Mafia boss, John Gotti, dubbed the Teflon Don, was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty on 14 charges of murder, conspiracy, and racketeering. Hundreds of Gotti followers stormed a federal courthouse in Brooklyn moments after his sentence was given, overturning and smashing cars before being driven back by police reinforcements. But why is John Gotti known as The Teflon Don?
Due to his ability to evade criminal charges, mafia boss John Gotti was named “The Teflon Don,” and his aggressive and public methods resulted in the arrests of numerous Gambino crime family members. He was convicted in 1992.
How was John Gotti’s Life as a Gangster?
John Joseph Gotti Jr., an American mobster and the leader of the Gambino crime family in New York City, was born on October 27, 1940.
He ordered and assisted in the assassination of Gambino leader Paul Castellano in December 1985, then took over the family and became the head of America’s most powerful criminal empire shortly after.
Gotti and his brothers were poor as children and turned to crime at a young age. Gotti rose fast through the ranks of the criminal organization, becoming a protégé of Aniello Dellacroce, the Gambino family underboss, who operated out of Queens’ Ozone Park area.
After members of Gotti’s gang were indicted by the FBI for selling narcotics, Gotti began to fear that he and his brother would be killed by Castellano for drug dealing. As the dread grew and opposition over the crime family’s leadership grew, Gotti plotted the assassination of Castellano. (Source: History)
John Gotti as the Mafia Boss
Gotti was one of the most powerful and violent crime syndicates in the United States at his peak. During his time, he was known for his outspoken attitude and flamboyant flair, which won him popularity among some members of the public.
While most of his friends avoided drawing attention, particularly from the media, Gotti earned the nickname The Dapper Don for his costly attire and outgoing manner in front of the cameras. He also earned the moniker The Teflon Don after being acquitted in three high-profile cases in the 1980s, despite the fact that the proceedings were later proven to be contaminated by jury manipulation, juror misbehavior, and witness intimidation.
Authorities continued to amass evidence against Gotti, who earned an estimated $5 million to $20 million every year as Gambino leader.
Salvatore Sammy the Bull Gravano, Gotti’s underboss, supported the FBI in convicting Gotti; in 1991, after hearing the boss make insulting statements about him on a wiretap that linked them both in multiple killings, Gravano volunteered to turn state’s evidence and testify against Gotti.
Gotti was found guilty in 1992 of five murders, a conspiracy to kill, racketeering, obstruction of justice, tax evasion, unlawful gambling, extortion, and loansharking. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of release and transported to the United States Penitentiary in Marion.
On June 10, 2002, Gotti died of throat cancer in the US Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Missouri. (Source: History)