Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese, and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Former Bonanno mob boss Joseph Massino at Vincent Basciano trial: John Gotti plotted to take me out


Feeling his oats after taking out his own boss in the Gambino family, the late John Gotti also plotted to take out the head of the Bonanno family.
Ex-Bonanno boss Joseph Massino testified Monday that he learned of the plot against him - involving Gotti and Massino's brother-in-law Salvatore Vitale - years later from a wiseguy from another crime family.
The plot was apparently hatched in the early 1990s while Massino was in prison and Vitale was serving as his hand-picked underboss on the street.
The coup was never carried out because Gotti was arrested by the feds in 1990 on racketeering and murder charges.
"If he (Gotti) wasn't arrested, I probably wouldn't be here today," Massino said in Brooklyn Federal Court at the trial of former Bonanno acting boss Vincent Basciano.
Gotti had ascended to boss of the Gambino family after engineering the infamous murder of then-boss Paul Castellano outside Sparks steak house in midtown.
He made the move without the permission of the Mafia's Commission -- a panel comprised of the heads of New York City's five crime families. Last week Massino testified that the commission never formally met again after Castellano's assassination in December 1985.
Gotti and Massino were neighbors in Howard Beach, Queens, and had committed several gangland murders together.
Massino said he was informed of the plot by Genovese capo Barney Bellomo in 2004 when they were both awaiting trial at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
Vitale, whose sister Josephine is married to Massino, has testified at several mob trials since he became a government witness and never stated that he and Gotti were planning a coup d'tat.
One of Vitale's most memorable anecdotes is that Massino, whom he knew more than 40 years, had "taught me how to swim and how to kill."


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