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The Gotti Wars

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The Gotti Wars by John Gleeson gives the reader a behind the scenes look at the literal trials and tribulations of prosecuting the flashiest and arguably last of the Italian mob bosses, John Gotti.  Gleeson was one of the Asst. US attorneys that tried Gotti, including the trial that put him behind bars for the remainder of his life.  Gleeson gives a brief biography of his legal beginnings from just after graduating law school to moving to NY to work for a high-end law firm, to his final move of the book, the US attorney's office for Brooklyn.  Gleeson is a talented writer who is able to turn off the lawyer-ese to make the reader feel as if they have a front row seat to the trials and a behind the scenes look at the work that went into the trials.  The surveillance, the work with the FBI, the rivalry between the US attorney offices and the inner workings of the mob in the early 90s.  By writing about the first Gotti trial that he was involved in as well as the second successful trial we see the changes that developed and just how much a coffin-nail it was to breaking the mob when Sammy Gravano turned witness for the prosecution.  I really enjoyed this book, I have a bit of a fascination with the Italian mob, and a connection to a lot of the areas talked about (esp. the toy store) so I may be biased, but if you're looking for an easy to read book about the downfall of Gotti by someone who has intimate knowledge of the case I recommend this one.  Thanks to NetGalley and Edelweiss for the free e-book copy.
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The Gotti Wars sets out a bird’s eye view of Gleeson’s two prosecutions of the notorious mobster John Gotti, one unsuccessful and one successful. Not only is the subject matter fascinating, but the book is well-written and captivating. Gleeson’s story here parallels his legal career from that of a newbie second chair at a circus of a trial to his crowning achievement, the RICO prosecution and the flipping of Sammy the Bull Gravano, who admitted to involvement in eighteen killings, but turned on the Gambino Family in one of the most amazing stories. While the Gotti Wars takes place in sterile courtrooms and government offices, it has the feel of an action novel. The focus is on the big picture for the most part and the narrative does not get swallowed up in the nuts and bolts of legal minutiae.

In some respects, this true crime/ legal story is almost too amazing to be true. You might think you are watching the actors in Goodfellas. It’s Aldo the story of an end of an era as the FBI and the Assistant US Attorneys broke the back of the Mafia, which until then was firmly entrenched in all manner of corruption
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There was a time when John Gotti seemed to be on top of the world.  Known as the "Dapper Don," he was the head of the Gambino crime family, and it seemed as if the law couldn't touch him.  This book tells about the end of Gotti's reign, told by the prosecutor who finally brought him down.

The government tried a number of times to convict Gotti, but in Gleeson's first try Gotti escaped with the help of a bribed juror.  It was not until Gleeson was the lead prosecutor that he was able finally convict the so-called Dapper Don.  The history of the Gotti prosecutions is very detailed, and even more interesting.  

Sometimes it seems as if evil always wins, and virtue tumbles.  These men involved in organized crime are not lovable anti-heroes, they are brutal psychopaths who poison everything they touch.  It was nice to read a book where the good guys win in such a convincing fashion.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC.
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THE GOTTI WARS Taking Down America's Most Notorious Mobster by John Gleeson

This is a fascinating look into the trials of John Gotti, aka The Teflon Don, aka The Dapper Don by the Assistant Prosecutor and the author John Gleeson. Gleeson helped bring down the Gambino Crime Family. It was not without personal expense. For anyone who enjoys true crime this is a captivating look into this world. This is a well written 5 star read.
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In the annals of American crime stories, mafia stores are always on top and there may be no bigger mobster than John Gotti.  Amazing true story that reads like a thriller.  Highly recommended.
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John Gleeson, who is the author of this outstanding account in his own words tells all about the two cases he worked on in sending John Gotti, then known as "the Teflon Don," to serving life in prison. John Gleeson tells it all and doesn't leave out any detail starting with his education at the University of Virginia to then clerking for a judge, next getting hired in a prestigious law firm to leave that promising lucrative career to go to work for the other side--a big step down in pay to become an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York in that he became a prosecutor. Who in his second bite at the apple, this time as lead prosecutor won the conviction of getting a guilty conviction of famous and ruthless crime boss of the Gambino Family, John Gotti. This was the fifth attempt by prosecuting attorneys to bring John Gotti, who managed to evade law enforcement for the first time to be convicted by a jury and sent to prison for a life sentence for RICO charges and participating and ordering a vast multitude of murders and racketeering.

