The notorious Gotti family is the stuff of mob legend. The "Dapper Don," John Gotti Sr., and his son John A. "Junior" Gotti ran New York's powerful Gambino crime family and were well known for their flamboyant style and brutal ways, an image perpetuated in popular Mafia mythology.
John Alite, a mob hit man, associate, and close friend of the Gottis, has a very different story to tell. An Albanian-American from Queens, Alite was an unlikely ally to the Gottis and the Italian mob, but with his street smarts he was eventually recruited to be Junior Gotti's protector and muscle. For decades Alite worked as a thug, drug dealer, and murderer for Junior Gotti and his infamous father. Although he reaped the benefits of working under the powerful mob figure, Alite discovered firsthand that the legendary American Mafia—an organization that claimed to be built on honor and loyalty—was nothing more than a façade for the hypocritical, manipulative, and greedy criminals like the Gottis who ran it. Following a harrowing sentence in a Brazilian prison (a system considered among the worst in the world), Alite was extradited to the United States in 2006 and agreed to help the feds put Gotti Jr. and his fearsome crime family behind bars. No one was better placed as an informant than Alite—the man who knew the real truth about the Gotti family.
The Gotti family's startling story has never been fully told until now. In Gotti's Rules, veteran true-crime writer and prize-winning reporter George Anastasia gains unprecedented access to the Gotti crime family's stories and secrets, including its fascinating "Gotti Rules" of leadership. Based on extensive FBI files and exclusive interviews with insiders and experts, particularly former insider John Alite, Anastasia's unparalleled access demystifies the infamous Gotti family and its larger-than-life legend and provides irrefutable proof of shocking allegations against Gotti Jr. that have never before been confirmed.
Filled with eye-opening revelations and insider detail, and illustrated with photographs, Gotti's Rules is a shocking and fascinating account of the violent rise and fall of the modern American mob.
Few readers of true crime who are familiar with La Cosa Nostra will find anything particularly new in the latest from Anastasia (Blood and Honor: Inside the Scarfo Mob, the Mafia's Most Violent Family). The book is a straightforward and unsurprising account of the Gambino crime family since the mid-1980s, from the perspective of killer-turned-FBI cooperator John Alite. Anastasia accepts Alite's account at face value, resulting in a simplistic rehashing of events. Anastasia even admits he made no effort to talk to "anyone in the Gotti camp," which he justifies by stating, implausibly, that doing so would only lead to a meaningless "he said, they said" narrative. This overreliance on Alite dictates the book's focus on Junior Gotti, rather than his father John, the Teflon Don; this is a drawback, as the story of the younger mobster is significantly less interesting and Alite's flat perspective hardly compensates. B&w photos.