Gotti would go on to become the boss of the entire Gambino crime family, but in 1980 he was still a capo. In fact, he headed the high-earning Bergin gang. His rackets included loan sharking and, according to allegations by FBI informants, drug dealing. He also played a role in the notorious Lufthansa Heist at Kennedy Airport in 1978 – the largest cash robbery in U.S. history at the time.
Gotti, his wife Victoria and their five children lived on the block behind the Favaras. Ostensibly, the two families seemed to be on friendly terms. Indeed, Favara’s adopted son Scott was quite close to Gotti’s eldest son John Junior. In fact, Scott sometimes slept over at the Gotti house.
But on March 18, 1980, John’s 12-year-old son Frank took a ride on a neighbor’s mini motorbike. He sped through the streets near his house, across a construction site and past a parked dumpster. On the other side of the dumpster, Favara was driving into a blind spot, blazing sunlight pouring through his windshield. And at that moment, Frank and Favara collided.