Archive for Saturday, August 11, 2001

Private hospital treating crime boss

Gotti suffering from throat cancer

August 11, 2001


— With his condition still a closely held secret, former New York crime boss John Gotti was expected to remain in a hospital for several weeks, one of his lawyers said Friday.

Gotti, in the advanced stages of throat cancer, was being treated in the intensive care unit at St. John's Regional Health Center. The hospital is about two miles from the federal prison medical center where the inmate has been housed intermittently since 1998.

One of Gotti's attorneys, Bruce Cutler, said he believes Gotti was taken Tuesday to St. John's.

"I know John Gotti and there's nothing but fight in him," Cutler said, "and when you have the heart of a lion you find a way to go on, and he'll find a way to go on."

Diane Smith, a spokeswoman at the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners, said Friday that inmates are taken to outside hospitals when their health worsens or they need treatment that the prison hospital can't provide, such as intensive care or surgery.

Hospital and prison officials would not confirm that Gotti had left the federal center or that his condition had worsened.

Gotti's daughter, Victoria Gotti, arrived Thursday night to visit her father with three people she described as "immediate family."

"We have no comment," she said.

Once known as the "Teflon Don" after a series of courtroom acquittals, Gotti was sentenced to life in prison by a federal jury in 1992. The conviction was due in part to the testimony of mob turncoat Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano.

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