60 Minutes hosted a full hour with John Gotti, Jr. recently. Yes, the entire 60 minutes was dedicated to hearing the stories of this son and namesake of infamous mob boss, John Gotti, Sr. Being skeptical that in an age of war and recession, iPads and oil spills, that a ‘former’ mobster would be able to fill 40-45 minutes (less commercials) with anything of relevant value.
I underestimated the power of story.
John Gotti, Jr. told tales about idolizing his father and what he did. “If my father said he was going to be a butcher, that’s what I would have wanted to do, too,” Gotti, Jr. said. Cut to a smirking interviewer. Butcher, indeed, he was probably thinking.
Over the hour Gotti, Jr. regaled the viewing audience with more stories of his brother’s accidental mini-bike death and the other driver’s disappearance. He spoke of how newspapers would profit every time the Gotti name made the front page and how his mother got angry with Gotti, Sr. when he was “made.”
Gotti, Jr. refused to use the terms ‘mob’, ‘mafia’ or ‘la cosa nostra’ and teased the interviewer for trying to slip those terms into the conversation. Instead, he referred to his line of business as ‘the streets’ and ‘the code’. His lawyer sat at his left hand making sure that Gotti, Jr. did not say anything that compromise his current freedom and get him put in jail again.
At the end of the hour, Gotti, Jr. walked the interviewer out to his car and said he was “truly blessed.” He had freedom, he had opportunity to spend time with his family and his children are all healthy.
I was so taken with his stories and charming personality, I almost believed him. Almost.
The evil one acts much the same as Gotti, Jr. convincing you that the laws don’t apply to you because you are protecting the family name. Maybe the government doesn’t really understand what it’s like to be you and live in your neighborhood. Let’s not pussyfoot around. Gotti, Jr. was sent to jail for alleged kidnapping, racketeering, and murder conspiracy charges. Although alluded to, his court cases and consequent jail time were not the focus of this interview.
The interview asked Gotti, Jr. if he fears being “whacked”. He answered, “Every day.”
May your blessings come at less of a cost than John Gotti, Jr.’s.