It is perhaps the most intriguing unsolved mystery from the gangland career of John Gotti: Whatever happened to the neighbor who accidentally ran over and killed the mobster's 12-year-old son — and vanished?
NEW YORK — It is perhaps the most intriguing unsolved mystery from the gangland career of John Gotti: Whatever happened to the neighbor who accidentally ran over and killed the mobster’s 12-year-old son — and vanished?
According to papers filed this week in Brooklyn federal court, John Favara was shot to death in 1980 on orders of the outraged Gambino crime-family chief and his body was dissolved in a barrel of acid. Authorities said a cooperating witness identified Charles Carneglia, 62, a former mobster, as the killer.
The court documents said Carneglia told another informant acid was “the best method to use to avoid detection.”
Those details, in a 44-page evidence motion by federal prosecutors for a racketeering trial, offered a new twist on the fate of Favara, 51, a furniture-warehouse worker who lived near the Gottis in the Howard Beach section of Queens.
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Favara was arriving home from work March 18, 1980, when Gotti’s son Frank, riding a minibike, darted in front of his car. The driver told police he was momentarily blinded by the sun and did not see the boy.
Police ruled the crash an accident, but Favara was subjected to death threats and harassment for months. His car was stolen and smeared with the word “murderer,” and he was threatened by Gotti’s bat-wielding wife when he tried to apologize.
However, he ignored suggestions that he should move away.
Favara disappeared July 28, 1980, after leaving work on Long Island, and no trace of him was ever found. Witnesses saw him being beaten and heard tires squealing. The Gottis gave police hotel receipts showing they were in Florida on that date, and no arrests were made.
Jerry Capeci, an author and expert on the Mafia who has written extensively on Gotti, said rumors circulated that “Favara’s body had been put into a cement-filled oil drum and dropped in the ocean.”
At the time, John Gotti was a captain in the Gambino family. After two courtroom acquittals that earned him the sobriquet “Teflon Don,” Gotti was convicted in 1992 of murder, racketeering and a smorgasbord of other crimes. He died in federal prison in 2002.
Carneglia, according to the court documents, was part of a seven-member hit squad that killed on order and disposed of the victims. He faces trial in connection with five slayings and racketeering counts.
The prosecutors’ motion, signed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger Burlingame, includes Favara’s case among several “uncharged crimes.” Carneglia has pleaded not guilty.
The new revelation raises another question for experts who have been studying gangland activities.
Asked Capeci: “What kind of acid could be used in a metal drum without leaking?”