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

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

John Gotti's wife told niece not to cooperate in double murder investigation



Victoria Gotti, mother of John Gotti Jr. enters
Mob matriarch Victoria Gotti counseled her niece that she did not have to cooperate in the investigation of a double homicide the young woman witnessed in a Queens bar, the Daily News has learned.
During interviews with FBI agents recently, Linda Gotti disclosed the sitdown with her aunt in the late Gambino boss John Gotti's Howard Beach home some 30 years ago.
"You don't have to testify if you don't want to," Victoria told the then-21-year-old Linda, who is the daughter of former Gambino boss Peter Gotti and now estranged from the infamous mob clan.
Victoria's advice allegedly came shortly before the niece was scheduled to testify at a legal proceeding called a Wade hearing to determine the accuracy of her identification of murder suspect Ronald "Ronnie the Jew" Barlin, sources said.
In 1983, Linda Gotti testified at the hearing that she couldn't identify Barlin in the courtroom and recanted her previous identification of him in a lineup, according to court papers.
Prosecutors dropped the charges against Barlin. A second suspect, Frank Riccardi, who she also had identified, also beat the murder rap.
Linda now claims that she wasn't threatened or ordered not to cooperate, but she understood at the time that "Gottis don't testify," sources said.
Victoria Gotti vehemently denied her niece's claim.
"It never, never happened. I never ever had any conversation with her in regard to this tragic situation," she told The News Monday.
Federal prosecutors will call her as a government witness in trial of capo Bartolomeo Vernace, who along with Barlin, allegedly participated in the April 1981 murders of Shamrock Bar owners John D'Agnese and Richard Gotkin over a spilled drink.
Prosecutors say Vernace shot Gotkin, a Vietnam veteran and father of four young children.
Linda Gotti was dating D'Agnese at the time, and investigators have long theorized she was pressured by her father and uncle not to rat out the gunmen who were Gambino associates. Peter Gotti was irate when he learned his daughter was in the bar when the mayhem erupted, another source said.
"Fear quickly took over as the police began their investigation," Assistant U.S. Attorney Amir Toosi said in his opening statement in Brooklyn Federal Court.


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