By 2003 there was much speculation about who was boss of the Gambino crime family following the reign of the Gottis. Many observers never accepted the idea that John Gotti’s brother Peter had been filling the role, and some within the mob snicker at that idea, pointing out that Peter Gotti was never up to snuff for such a role (his nickname was “Retard”) and had merely served as a messenger boy for his imprisoned brother until his death. These insiders have maintained that later prosecutions of Peter indicated that prosecutors were only interested in the publicity that any Gotti name could accrue. Prior to Peter’s time in the sun, John’s son “Junior” had been accepted as the Gambino boss, although like his uncle, he was not regarded as a brilliant boss.
A major suspect as the present top wise guy is Joseph Corozzo, a former driver and lookout for Dapper Don John Gotti. Unlike other Gambino wise guys, Corozzo has been described inside the mob as having a nose for trouble and smelling a rat. In any event federal investigators looking into the family were said to have been unsuccessful in taping Corozzo discussing criminal matters with Mikey Scars DiLeonardo, regarded as a major mob turncoat out to “sink the Gambinos.” One thing Scars failed to do was set up Corozzo to talk. It has been said that Scars has sold prosecutors on the intelligence that Corozzo is the big guy in the Gambino family. Corozzo canceled meetings with Scars and, according to some insiders, has come to believe that Scars will try to become the “rat of the 21st century,” one who could do perhaps more damage to the top Mafia crime family than even Sammy the Bull Gravano.
Suspected new Gambino boss
The drama of the fencing between Scars and Corozzo has been billed as a battle between, as the mob puts it, “the rat trying to bury us” and “JoJo the rat-sniffer.” If Corozzo ends up on top, he will certainly become storied as the new teflon don.