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Gotti and Me: A Crime Reporter's Close Encounters With the New York Mafia [Kindle Edition]

David J. Krajicek
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99

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Book Description

The New York Daily News wanted a photograph of John Gotti, the city’s brand-new Mafia boss. But Gotti didn’t like the idea of having his mug plastered on the front pages, so he was holed up in his house in Queens, hiding out from the press. This is how crime reporter David J. Krajicek found himself at odds with the Gotti clan outside that house on a crunchy-cold January morning in 1986.

In his debut media moment, Gotti’s son, Junior, pulled up to Krajicek’s car and threatened to “start choppin’ off heads.” When Krajicek wrote about this encounter, he received an angry letter from Junior’s mother, Victoria Gotti.
“After reading that bit of trash you passed off as journalism, I’m not surprised that people like Sinatra, Madonna, and Diana Ross kick, punch and spit on you,” she wrote. “You are tantamount to vultures."


In "Gotti and Me," true crime author Krajicek tells for the first time the full story of his close encounters with the Gotti family. He has bundled that story with four other classic New York mob tales that he wrote about for the Daily News, including the 1959 murder of “Frankie Shots,” a Brooklyn bookie whose slaying touched off a Mafia civil war; the deadly plunge from a Coney Island hotel of Abe Reles, the infamous “mob canary who couldn’t fly”; the mistaken execution in the Bronx of an innocent man that hastened the bust-up of Murder Inc., and the story of Gus Farace, a dead-ender from Staten Island who imagined himself a mob star, just like Gotti. The last story includes details of a rare conversation Krajicek had with another mobster, Gregory Scarpa Sr., known as the Grim Reaper.

Before the Gotti family made its headline-grabbing arrival on the crime scene, American mobsters had the quaint custom of keeping their mouths shut, even when subjected to knee-buckling interrogation techniques. “If you hung him up by the thumbs for eight weeks," a Bronx prosecutor once said of a famously taciturn mob hit man, "he might tell you his first name."

But the Gotti family's encounters with Krajicek served as a public announcement that this particular mob clan would not shrink from infamy. They basked in it. Once he got over his camera-shyness, John Gotti grew to relish his marquee role as the smug, sharp-dressed mob boss. Today's media-friendly mob culture finds wiseguys in Hollywood pitching film deals, penning tell-all books, or, like the trend-setting Gottis, on reality TV shows.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Fortunately for us, David J. Krajicek didn't sign the omerta code of silence when he was covering the mob for the New York Daily News. From John Gotti's widow, Victoria, calling the author a 'vulture' to Junior Gotti threatening to cut Krajicek's head off, Gotti and Me is a fascinating first-hand look at what can happen to a simple crime reporter just trying to do his job. It's hard to swim with sharks and not wind up sleeping with da fishes, but Krajicek managed to both do it and write about it with surprising good humor. Still, he cautions, keep your back to the wall while reading this."--Carolyn Hinsey, best-selling author of Afternoon Delight: Why Soaps Still Matter

"Krajicek is moved by the incongruity of commonplace surroundings and evil deeds...Some themes run through the crimes he has studied. Among them is a recurrence of immorality and buffoonery in the same felonious package."--Ken Newton, St. Joseph (Mo.) News-Press

Krajicek in brief: "Hardboiled lyricism," says Prof. Lynne D. Schneider, Binghamton University. "Lively," says Entertainment Weekly. "Passionate," says Ken Auletta, The New Yorker. "Powerful," says the American Journalism Review.


"David Krajicek's crime writing has branded him Mr. Murder, so it's apt he looks the heavy with his bearded mug, bouncer glare and imposing size. This tabloid poet and rebel hails from a long line of barkeeps and meatpackers. (He is) a standout writer of terse, staccato prose and vivid details."--Leo Adam Biga, The Omaha Reader

"Krajicek is the Catskills' own hard-boiled true-crime writer...Sordid tales of bad behavior, villainous deeds and villainous men."-- Julia Reischel, The Watershed Post

About the Author

David J. Krajicek has been telling crime stories for more than 30 years, as an author and a newspaperman.

A native of South Omaha, Nebraska, he comes from a long line of meatpackers and bartenders--men and women who have told a few stories of their own. Krajicek was a Columbia University journalism professor during the 1990s, but he was drawn back to his true muse: writing.

Since 1999, he has been writing The Justice Story, a weekly true crime feature that has been running in the New York Daily News for nearly a century. (His book "Murder, American Style" includes 50 stories drawn from his work on The Justice Story.)

He was a special correspondent for Court TV's Crime Library and has appeared frequently on television as a crime expert, including on "The Today Show" and Dominick Dunne's "Power, Privilege and Justice" on Court TV. He lives in the Catskill Mountains of New York.
His latest e-book is "Gotti and Me: A Crime Reporter's Close Encounters With the New York Mafia" (News Ink Books), an organized crime best-seller. His latest paperback (also available as an e-book), "True Crime: Missouri, The State's Most Notorious Criminal Cases" (Stackpole), has been a regional best-seller. And an e-book for Kindle Singles, "Death By Rock 'n' Roll" (Crimescape/RosettaBooks), has been a crime best-seller.

Music is a subject that moves him: Krajicek has spent years singing and playing trombone in The Blues Maneuver, an old-school R&B band in New York.

Product Details

  • File Size: 312 KB
  • Print Length: 48 pages
  • Publisher: News Ink Books (December 17, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006NKHZYA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #598,076 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
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3.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nicely written. February 5, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is less of a book and more like long magazine pieces strung together. Still, it is very well written, on interesting subjects, obviously done by a pro journalist. Highly recommended.
[...]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars None February 16, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I thought it sucked! the only reason this book if you wanna call it that, had had any sales is cause of the name gotti is in the title but mr krajicek knows that. I would demand my 3 dollars back but seeing he wrote this crap he must need it more then me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Glad I didn't pay a lot for this book! June 11, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was interesting, but it sure didn't have a lot to tell about John Gotti. I was disappointed. There was more to him than the incident with the neighbor's son. It is a good book for a quick read at the beach or on a plane ride!
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More About the Author

David J. Krajicek has been telling crime stories for more than 30 years, as an author and a newspaperman.

A native of South Omaha, Nebraska, he comes from a long line of meatpackers and bartenders--men and women who have told a few stories of their own. Krajicek was a Columbia University journalism professor during the 1990s, but he was drawn back to his true muse: writing.

Since 1999, he has been writing The Justice Story, a weekly true crime feature that has been running in the New York Daily News for nearly a century. (His book "Murder, American Style" includes 50 stories drawn from his work on The Justice Story.)

He was a special correspondent for Court TV's Crime Library and has appeared frequently on television as a crime expert, including on "The Today Show" and Dominick Dunne's "Power, Privilege and Justice" on Court TV. He lives in the Catskill Mountains of New York.

His latest e-book is "Gotti and Me: A Crime Reporter's Close Encounters With the New York Mafia" (News Ink Books), an organized crime best-seller. His latest paperback (also available as an e-book), "True Crime: Missouri, The State's Most Notorious Criminal Cases" (Stackpole), has been a regional best-seller. And an e-book for Kindle Singles, "Death By Rock 'n' Roll" (Crimescape/RosettaBooks), has been a crime best-seller.

Music is a subject that moves him: Krajicek has spent years singing and playing trombone in The Blues Maneuver, an old-school R&B band in New York.

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