John Gotti: "Cosa Nostra 'Til I Die"

JUNE 10--Mafia boss John Gotti died today in a prison hospital following a long battle with cancer. He was 61. The so-called Dapper Don, who took control of the Gambino crime family after orchestrating the murder of his predecessor Paul Castellano, was convicted in 1992 of racketeering charges and sentenced to life in prison.

What follows is an excerpt from a bugged conversation between John Gotti and some subordinates in the Gambino crime family. Recorded in an apartment above Mulberry Street's Ravenite social club, Gotti is captured at his egomaniacal best as he delivers a soliloquy on Cosa Nostra, loyalty, and his unerring ability to detect fear in a man. Note that in the below transcript, "[UI]" refers to unintelligible segments of the tape.

Listen to MP3.

GOTTI: I'm not in the mood for the toys, or games, or kidding [UI]. I'm not in the mood for clans. I'm not in the mood for gangs. I'm not in the mood for none of that stuff there. This is gonna be a Cosa Nostra 'til I die. Be it an hour from now, or be it tonight, or a hundred years from now when I'm in jail. It's gonna be a Cosa Nostra. This ain't gonna be a bunch of your friends, they're gonna be friends of ours. But at the same time would be friends of ours, it's gonna be the way I say it's gonna be, [UI] a Cosa Nostra. A Cosa Nostra. You might, because a guy's nice to you, and I'm not talking about you, I'm just sayin' you might [UI] makes him a good guy. It makes him a motherfucker to me. It don't make him a good guy. It makes him a good guy if he's one of us and he proves he's part of us. And I'm the best judge of that, I think, right now. So you got a reason Frank, say it. I love you, say it, but that's not the point. This thing here, I'm not so sure of the five guys that I'm puttin' in are the first five guys that should be going in. What can you do? I'm doing it because I want this thing to be proper. We got some guys that can preserve it and they'll be there forever. They won't be having secret fuckin' parties where people won't be allowed. That we don't want and that we don't need, that's for sure. I wanna see an effort. I gotta see an effort for [UI] a Cosa Nostra. How many of these guys come, come tell me I feel sorry you got trouble. I don't, I don't need that. I ain't got no trouble, I ain't got no trouble. I'm gonna be all right. They got the fuckin' trouble. And I don't mean the cops, I mean the people. The people who coulda made this a joke, you know what I mean. That's not a fuckin' joke [UI] guys. Even, even, even some guys, some people downstairs now who I know whose fucking stomach is rotten. I know whose stomach ain't rotten. You could, I, I could smell it the way a dog senses when a guy's got fear.