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

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Favara son whose dad accidentally killed Gotti boy has no grave to visit this Father's Day

The house on 86th Street in Queens where John Favara lived.
The house on 86th Street in Queens where John Favara lived.

The story of John Favara's termination begins and ends with a blind spot.
Favara was a decent, working man from Howard Beach, Queens. He labored at the Castro Convertibles factory in New Hyde Park, L.I.
He and his wife, Janet, were loving parents of two adopted kids. They raised them on 86th St. in Howard Beach, a middle-class neighborhood roped off from the rest of Queens by the Belt Parkway.
Favara's back-fence neighbors were John and Victoria Gotti, parents of five children. His son, Scott, was a sleep-over buddy with the oldest of the three Gotti boys, Junior.
On March 18, 1980, Favara finished his shift at Castro and drove the 13 miles home. He turned off Cross Bay Blvd. onto 157th Ave. - and into the glare of the setting sun.
Ten minutes earlier, Frank Gotti, 12, had jumped on the minibike of a neighbor kid named Kevin McMahon. He buzzed up and down the streets and sidewalks, an elated boy astride an engine.
Six blocks from home, young Gotti motored through a home renovation job site on 157th Ave., where a construction dumpster was parked at the curb.
The boy drove the minibike into the street, just beyond the dumpster and into the sun-glare blind spot of Favara.
It was a tragic fatal accident.
In 1980, John Gotti was still five years away from front-page infamy. But Favara was well aware of Gotti's rising-star mob status.
By all reasonable accounts, he was horrified at having played a role in a child's death - whether he was a Gotti or not.
But the Gottis lived by their own rules, and authorities say that John Gotti's wife, Victoria, demanded an eye for an eye.
Two days after the accident, a woman called the local police precinct to announce that Favara would be "eliminated." Favara thought it was absurd when cops warned him. Those things only happen in movies, he said.
But he began getting anonymous threats by phone and mail. Victoria Gotti glowered across the back fence, incensed that Favara continued to drive the car that had killed her son.
A photo of Frank Gotti and a Mass card from his funeral were planted in Favara's mailbox. On May 22, someone spray-painted "MURDERER" on his car.
Favara sought advice from a boyhood friend whose father was a mob captain. He urged Favara to get rid of his car and leave Howard Beach - urgently.
Victoria Gotti delivered an exclamation point on May 28 when she clubbed him with a baseball bat in his driveway.
He put his house up for sale, and a buyer quickly materialized. The legal paperwork was expedited, and a closing was scheduled for the last day of July.
On July 25, John and Victoria Gotti left New York for a Florida vacation.
After work on July 28, Favara walked from the furniture factory to a diner two blocks away where he parked his car. A gang accosted him in the parking lot. He was shot, clubbed and wrangled into a van that sped off.
The man and his car were gone for good.
Detectives spoke with the Gottis when they returned from Florida on Aug. 4.
"I don't know what happened to him," Victoria said, "but I'm not sorry if something did. He never sent me a card. He never apologized. He never even got his car fixed." Her husband added with a shrug, "He killed my kid."
Over the years, mob stool pigeons offered a number of stories about Favara's fate - that he was buried in a Mafia graveyard in Ozone Park or entombed in concrete and dumped at sea.
The prevailing version now holds that mobster Charles Carneglia dissolved the poor man's remains in a barrel of acid in his macabre basement workshop. John Gotti's brother, Gene, is believed to have been among the mob button men who abducted and killed Favara.
To this day, the Gotti family has its own blind spot about the wreck, and it has embellished the details to suit its rationalizations of Favara's murder.
Police investigated and concluded that the driver had done nothing wrong.
But family wordsmith Victoria Gotti, Frank's sister, claims that Favara was drunk and speeding, that he had dragged the victim 200 feet, and then cursed him when he finally stopped. She said Favara also taunted her mother with "smug" grins over the fence.
"It's human nature to want revenge against someone that hurts those you love," she wrote. "I only wish Favara had shown some remorse - some respect. I believe he would be alive today if he had."
His clan will pay respects today to John Gotti, who died of cancer in prison in 2002. He lies beside son Frank in the Cloister Mausoleum at St. John's Cemetery in Queens, where he has lots of like-minded company - Lucky Luciano, Joe Profaci, Vito Genovese, Joe Colombo, Carlo Gambino and Carmine Galante.
John Favara was declared legally dead long ago. His widow, Janet, died in 2000. Their son, Scott, continues to battle the warped idea that his father deserved Gotti-inspired termination.
"He was a great man, more than anyone would ever know," Scott Favara told the Daily News a few years ago.
And today, for the 30th consecutive Father's Day, Scott Favara has no grave to visit.


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