By Nick Christophers
“Gotti Rules,” penned by acclaimed journalist George Anastasia offers us an inside look of the John Gotti Sr. and Jr. the public never knew. Behind the sensational tabloids and “celebrity status” that the Gotti’s savored they were actually self-serving vindictive individuals. The inside information comes from someone who was John Jr.’s shadow. That person is John Alite who was not only Jr.’s shadow but his personal security guard.
John Alite’s candid reporting in this book is a true eye-opener from the first page to the last. The book chronicles his life as a young man on the right path but soon is drawn into the “life”. He gives us all the details sometimes gory and unforgiving as he paved his way to the top. Then he meets John Gotti Jr. and his street life takes on a whole new twist..
“When I was younger I dreamed of being involved in sports. Maybe coaching or going back to school. But I wasn’t scholastic material so I took the easy route. Yet now I would like to help kids build their confidence.”
First off being Albanian from the area of Queens, John came from was a rarity. But he blended in with the Italian criminal element easily. He had the looks and the balls even more so than some “made” guys. John eventually started to work for the Gambino family and began to climb the criminal ladder.
As the reader you discover how John learned how to be one step ahead of the other guy. This is what kept him alive to this day. Author, George Anastasia formulated the story in such a way that it gave you a clear visual of John’s life experiences, from his times on the street to his inhumane incarceration in Brazil’s harshest prison, Ary Franco.
Even though he survived the Brazilian prison in Ary Franco he does make it clear that if he was 16 and went in, he would have never have made out. His experience in other prisons ironically mentally prepared him for the hellhole he endured. He paid his dues in the prison only to be ratted out in the States by many fellow wise-guys and by John Jr. himself. This fact, as the book illustrates was the turning point for Alite. “Why should I honor the life when these guys just put another nail in my coffin?”
The public and others point fingers at Alite calling him a rat. But he explains that the one’s pointing the finger ratted him out first. The loyalty was breached before he ever thought of doing such a thing. In his mind when men like Ronnie “One Arm” Trucchio and John Jr. offered information on Alite all bets where off. He sacrificed his life for them and they turned their back on him. Basically for Alite there was no other choice.
“Gotti’s Rules” is not what many think it is. It is not “a 320 page rant from John Alite” but an inside look at how the Gotti family worked their way into the mob and into the hearts of the public. George was notified by John Alite about working with him on a book about his life and times with John Gotti. He jumped to the opportunity since he never worked on a story surrounding the New York underworld even more so since this story had a twist with the informative John Alite.
“Alite doesn’t try to sugarcoat or explain away what he did or who he was. I think Gotti Jr. is still trying to glorify his father and justify his own existence. It’s fantasy, not reality.
The same issues arise when you look at how Gotti Jr. has tried to explain away his attempt to cut a deal and cooperate with authorities back in 2005. He can say all he wants but the FBI memo reproduced in my book lays it out very clearly. The reason I presented the full text of the document was to let the reader see for him or herself what the session was about. Gotti Jr., of course, is still spinning different versions of the event and its meaning. A basic question for him is this: What would your father have said or done to another mobster who sat down with the feds the way you did? Do you think you could have explained it away to him the way you’re trying to explain it away in the media?”
Based on the violent reputation Alite has, many would think George took a chance at meeting with such an individual. But George has worked with other “ex-mobsters” and was in the least bit worried. This is obvious from how the book came together a definite eye-opener for anyone looking for truth and conviction.