Buckwheat | James Dean | The Del Rubio Triplets Minus Two | Morton Downey Jr | Roy Rogers and Dale Evans | Richard Farnsworth | John Gotti | Vince Guaraldi | Harry Houdini | Meyer Lansky | Liberace | Julie London | Raymond Massey | Marilyn Monroe | Jim Morrison | Carroll O'Connor and his son Hugh | Papa John Phillips | Elvis Presley | Mario Puzo | Claude Rains | Joey Ramone | The Rat Pack: Frank, Dean, Peter, and Sammy | STUDIO 54 owner Steve Rubell: Pasha of Disco | Gene Siskel | Ann Sothern | Andy Warhol
October 27, 1940 - June 10, 2002
America has been intrigued by the underworld for many years. It is no surprise that we regard the Al Capones
and John Gottis as modern day Robinhoods beating the system, as they live lavishly with their expensive
cars, suits and houses. Their lifestyles have been sensationalized in movies like “The Godfather,” “Goodfellas”
and the list goes on. We as mere mortals, temporarily live our lives vicariously through them, while safely sitting in
our theater seats. Although most of us would love the special privileges that accompany that lifestyle, not many of
us would like to trade our humdrum lives for the danger that surrounds that particular vocation.
Born in the Bronx, John was the fifth out of eleven children belonging to John Sr and Fannie. The family was
extremely poor and some of John’s siblings ended up dying at an early age due to poor health care.
In earlier biographies, John’s father was described as a hard working immigrant from Napoli. Later it
that Gotti’s father was really born in New Jersey and had never stepped foot in Italy. According to Gotti, his father
wasn’t such a hardworker and the family was forced to live in the poorest section of the South Bronx. It wouldn’t be until
Gotti was ten years old, that the family could finally afford to move to a nicer area in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn.
A year later, the family moved again, this time to East New York, Brooklyn were Gotti would spend the rest of his childhood.
As a young boy, he was reputed to have a quick temper and fought constantly. He resented anyone who had
more than he did and made it his priority to leave his poverty behind him and improve his stature. Unfortunately his
options were limited. It was unthinkable for a guy like him to pursue a higher education. Working class people did
not have the option of college like the young people of today. Most people in the neighborhood, went into blue collar
positions or made the best of whatever little opportunities that were available to them. The only people who were different,
were the neighborhood wiseguys. Their lavish lifestyles quickly became a role model for him.
John and his two brothers, Peter and Richard, joined a gang that ran errands for the local wiseguys. His first introduction
into crime was in 1954 when he and some friends were attempting to heist a portable cement mixer from a construction site.
Unfortunately the robbery was interrupted as the mixer tipped over and landed on Gotti sending him to the hospital with
crushed toes. He ended up spending most of that summer laid up in the hospital. The experience gave him too things
a new attitude and new gait to his walk that would remain with him for the rest of his life.
By 1960, Gotti met the love of his life, Victoria DiGiorgio. The two were married on March 6, 1962 and between
them they had five children, Angela, Frank, Victoria, Peter and John. Frank who shares the same crypt with
his father was killed at the age of twelve.
The baby of the family, Frank, was like any other boy his age. He was athletic and enjoyed and excelled in school.
On the day of his death, March 18, 1980, he and a friend who had a mini-bike, took turns riding it around his
Howard Beach neighborhood.
John Favara, who worked as a service department manager for a furniture store was on his way home from work.
He was a friend of the Gottis, who lived on the street behind them, and his son, Scott, frequently hung around with
Frank. There were two stories about what happened next. Some say that sun was going down and the glare
was obscuring John’s vision making it very difficult to see. Also on 87th Street, where the accident occurred,
there was a house under construction and a dumpster was in the street. This further impeded John’s ability to
see Frank as he darted out in front of his car from behind the dumpster. The second story was that John was
speeding and had ran a stop sign prior to hitting the boy.
Of course the death of the young boy was devastating for his mother, Victoria. But Favara’s behavior
after the accident only compounded the problem and the family regarded his lack of remorse as a
slap in the face. John Favara made no attempt to apologize, send a card, nor remove his wrecked car
from the street. It is obvious that the very site of the car would be very upsetting for Victoria to see each
time as she would go out into her neighborhood. The whole incident pushed past the brink of control and
she attacked Favara with an aluminum baseball bat which landed him in the hospital. He did not press charges.
Two days after the accident a woman called the 106th Precinct of the NYPD and said that the driver
of the car that killed Frank would be killed. That same day, Favara, received a similar threat in the mail.
Then four days later, a woman called Favara and told him that his life was in danger.
On April 13th, the still unrepaired car was stolen and recovered a mile away from Favara’s home on
May 1. May 20th brought more threatening activity as a mass card was placed in his mailbox. The next day
a photo of Frank was placed in his mailbox. Then the word murderer was spray painted on his car. Hello?
I think it’s time to get out of town by sundown.
Favara went to his childhood friend, Anthony Zappi, for some much needed advice. Zappi was a capo in the
Gambino family, and Favara thought perhaps he could act as a mediator and resolve this very serious problem.
Zappi’s advice was obvious, move and get rid of the car.
