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The Gotti Family

Date Sunday - February 15, 2015
Host George Knapp
Guests George AnastasiaMiriam Linna

George Knapp was joined by crime reporter George Anastasia, who detailed his extensive research into the notorious Gotti family of organized crime lore. He observed that the Gotti family and their penchant for garnering media attention was a stark contrast to the traditional mafia principle of "make money, don't make headlines." To that end, he revealed how John Gotti Senior purposely cultivated the image of a mafia boss with his expensive wardrobe, but that he actually had no fashion sense and had to rely on an underling named "Fat Bob" to help him dress the part. While Anastasia credited Gotti Sr. for being able to consolidate his power and navigate the politics of organized crime, he described Gotti's son and successor as someone who inherited the position due to the family name rather than any particular leadership skills.

Over the course of his appearance, Anastasia recalled how he gained unprecedented insight into the Gotti family via a man named John Alite, who had been one of their closest associates. Initially a small time drug dealer, Alite realized he could make more money by working with the Gotti family, so he slowly insinuated himself into their organization over time. After an attempted shooting went awry due to the incompetence of Gotti Jr. and his cohorts, Alite began to grow weary of working with them. He also started to realize that he was being positioned as the fall guy for Gotti Jr.'s missteps and, ultimately, had to flee the country after being named as the target of a hit. Following a whirlwind trip around the globe, Alite would eventually decide to testify against the Gotti family and tell his story of working with the organization.

Anastasia expressed hope that his work can help "deconstruct the myths" surrounding the American mafia which has become increasingly glorified in movies and television programs. Despite how organized crime is portrayed in the media, Anastasia declared that "it's not men of honor and loyalty, it's more treachery and deceit." To that end, he noted that one longstanding misconception surrounding the mafia is that they avoided getting involved in the drug trade due to a moral stance. Anastasia contended that the real reason for their reticence was that drug trafficking involved dealing with too many unstable characters and could also draw the attention of a more ardent arm of law enforcement. Those factors, he said, made drug dealing a less desirable enterprise compared to the easy money that could be garnered through gambling rings and serving as loan sharks.

Bobby Fuller Death

In the first hour, Miriam Linna, author and founder of Norton Records, discussed the mystery surrounding the death of musician Bobby Fuller who, at the age of 23, had a Top 10 hit with I Fought the Law and was found dead in a car doused in gasoline outside his Hollywood apartment. "There's no way that a suicide could occur the way the body was found," she said, dismissing the official police conclusion on how Fuller died and pointing out a number of anomalies surrounding his death. However, she was also skeptical that Fuller was intentionally murdered and theorized that he had inadvertently died due to injuries from being beaten. Additionally, Linna attributed the shoddy investigation into Fuller's death to the passing of the Los Angeles police chief which happened two days earlier and subsequently threw the entire department into chaos.

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Bumper Music

Bumper music from Sunday February 15, 2015

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