this day in crime history: december 16, 1985


On this date in 1985, Gambino crime family boss Paul Castellano and his underboss/bodyguard Thomas Bilotti, were shot dead outside Sparks Steak House in Manhattan. The hit was reportedly carried out at the order of John Gotti, a captain in the Gambino family. Following Castellano’s death, Gotti would take over as the family’s teflon-covered boss. The teflon wore off in 1992, when Gotti was convicted of thirteen counts of murder, including those of Paul Castellano and Thomas Bilotti.

Further reading:

Wikipedia – Paul Castellano

Gangsters, Inc. – John Gotti

Sparks Steak House

4 thoughts on “this day in crime history: december 16, 1985

  1. John D.:
    Heh…I like the nickname of “The Howard Hughes of the Mob”.
    (So HE was the one between Carlo and Gotti…got it)
    Need a “scorecard” to keep track of all the mobsters…and their manner of death!
    Sounds like “Big Paul” had a nice mansion on Staten Island, too.

    Good story and great links.

    Roll safe out there.


    • He was Carlo’s handpicked successor. A lot of the guys weren’t too pleased about that. They saw him as an elitist who looked down his nose at the more traditional street rackets. When the feds zeroed in on him, it made it easy for members of the family — and the bosses of the other families — to look the other way when Gotti made his move.


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