After much thought Favara put his home up for sale. Just three days before the closing on July 28th, he was
abducted as he was leaving work. Several witnesses watched as he was clubbed over the head and dragged
into a van. He was never seen again. In 1983, Favara’s wife had him officially declared dead.
It is rumored that Favara’s car was driven to a junk yard in East New York and crushed. Favara was
stuffed into a barrel that was filled with cement and dropped into the ocean off the coast of Brooklyn.
No one was ever arrested for the kidnapping or the murder.
John and Victoria were never implicated because they were vacationing in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
at the time of the abduction. Victoria was later interviewed and said, “I don’t know what happened to him. I am not
sorry if something did. He never sent me a sympathy card. He never apologized. He never even got his car fixed.”
John’s comment was similar, ““I don't know what happened to him. I am not sorry if something did.I don’’t know
what happened. I am not sorry if something did happen. He killed my kid.”
On the anniversary of Frank’s death, Victoria religiously places memoriam notices in the New York Daily News. As his siblings grew and had their own families, so did the notices.
Donated by Anonymous
December 11, 1990 was the end of the road for Gotti and his men. FBI agents along with some
New York City detectives raided the Ravenite Social Club and arrested Gotti, Sammy Gravano and Frank Locasio. At another location Tom Gambino was also arrested.
On April 1, 1992, the jurors began their deliberations. After 13 hours the jury agreed on a guilty verdict of all charges for Gotti. James M. Fox, the assistant director in charge of the FBI, made this famous comment, “The don is covered with Velcro, and every charge stuck.”
The day of sentencing came on June 23, 1992. John stood before Judge Glasser and listened for ten minutes as he read his sentence. Bruce Cutler, Gotti’s attorney, who was barred from representing his famous client, was allowed to stand with him during sentencing. Judge Glasser imposed this sentence: “the guidelines in your case require me to commit you the custody of the Attorney General for the duration of your life.” Gotti was asked if he had anything to say and he shook his head and silently said “no.” Meanwhile outside the courthouse there were between 800 to 1000 people demonstrating for Gotti’s release. Once the sentence was pronounced rioters turned violent in the streets. They wrecked and turned over cars in front of the courthouse, others shouted, “Free John Gotti” Eight police officers were injured and more than a dozen protesters were arrested as a result of the riot.
On April, 1997 John made a final plea for a new trial but was again denied by Judge Glasser. It had been the forth time that the judge had turned him down.
John had been sent to Marion Federal Penitentiary in Illinois, which is reputed to be one of the nation’s toughest prisons. On July, 1996 while in the prison exercise yard an inmate assaulted him, leaving him quite battered. It was then that the throat and neck cancer was suspected. He was transferred to the United States Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Missouri, where the diagnosis was confirmed. Doctors had found a tumor near his tonsils and lymph nodes at the back of his throat. At the time it was considered serious and life threatening. But in late September, 1998, the cancerous tumor was removed and all were optimistic that he would make a full recovery. Unfortunately the cancer returned in 2000, and despite the pleas of his family he remained at Marion.
It was announced in the New York Daily News that Gotti had taken a turn for the worse. He was now suffering from the advanced stages and was not expected to live past two months. Although he was insistent on getting around with little assistance, he was forced to be in a wheelchair. He was extremely weak from the chemotherapy treatments and his appetite had waned. The prison hospital had to eventually feed him through intravenous tubes.
He was finally allowed to have limited contact with family members. A hug for his wife and children was now permitted. After each visit Gotti would be taken back to his solitary confinement.
By June 13, 2001 he had lost too much weight and the chemotherapy was stopped. The next day it was apparent that he was suffering from pneumonia. It seemed as though he was falling apart. Even the shunts that delivered pain medication had developed infections. It looked as though the end was near. But being the strong man he was, he wouldn’t give the disease the satisfaction and held on for another year.
On June 10, 2002, John finally passed away and was finally allowed to come home to New York. Still he was met with the indignity of being turned away from his parish church. It’s seems odd how the Catholic church can turn a blind eye and allow a child molesting priest who commits suicide, a Catholic burial but yet deny John Gotti.
He finally received a funeral at a Queens church and was laid to rest next to his son at St. John’s Cemetery. As his daughter, Victoria once said, he is the last of the Mohegans.
Photos of his grave were submited by both an Anonymous donor and Joann Montgomery
Many people paid tribute to John in true Mafia Style....Flowers lots of flowers
Photos of the flowers were submitted by an anonymous donor
The following photos were donated by Jason Vietri.
This according to Jason's sources is the private jet used to transport John's body to Republic Airport in Farmingdale, New York. If you look closely through the window you can see workers removing his body.
His body was then take to Papavero Funeral Home in Maspeth, New York. The following photos are the many flower arrangements that were delivered to the funeral home.
These photos are of the pallbearers carrying his casket to the hearse to be taken to St. John's Cemetery which is also in Queens.
The procession to the cemetery is unbelievable as you will see from the rest of these photos. The people of New York adored Gotti.
This the hallway to his final burial place.
Thanks again to Jason Vietri.
John's daughter Victoria wrote a very touching article for the New York Daily News, here it is:
Donated by Anonymous