October 18, 1967 - March 18, 1980
Frank Gotti was riding his motorbike when he darted into the street from behind a dumpster and was struck by neighbor John Favara. It was supposed to be a day to celebrate, as Frank had just made the football team. Victoria DiGiorgio, Frank's mother, prepared dinner for the family. The phone rang and Victoria Gotti, Frank's sister, answered it. Her brother had been hit by a car. Later her parents would come home, after that phone call about Frankie being in an accident, but they didn’t bring home little Frankie.
Favara, 51, who lived a block behind the Gotti family, worked as a service manager for Castro Convertibles furniture store and was on his way home from work when the accident occurred. His adopted son, Scott, was a friend of the Gotti children and had been their guest for sleepovers in the past.
Castro’s headquarters and factory used to be located on Jericho Turnpike in New Hyde Park
An investigation concluded that Favara was not at fault because the child had heedlessly entered the street without taking the proper precautions (stop, look, listen). However, in the months after the accident, the word "murderer" was spray-painted onto Favara's car.
Victoria Gotti claims that Favara was drunk and also speeding at the time, dragging the victim 200 feet until he finally stopped. She also said Favara had taunted her mother with "smug" grins over the fence after the accident.
On May 28, Frank's mother, Victoria DiGiorgio, swung at Favara with a metal baseball bat, narrowly missing him with each swing. Rumor is that he had gone to the Gotti's house to apologize for the death. After this event, Favara decided not to press charges and decided to relocate. He put his house up for sale, and a buyer quickly materialized. The legal paperwork was expedited, and a closing was scheduled for the last day of July.
According to the FBI, on July 28, 1980, Favara was shoved into a van by several men near his place of business. There were several witnesses to the abduction, and accounts ranged from him being beaten with a baseball bat, shot with a silenced .22 caliber pistol, or both. He was thrown into a van and taken for good. Accounts differed on what was done with Favara's body. One account said that while Favara was alive, he was dismembered with a chainsaw, stuffed into a barrel filled with concrete, and dumped in the ocean or buried somewhere on the chop shop lot.
This incident occurred while Gotti and his family vacationed in Florida, and, although some sources have argued that Gotti planned the kidnapping, he claimed that he had nothing to do with Favara’s disappearance.
When questioned by two detectives on Favara's disappearance, John Gotti said: "I'm not sorry the guy's missing. I wouldn't be sorry if the guy turned up dead."
His wife Victoria, when questioned said: "I don't know what happened to him, but I'm not disappointed he's missing. He killed my boy."
Frank and his father, John Gotti, side by side.
After the killing, Favara's wife Janet, and two sons moved out of Howard Beach. John was declared legally dead in 1983. In November 2004, informants led the FBI to excavate a parking lot in New York City suspected to be a mob graveyard and the site of Favara's body. Bodies were found, but not his.
For years, prosecutors believed Favara's remains were stuffed in a barrel of concrete and tossed off Sheepshead Bay pier. Brooklyn federal court papers filed by federal prosecutors the week of January 5, 2009, contained allegations that mob hitman, Charles Carneglia, killed Favara and disposed of his body in acid.
His widow, Janet, died in 2000. Their son, Scott, continues to battle the death of his father by the orders of John Gotti.