Most big cases in New York were prosecuted by the United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York. The Southern District was known as the Flagship which meant its existence was supreme. John Gleeson went to work for the Eastern District as an Assistant United States Attorney and with him in second chair with Diane Giacalone being lead prosecutor on their first attempt to prosecute John Gotti and several other criminals led to an embarrassing acquittal. John Gleeson learned from their mistakes but it was later brought to light that there was jury tampering with one alcoholic jury member who was later brought to justice for it after John Gleeson's win in his second trial prosecuting John Gotti. This time the jury returned with a guilty verdict. Sammy "the Bull" Gravano whose testimony helped towards this author and his team get a guilty verdict that would send John Gotti away for life without parole wasn't essential. There were audibly clear admissions from the wiretap placed in the small apartment of the old lady who lived there that were incriminating enough for a conviction. Salvatore Gravano's cooperation enhanced and clarified the charges. He also admitted his role in the bribe of a juror in this author's first case with Diane Giacalone that resulted in the not guilty verdict in this author's disastrous first trial against John Gotti.

He wrote a very detailed account of the Five Organized Crime Families and the one in New Jersey. This is by far the most illuminating book about La Cosa Nostra and its structure and in John Gleeson's account of how step by step he managed to not only to be able to dismantle the Gambino organized crime family but he also dismantled the other four La Cosa Nostra organized crime families who had ruled New York for most of the Twentieth Century. John Gotti was known nationwide for wearing thousand dollar suits and having his hair coiffed every day professionally who brought unwanted attention by flaunting over confidence and believing that he would never be brought to justice.

I remember where I was and what I was doing when I read in Newsweek Magazine that Paul Castellano and Thomas Bilotti were brazenly gunned down in Midtown Manhattan at a red light in front of Spark's Steakhouse on December 16, 1985. John Gotti and Sammy Gravano were sitting in a nearby car watching it unfold. John Gotti planned Castellano's death and took his place as the leader of the Gambino family. This was not included in the first trial that John Gleeson and Diane Giacalone's first attempt of trying to convict John Gotti and several other's that they lost. Carlo Gambino was head of one of the five New York Organized Crime families in New York and through nepotism made Paul Castellano the new head of the Gambino family instead of underboss Aniello Dellacroce who while he was alive kept John Gotti in line. John Gotti hated Paul Castellano who was more businessman than tough guy and one reason, among many others, was because Castellano didn't attend Aniello Dellacroce's funeral which infuriated Gotti. Also Castellano had forbid drug dealing and drug traficking and Gotti was dealing heroin. In March 1984 wiretaps heard loudmouthed Angelo Ruggerio and John Gotti complaining about how much they hated Paul Castellano. This could be very dangerous for Gotti as it could likely become a death sentence for the "Dapper Don" John Gotti. Paul Castellano wanted the transcripts from the wiretaps by this time having been released to defense attorney's but Dellacroce stalled giving them to Castellano until his death from natural causes in December, 1985.

This author had help in also having a wiretap placed inside an old ladies apartment where John Gotti met the men that reported to him which was a goldmine for his case against John Gotti which clearly outlined how a soldier became a made man. What happened at the ceremonies that took place for a soldier to become a made man, and how made men put the crime family before their own families of origin, among many other incriminating evidence that Gotti was running a criminal enterprise. He also tells the story how Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano reached out through his wife Deborah that Sammy wanted to cooperate with John Gleeson in helping to convict John Gotti. I had already read Peter Maas's book during the 1990's when all of this was going on called Underboss about Sammy the Bull's involvement by which he acted as a turncoat against John Gotti. That book is not mentioned in this book. What is disclosed by this AUSA, John Gleeson is that Salvatore Gravano had 19 murders he admitted to and he made a very credible witness who turned out to be much more intelligent than was previously assumed by law enforcement. His deal for testifying at John Gotti's trial was that his sentence have a twenty year cap and for him to disclose all of the crimes he committed so there would be no surprises when Gravano was cross examined during the trial. If it came out that Gravano held back on his agreement to disclose every crime he committed then the deal was off the table.

This was extremely informative and I already knew some of what was in this book, but what I thought I knew only scratched the surface. John Gleeson lays out every detail from explaining his experience with graduating from Law School to the dynamics of what the legal jargon that makes up RICO statute in such an accessible way that kept my attention. He writes a blow by blow account of both what led up to John Gotti's arrest and the evidence for both trials of John Gotti that he took part in. I think that anybody who is remotely interested in how the five New York Organized Crime families that dominated and terrorized New York and how they were disbanded should read this book. I couldn't put it down and finished it in a day and a half. Anyone who is interested in true crime would be very interested in reading how this ethical and humble Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York with his trusted few associates that assisted him that helped him accomplish what the FBI and nobody else was able to do before for decades will find this truly mesmerizing. This author leaves nothing out while educating the reader to understand the legal jargon involved. I was so grateful to read an early copy of this and I learned so much. It was not at all dry and I found it to be a page turner.

