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

Friday, September 25, 2009

Update: Jr. Gotti Trial Scare

A woman whose brother was allegedly whacked by John "Junior" Gotti -- and whose husband is testifying against him -- complained yesterday that she was threatened in court by a spectator sympathetic to the mob scion.

The nature of the threat wasn't revealed, but it came to light after she told prosecutors, who informed the judge. When the judge confronted the man -- identified in the court record as Joseph McNeal -- he denied it.

"I did not threaten anyone. I've been here since Day 1. I don't know nobody here," he said.

McNeal was not charged and he left shortly afterward. Sources said he likes to sit in on Gotti's numerous trials but had no connection to the Dapper Don's spawn.

GOODFELLA, BAD FEELING: "Junior" Gotti (foreground) watches yesterday as Michael Stratton testifies. Stratton's wife, the sister of a mob-hit victim, told the judge that a spectator had threatened her.

The woman he approached is the sister of Bruce John Gotterup, a Queens drug dealer who is one of two people Gotti is on trial for killing.

Her husband, Michael Stratton, another Queens drug dealer, testified yesterday against Gotti in his fourth racketeering trial.

The chilling accusation came after an ex-cop testified he wrote up the hanging death of a witness to the other murder Gotti is charged with as an "apparent suicide." He said he did so after being pressured from a detective at the scene.

Retired NYPD patrolman Joseph Stillitano told a Manhattan federal jury he found John Cennamo hanging from a low tree branch at the rear of a Queens Laundromat after responding to a 911 call shortly before 8 a.m. on May 27, 1984.

Stillitano said he described Cennamo's death in his notes as an "apparent suicide" because a detective who showed up at the scene, whom he did not identify, immediately classified it a suicide. "I did not agree with him," said Stillitano, 47.

Prosecutors contend that members of the Gambino crime family murdered Cennamo -- and staged the scene to look like a suicide. The mobsters were allegedly trying to protect Gotti because Cennamo saw him kill Danny Silva during a bar brawl the previous year.

Another former lawman testified yesterday that the Silva investigation was complicated from the get-go by meddling from supervisors and other detectives, including one who allegedly pocketed $25,000 to steer the probe away from Gotti.

Retired Detective James McKinley said he heard Cennamo pin the stabbing death of his buddy Silva on Gotti following a fatal fight at the Silver Fox bar on March 12, 1983.

McKinley said Silva had just died and Cennamo shouted, "We all know who did it! We all know who did it! Johnny Boy Gotti."

McKinley said his investigation was marked by "heavy supervision from supervisors and a lot of input from other detectives," including retired Detective John Daly, who reportedly took $25,000 from Gambino mobster Angelo Ruggiero days after Cennamo's slaying.

Daly declined comment when contacted about that allegation in 2006.



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