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

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mob Boss Testifies Gotti Plotted to Kill Him

John J. Gotti plotted with the No. 2 figure in the Bonanno crime family to assassinate Joseph C. Massino, the former Bonanno boss, Mr. Massino testified on Monday.
Joseph C. Massino
John J. Gotti 

The plot was interrupted in December 1990 when Mr. Gotti, the Gambino boss, was arrested on murder and racketeering charges, Mr. Massino said in Federal District Court in Brooklyn, where he is testifying against a former subordinate. Mr. Massino, 68, is the first official boss of one of New York’s five crime families to become a government witness.
“If he wasn’t arrested,” Mr. Massino said of Mr. Gotti, “I probably wouldn’t be here today.”
Salvatore Vitale, Mr. Massino’s onetime underboss and the man Mr. Massino said Mr. Gotti had plotted with, is also his brother-in-law; Mr. Massino is married to Mr. Vitale’s sister, Josephine. Mr. Vitale himself became a government witness in 2003, a year before Mr. Massino.
Mr. Massino and Mr. Gotti, who died in federal prison in 2002, were neighbors in Howard Beach, Queens, and the former Bonanno boss testified about several murders the men committed together.
Mr. Massino told the jury that he did not learn about the aborted plot until 2004, when a captain in the Genovese crime family, Barney Bellomo, told him about it while they were both awaiting trial in separate cases in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
Mr. Massino is testifying at the trial of Vincent Basciano, a former Bonanno family acting boss; he is charged with murdering a Bonanno associate.
During cross-examination on Monday, one of Mr. Basciano’s lawyers, Richard Jasper, played a recording of a conversation between Mr. Massino and Mr. Basciano at the same federal jail in Brooklyn where Mr. Massino learned of the plot. Mr. Massino secretly recorded the conversation.
“Well, I found out in here that him and John was plottin’,” he said of Mr. Vitale.
“I believe that,” Mr. Basciano responded.



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