Just a final word on how long it took for this book to finally be written: since John Gotti's conviction in 1992 until recently. I have so much respect for this author's determination to rid La Cosa Nostra's stranglehold over New York and other parts of the United States. After winning this case and assisting wherever he could in countless others he became a Federal judge where he served until 2016. By reading this book you are in for an insightful and even handed glimpse into a first hand account of an all encompassing guileless behind the scenes look into how John Gotti and many others in Organized Crime historically met its demise.

Publication Date: May 3, 2022

A Huge debt of gratitude and Thank you to Net Galley, John Gleeson and Scribner for providing me with my Arc in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

#TheGottiWars #JohnGleeson #ScribnerPublishing #NetGalley
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I would recommend this book to anyone who likes true crime, especially mob stories or courtroom drama. John Gleeson had to weave a lot of characters and events into a coherent narrative, and he did a great job. It’s interesting to learn not just about John Gotti but the inner workings of the US court system. If there was one thing I could change about this book, it would be the pacing: the first half of the book took more than half to read, but the last third flew by. I can’t tell you my favorite part because it’s a major spoiler, so you’ll just have to read it for yourself!
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I loved this crime thrilling story.  This is a new author for me which I can't wait to see what more this author has for us.  This is a well written story about a time in history with the mob and gangsters.  It is a nonfiction story that brings this time period to life on each page.  Gotti was one of the most feared and the boss of a big crime family.  I enjoyed the author's attention to details that made the story fun and entertaining to read.  This is a story that was hard to put down and engaging.  This is a story that will show you a time in history where mobsters dominated and a man who becomes a great attorney.  I really enjoyed this mobster story and I highy recommend it.  A great story that depics a great time in history.
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Walk in the shoes of John Gleeson as he learns the ropes of the law system and works with Diane Giacalone to take down mafia don John Gotti. Follow all the twists and turns in this page-turner to find out how Gleeson finally pinned charges that stuck to this late 20th century crime boss. A great read for anyone interested in criminal law or true crime.
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An excellent look behind the scenes by the prosecutor of John Gotti, the Teflon Don from the late 1980s and 1990s. One of Gleeson’s early trials as an Assistant US attorney was as second chair in the trial of John Gotti. When Gotti was acquitted, it left a mark, but Gleeson went on to prove himself in other trails as he gained experience. Then the chance to go after Gotti again presented itself, and the prosecutor set out to make things right this time, and get a conviction. Lots of La Cosa Notra lore, and trial details from the man who was there battling the mob families. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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A gripping look into the world of crime boss John Gotti.
Written by prosecuting attorney John Gleason, there are no stones left unturned. 
The scheming and maneuvering  of organized crime is finely detailed. From conversations with Gotti, to the secret FBI recordings of meetings in Little Italy, to the ‘turning’ of Sammy ‘The Bull’ Gravano, each chapter is captivating and often unbelievable. The machinations of the Teflon Don were that of a well oiled machine but then came John Gleeson.
There have been many books and movies that focus on the Cosa Nostra, the five families and the most celebrated of bosses John Gotti but none compare to this page turning account.
Highly recommended.
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Thank you NetGalley for the eARC. This book wasnt diction but it reads like a novel! So interesting! I love behind the scenes scenarios!
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An excellent book. I have read many books about Gotti and the Gambino Family before, some good, some excellent, some not so good. This one ranks up towards the top. 
The book is written by the prosecuting attorney. Told through his eyes, the book offers a look into areas not revealed before. From the highs to the lows, he pulls no punches. The machinations behind the scenes are insightful. The courtroom drama is fascinating. The interactions with Gotti during breaks in the trial are great. And the story of the "flipping" of Sammy Gravano is amazing. 
I read this book in just two days, as I just could not put it down. 
If you're a fan of Mafia stories, courtroom drama, or fascinating personalities, you can't go wrong with this book!
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The Gotti Wars is a fascinating (and chilling) inside look at one of organized crime’s most powerful members, John Gotti. Written by federal prosecutor John Gleeson, who was the lead prosecutor in several of Gotti’s trials, this is a rare first-hand account of the inner-workings of the mob, culled from trial transcripts, personal interviews by Gleeson, and the title character’s own words caught on wiretaps. The chapters that detail the interviews with mob underboss and turncoat Sammy Gravano are absolutely spellbinding, and catapult this to a five star read! Fantastic book. I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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