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Hit Of The Century Dec. 16 1985

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When a Mob Boss Out for a Steak Dinner Was Murdered in Cold Blood

Just before 5:30 on a December evening in 1985, mob boss Paul Castellano stepped out of a limo in front of Sparks Steakhouse in midtown Manhattan and was shot to death. The four assassins who gunned him down were conspicuously dressed in trench coats and Russian fur hats. John Gotti, the man who arranged the hit, sat in a car nearby to make sure “Big Paul” was dead.

“It was daring in the sense that it was done in Manhattan, in the Christmas season, early in the evening,” says Howard Blum, author of Gangland: How the FBI Broke the Mob. “They planned it like a military operation.”

The 70-year-old Castellano was the reputed boss of the Gambino crime family, a decades-old Mafia family in New York City. Gotti was a 45-year-old member of the Gambino family who didn’t like boss Castellano’s recent instruction not to trade in drugs. Castellano was worried the federal government was paying too much attention to their drug activities.







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