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Saturday, 15 June, 2002, 22:42 GMT 23:42 UK
Mafia boss laid to rest
Funeral procession
People lined the streets to watch the 100-car procession
Mafia boss John Gotti has been buried in New York, as onlookers watched the huge funeral procession carrying the legendary mobster.


Law enforcement might say he was infamous. I say he was a remarkable man

Bruce Cutler, Gotti's lawyer
Gotti, known for his panache, was laid to rest in much the same way he lived his life - in style.

Several helicopters hovered above a procession of 100 vehicles, including black limousines and cars with flowers arrangements representing - among other things - cigars, horses, and martini glasses with olives.

Gotti died of cancer at a federal prison hospital on Monday.

Private service

The service was held at a funeral home in the borough of Queens.

A equine floral arrangement at the funeral
Mourners paid their respects in style

Mourners included Gotti's wife and daughter, both named Victoria.

His brothers Peter and Gene and his son John were unable to attend, as they are serving time in federal prisons.

Many aspects of Gotti's life resembled Hollywood mafia movies, gaining him celebrity status.

"Law enforcement might say he was infamous," Bruce Cutler, Gotti's lawyer, told the 300 mourners.

"I say he was a remarkable man... a man that caused all this attention not because of the government allegations but because of the way he carried himself."

Gotti earned the nickname the Teflon Don, because for years the combined might of America's law enforcement agencies could not make a charge stick against him.

The head of New York's notorious Gambino crime family was finally convicted in 1992 of murder, extortion and obstruction of justice.

He was sentenced to 100 years in prison and sent to a maximum-security penitentiary,

He had been battling cancer since 1998 and was 61 when he died.

Lost son

Gotti was laid to rest in St John's Cemetery, a Roman Catholic burial ground where the graves of a number of notorious 20th Century Mafiosi are found.

John Gotti
Gotti eluded the authorities for many years
Some, like Carlo Gambino and Joseph Profaci, died of natural causes. Others, like Carmine Galante and Joe Colombo were shot dead.

Infamous mobster Charles "Lucky" Luciano, who died in exile in Sicily, also is buried there.

Gotti's final resting place is a family crypt inside an imposing mausoleum, next to his son, Frank, who died at age 12 when he was struck by a neighbour's car near his home.

Though ruled blameless by police, the neighbour was abducted weeks later and never seen again.

No charges were ever brought.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Emma Simpson
"The best known gangster since Al Capone"
See also:

16 Jun 02 | Americas
10 Jun 02 | Americas
10 Jun 02 | Americas
30 May 01 | Americas
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