When we hear of Mafia in New York, the names like Tony Soprano or Marlon Brando as Don Vito Corleone come to our mind. However, the real mobster and mob activities were there back in the ‘80s and it’s there when Paul Castellano’s death shook the mobsters’ community, who is believed to be one of the most powerful mob bosses of all time. Who was there behind the murder of Paul Castellano and what is the history of the 1980s mob crime? If you want to explore it, then dive into the Gambino family’s history in Netflix’s Fear City: New York City vs. The Mafia.
Paul Castellano Wiki
Paul Castellano was born on June 26, 1915, in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, with the real name Constantino “Paul” Castellano to Italian immigrant parents. While he was in eighth grade, he dropped out of school to learn both butchering and collecting numbers game receipts from his father. When he was 19 in 1934, he was arrested for the first time with charges of robbing a haberdasher.
Paul Castellano Biography
However, after 6 years at the age of 25, he officially joined the mob. Later when the boss of the mob, Carlo Gambino, died then Paul Castellano was named as his successor instead of Carlo’s underboss.
Despite the fact that he had the mask of a true businessman, however, he ruled with an iron mitt although he was charged with racketeering and arrested on February 25, 1985. This even resulted in the Mafia Commission Trial.
He was then released on bail of amount $3 million and continued with his work until his death on December 16, 1985, around 5:30 PM. Reportedly, he along with his underboss, Thomas Bilotti were going for a pre-scheduled meeting in the Sparks Steak House in Midtown Manhattan, however, were hit by a group who were waiting for him.
As per the reports, on December 16, 1985, around 5:30 PM, there were 3 men in trench coats at the restaurant’s entrance who opened fire at Castellano as soon as his car reached there and was stepping out of it. After him, Bilotti was also shot while getting out of the car. This incident marked the end of Castellano’s 9 years of rule as the boss of the crime family.
The murderer of Paul Castellano
John Gotti who was also a member of the Gambino crime family was behind the murder of Paul Castellano. The reason is said to be Gotti’s dissatisfaction with the new boss Castellano as he considered his boss’s style to be isolated and full of greed and thus didn’t like his style.
The situation got worse as Gotti expanded the drug dealing which was banned by Castellano who even got arrested. Later, when Gotti got the hint that Castellano is breaking his crew in early December and thus conspired to kill him.
The 3 members hit team did the work for Gotti, out of which John Carneglia shot Castellano in the head. However, Gotti has implanted a backup team down the street to kill Castellano, in case the first team fails to do so. Reportedly, Gotti himself was observing the murder from a car parked at a distance across the street.
After two weeks after Castellano’s murder, John Gotti became the next boss of the family. However, as Gotti hadn’t permission from the Genovese crime family boss to kill Castellano, he conspired to kill Gotti along with the Lucchese crime family. However, later they all called for a treaty.
In 1992, Gotti was convicted on several criminal charges including Castellano’s murder for which he was sentenced to life in federal prison. He died in the prison due to cancer in 2002. If you want to witness the whole mafia conspiracy and murder of Paul Castellano, then do watch the new series Fear City: New York City vs. The Mafia on Netflix.
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