JOHN GOTTI PRISON CORRESPONDENCE
(1940 - 2002) Dapper American gangster who won the nickname "The Teflon Don" following his many acquittals, headed the Gambino Family following the murder of Paul Castellano, finally convicted and jailed on the tesimony of his one-time friend, Sammy "The Bull" Gravano. An incredible archive of 27 A.L.S.s, letters and cards variously signed "Johnny" and John" with matching holograph envelopes (each additionally signed "Gotti" with his prisoner number and return address, Springfield and Marion, Il., Dec. 16, 2000 to Feb. 24, 2000. The first letter, a card, was sent to George "Big Georgie" DeCicco (b. 1929), alleged New York mobster and longtime Caporegime in Gotti's Gambino crime family. DeCicco is the older brother of former Gambino Underboss Frank DeCicco, who was killed in a car-bomb meant for his Boss John Gotti in retaliation for the murder of Paul Castellano. The balance of the letters were written to Barbara DeCicco, daughter of George DeCicco. The card sent to George DeCicco is a Christmas card to: "Georgie & Family", adding: "Love, Johnny!". The balance of the letters are filled with fascinating and revealing content, in very small part, chronologically: "...I promise you we'll give them back this phoney conviction and we'll laugh about this over a huge family dinner...As for my family, they too are strong...aggravation reacts like a tonic on me as I feel like a youngster. I'm sure you're aware of the phoney situation with my son John. I won't go into it...he'll win and be fine [In 1999, John Gotti, Jr. pleaded guilty to racketeering crimes including bribery, extortion, gambling and fraud and was sentenced to 77 months in prison]...he's in my thoughts daily...ask your father to have a perfect cold martini for me...what they're trying to do with him [John, Gotti, Jr.] is a travesty of justice...John is both strong and innocent and he'll be fine...my daughter Vicki has had corrective heart surgery...I wasn't allowed to send nor receive any mail for five weeks - and then after the surgery I wasn't physically able to write...I had more tubes in me than an old T.V. - I started six weeks of radiation...I feel like a lion and a young lion at that!...these beauties have me under 24 hour lock down and just two calls each month...tell Georgie they didn't bring my property with me from Marion...the doctor said I made a very hard thing look easy. I told him it's the Brooklyn in me...As for my son John, he chose to fight that nonsense. I'm sure he'll break their 'rear ends' the bunch of low lifes...ask Georgie if he knows who got me started on martinis...As for my son, John...I hope that he remains steadfast about not accepting any plea. I told him I wouldn't take the plea if the penalty was only two tickets to the opera! Also thank you for the thoughts and well wishes for Gene [Gotti, in prison for heroin smuggling]...I had a disagreement with a new staff member - I told him what I thought of his ancestors - and spent Easter Week in the 'hole'...no, you didn't offend me by asking me to pray nor do I get offended when you mention God - in fact, I feel just the opposite...I never allow myself to get down...I learned over the radio that my son accepted a plea bargain. I thought he had more of me in him. He knows I was against taking any plea! Maybe one day he'll satisfy me with an explanation...I often get good feelings when I let myself think of my son Frank [On March 18, 1980, Gotti's youngest son, 12-year-old Frank Gotti, was run over and killed on a family friend's minibike by John Favara, a neighbor. While Frank's death was ruled an accident, Favara subsequently received death threats and, when he visited the Gottis to apologize, was attacked by Victoria Gotti with a baseball bat. On July 28, 1980, he was abducted and disappeared, presumed murdered.]...I won't go into that idiocy that's been in the papers...it was another ploy by this yellow Government at propaganda...I'm at Springfield - And in the 'Hole' we're only allowed a 2 inch stub of pencil to write with and the floor is my desk...they can't take my heart, mind and spirit...besides, they wouldn't know what to do with it...the 18th was my Frank's 20th. As for that 'yellow weasel' [Sammy Gravano], no I wasn't surprised...the government and him are 'birds of a feather'and they deserve each other. I won't go any further on that punk. John is well, as is the other 'knuckle head', my son-in-law...tell your Dad to have a martini for me with dinner...I always forward both your love and good wisahes to my Brother Gene and Son John...I'm fighting walking pneumonia and a half dozen other infections...As for me, the cancer is back - But as always, I feel great! I'm in 'the Slammer' as usual and am allowed a two inch flexible pen...24 hour lock down 7 days a week...wouldn't expect different from these yellow folks...I'm in a tough battle but I'm an 'ornery hombre'...my son requested to be sent to Springfield to be with me because I was dying...to me it's a sign of weakness - something that I don't like in a manand I would refuse to see him...if I were the idiots I would wait until I'm dead before they attempt to bury me...I'm writing this while hooked up to the chemo machine...they have a permanent tube into my chest - main aorta - anyway, no day at the beach...Tell George...to keep the gin cold and don't give up on the martinis...I'll show you I still have it...". All letters but two are in ink, most are two pages, some four or more, overall fine condition. One is struck at how upbeat and family-oriented Gotti remains throughout the duration of the correspondence, never allowing family calamities or health issues to weigh on his perpetually-optimistic outlook.