The Gotti Wars

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John Gleeson was lead counsel in the successful racketeering-murder trials of John Gotti and Vic Orena, which he talks about with Trey Elling, as detailed in the new book, THE GOTTI WARS: TAKING DOWN AMERICA’S MOST NOTORIOUS MOBSTER. Topics include:

  • The allure of working for the Eastern District of New York in the mid-1980s (1:28)
  • How he became involved in the first Gotti case (3:15)
  • Why his office didn’t get along with the FBI’s Gambino squad (6:42)
  • Gotti’s ‘allure’ in person (10:15)
  • The special treatment Gotti received, despite being a defendant (13:17)
  • Losing that first trial (15:24)
  • The massive evidence obtained by bugging an apartment about the Ravenite club in Little Italy (18:57)
  • How Gleeson took the lead on the second case (22:08)
  • Nearly losing the case to the Southern District of NY (23:40)
  • What they charged Gotti with (24:51)
  • Using the bugged recordings to keep the defendants in detention (26:00)
  • Getting two attorneys removed from Gotti’s legal team (27:38)
  • His initial response when learning Sammy “The Bull” Gravano wanted to flip on Gotti (30:10)
  • Meeting with Sammy The Bull about flipping for the first time (31:44)
  • Having to keep this a secret from his bosses (33:24)
  • Learning from Sammy why they lost that first Gotti case (34:49)
  • What worried Gleeson, leading into the second Gotti trial (35:45)
  • Whether Gotti putting a contract out on his head during the trial worried Gleeson (37:44)
  • Earning ‘guilty’ verdicts the second time around (39:06)
  • His emotional response when finding out Gotti had died in the early 2000s (40:50)