Gothamist has been entranced by the coverage of the John Gotti Jr. racketeering trial. From what we've read, being in the mob is exactly the way it is in the movies! Here's testimony from Michael DiLeonardo, Gambino loan sharker and star government witness, via the NY Times:
He went to an apartment on Mulberry Street in Little Italy, a few blocks from the Ravenite Social Club, home base of the Gambino family. There he waited in a room with four other men, including John A. Gotti, the son of the family boss, to be inducted as "made men" into the family.
The first knock was for Mr. Gotti, he said. The third knock, "That was my knock," Mr. DiLeonardo testified yesterday as a government witness at Mr. Gotti's racketeering trial.
He was taken to another room and seated at a long table next to Sammy Gravano, a consigliere in the family who himself would one day turn into a government witness. "We've been watching you," Mr. Gravano told him. "This is not a club. This is a secret society. There is one way into this society, the way you come in today, and one way out — on a slab."
DiLeonardo continued to say that he extorted money from businesses like the strip club Scores and that he'd kill people under Gotti's orders. Gotti's attorneys are saying that DiLeonardo made up stories in order to link Gotti to certain crimes. DiLeonardo admitted he didn't want to give Gotti up - until his "rackets" were taken away from him - and a funny twist, DiLeonardo said that Gotti had an opportunity in 2001 to rat him out but he didn't. Ah, how times have changed!
Curtis Sliwa, who Gotti tried to kidnap and kill, might testify today. During the last trial (which ended in mistrial or something), the jurors were laughing at how Gotti's goons bungled the hit. And here's an index of NY Times articles of "John Gotti" - the most recent ones are of the trial. Also, at the last trial, the jury voir dire was crrazzy.