John Alite was an enforcer for the Gotti crime family. He maimed, killed, and sold lots of drugs, and spoke last night at The Mob Museum in Las Vegas. He says most mobsters think Gotti was the worst thing that happened to the Mafia because Gotti’s ego and desire for fame focused so much heat on them that it badly weakened their operations. It has now gone back underground where it belongs, operates quietly, and may not even be seriously damaged long-term.
As for mob loyalty, there is none. It’s all about the money. Gotti Senior saw his troops, even the higher-ups, as completely expendable. If one got killed, Gotti seldom retaliated. Instead, it was “next batter up.” As for being the “Teflon Don”, Gotti did that (until being convicted) by intimidation, murder, and corrupting law enforcement. How glamorous.
Alite has several children, and they want no part of the life. He speaks publicly about his life in hopes it prevents kids from going into it. He also choose not to be in witness protection because, he says, he’s a street person, is used to having people coming after him, and doesn’t want to hide.
I’ve been sober a long time, and knew a sober guy who had been an enforcer too. He helped hundreds of men get sober. People do change. Alite says two childhood friends who were not in crime, stood by him the entire time, even during prison, and kept trying to get him to leave the life. That’s who we need to emulate, he says, and not the phony romance of a world that is primarily violence, corruption, betrayal, and no loyalty.
From a Mob Museum email. Alite:
- Committed violent acts as a Mob enforcer for the Gotti family
- Earned millions in rackets from New York to Florida
- Fled the country to escape indictment, living an extravagant lifestyle around the globe
- Turned government witness after capture in Brazil
- Was released from prison in 2012 and collaborated with George Anastasia and collaborated with George Anastasia to publish “Gotti’s Rules: The Story of John Alite, Junior Gotti and the Demise of the American Mafia”
- Outlasted the Gotti family, a “dysfunctional group of Mafia misfits”
- Survived the treacherous, double-dealing and corrupt world of 20th century American Mob.
From a review of the book:
Anastasia introduces him to the reader this way: “John Alite was a murderer, drug dealer and thug.” For 25 years, Anastasia writes, Alite brutalized people. He stabbed them, shot them, and beat them with pipes, blackjacks, and baseball bats.
“He’s not proud of that, but he doesn’t try to hide from it, either,” Anastasia writes. “It’s who he was. But not who he is.”