New York gangster John Gotti corrupted, sold and murdered his way to the top of the city’s biggest mafia family, the Gambinos, in the 1960s. When he first started his life of crime, his main focus was drug deals, a trade which then-Gambino boss Paul Castellano did not allow.
Gotti became frustrated with Castellano’s strict rules, much like the rest of the mobsters in the family. Soon, he came up with a plan to get rid of the mob boss once and for all.
REELZ’s new docuseries, Mafia Killers: John Gotti, takes viewers back to Gotti’s days as a feared mobster, and the brutal decisions he had to make in order to gain more power.
“This was Gotti’s big opportunity, and he grabbed it with both hands. If Castellano was going, why not make it permanent?” says crime investigator and writer Colin McClaren in the show teaser.
“The more Gotti thought about it, the better he liked it. He was fighting for his life, and his crew, they were getting angry,” adds McLaren.
The Queens crew felt like they were being treated like garbage by Castellano. They had to give then then-boss tribute every month, and were sick of the mistreatment. When Gotti announced his murder plan, they were eager to help him execute it.
“They figured ‘You know what? Let’s take Castellano out and we can take over everything,” explains Gotti’s former friend, Andrea Giovino.
“It’s kill or be killed, that’s how treacherous it was and I don’t know if you really could understand that. It’s survival. It’s survival, and it’s not for the weak. You’ll get rolled over on. You gotta take action. You gotta take action and you gotta take action now,” adds Giovino.
“Mafia Killers: John Gotti” airs Wednesday, August 29 at 9ET / PT on REELZ.