John Gotti Jr. Tells Story as a Kid Why he Later Joined the Mob

Father John J. Gotti
Father John J. Gotti
By Allan Lengel

John Gotti Jr. had a little different childhood than most.

On Wednesday, the man who just escaped conviction for the fourth time when a judge declared a mistrial in his racketeering case, explained why he joined the mob.

Newsday’s Sophia Chang reports in an interview with Gotti, 45, that he recalled at age 7 visiting his father John J. Gotti in the Lewisburg, Pa. federal prison where had been serving out his three year sentence for fencing stolen goods. He was popped in an FBI sting at Kennedy Airport.

“My father was released in March of ’72. That [previous] Halloween, ’71, I go to visit my dad, and we were visiting him in Lewisburg,” Gotti said, according to Newsday. “And he’s playing around with me and we’re talking, and he says, ‘Hey John.’ He says, ‘Halloween’s coming up. What’s your plans for Halloween?’

“I said, ‘Dad, Officer Jones down the street is going to loan me his police hat, his badge and his stick, and I’m going to arrest people.’ The color went out of my father’s face. He looked at my mother and said, ‘What’s going on here?’ ‘C’mon, he’s a kid.’

“He was as serious as can be. We were taught, that’s not the way. We were raised, that’s not the way. We take care of ourselves. We don’t turn to police. In that neighborhood, in Howard Beach, that’s what’s instilled in you, that’s what’s put into your minds, and that’s the way we were raised.

“So we all bonded together, we all took care of each other, we were raised along those lines, and that’s why you go into that life. Everybody you look up to, all the people you look up to and you try to emulate, that’s what they lived.

“They were in that life.”

The father was eventually convicted of multiple crimes and died in prison in 2002 at age 61.

Leave a Reply