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

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

  1. John D.:
    Seemed this was the era of power-struggles in the major crime families on the east coast.
    I remember a LOT of similar “activities” in Philly during the same time.

    And the hit-men seem to REALLY like making those killings in or near restaurants.
    Last meal kinda gig?
    (someone MUSTA saw the movie THE GODFATHER…and took extensive notes).

    Good story and links.

    Roll safe out there.


    • The 80s were a wild time for the mob in Philly, starting with the murder of boss Angelo Bruno in 1980. The chaos lasted well into the 90s. Too much greed and too many hot tempers are a bad combination.


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