Frank Cali Crime Scene

Christopher Sadowski/Special to

Could Frank Cali’s Murder Have A Gotti Connection?

March 14, 2019 - 3:43 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The murder of reputed Gambino crime family boss Francesco "Franky Boy'' Cali Wednesday night was the first big mob hit in New York City since Paul Castellano was killed outside a steakhouse in 1985.

Castellano, the Gambino family head at that time, was shot in the street on Manhattan’s East Side while on trial for conspiracy to commit murder, among other charges.

Following his death, notorious mobster John Gotti was named the new head of the crime family until 1992 when he was found guilty on multiple charges including murder, conspiracy to commit murder, bribery and tax evasion.

During his trial, it was also revealed that Gotti had been the one to organize the ruthless assassination of Castellano outside Sparks Steak House in 1985.

Legendary New York Post and Daily News crime beat writer Murray Weiss, now a producer for CBS News’ “48 Hours,” extensively covered the Gambino crime family and told WCBS 880’s Steve Scott he has a theory that Cali’s murder may also have a connection to the Gotti family.

“Within recent months one of John Gotti brothers, Eugene Gotti, came out of federal prison. People don't quite remember this but John Gotti had three brothers, so there were four Gotti brothers,” Weiss explains. “Gene was the first one, really, to go to prison and he went to prison back in the 80s – he was sentenced to like 50 years, he did 30 and he just came out of jail – and the word is, he came back looking for both respect and a position and some tribute from the family.”

Weiss explains that the younger Gotti and Cali had often clashed 30 years ago, and upon his return, reignited their feud. Therefore, he does not believe that the murder of Cali and Gotti’s release from prison are simply a coincidence.

“I’m not alone in thinking that,” Weiss said. “The word that I’m hearing is this: That there’s old school tension and friction.”

He says with Cali’s killing, he does expect to see more violence in the future, but he doesn’t believe there’s a target on Gene’s back.

“Anybody who was making a move on boss of a crime family – besides a one-off renegade, you know, crazy character –  would have to have the backing of captains in that crime family. So, if the theory of Gene Gotti stepping forward and being angry enough to take this kind of action, he couldn't take it without believing that the majority of the captains in his own family were supportive of it.”

Weiss also adds that it’s unlikely that the assassination was organized by any other organized crime family that may still operate in New York City as many have aimed to stay out of the limelight in recent years.

However, he says the recent murder “is turning all of those years on its head.”