Happenings Media

Today In History: June 23rd 1992, Teflon Don Sentenced To Life Imprisonment


Victoria Maduabuchi

Mafia boss John Gotti, who was also known as “Teflon Don” after escaping without any damage or harm from several trials during the 1980s, was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty on 14 accounts of conspiracy to commit murder and racketeering.

Just moments after his sentence was read in a federal courthouse in Brooklyn, hundreds of Gotti’s supporters stormed the building and overturned and smashed cars before being forced back by police reinforcements.

Today In History: June 23rd 1992, Teflon Don Sentenced To Life Imprisonment
Reputed Gambino family crime boss John Gotti leans back during a break in testimony in New York Supreme Court in Manhattan, Jan. 23, 1990. Gotti and a co-defendant are charged with conspiracy and assault in connection with a shooting of a carpenter’s union leader. (AP Photo/Daniel Sheehan)

Gotti was born and educated on the mean streets of New York City, but later on became head of the powerful Gambino family after boss Paul Castellano was murdered outside a steakhouse in Manhattan in December 1985.

Gotti and his colleague Sammy Gravano also known as “the Bull” organized the first gang assassination in the first three decades in New York.

His family (the Gambino family), was known for its illegal narcotics operations, gambling activities and car theft. Within five years, Gotti rapidly expanded his criminal empire, and his family grew into the nation’s most powerful Mafia family.

Despite wide publicity of his criminal activities, Gotti managed to avoid conviction several times, usually through witness intimidation.

In 1990, however, he was indicted for conspiracy to commit murder in the death of Paul Castellano, and Gravano agreed to testify against him in a federal district court in exchange for a reduced prison sentence.

On April 2, 1992, John Gotti was found guilty on all counts and on June 23 was sentenced to multiple life terms without the possibility of parole.

While still imprisoned, Gotti died of throat cancer on June 10, 2002.