by Allan May
To most organized crime followers John Gotti is the most popular underworld figure of the past 15 years. His meteoric and bloody rise to prominence, his bravado, and his seemingly carefree attitude in beating the justice system during the late 1980s gave him the type of cult-like following that outlaws such as Jesse James, Al Capone, and John Dillinger enjoyed.
Many individuals involved with Gotti’s rise and fall have remained in the public’s mind also – Paul Castellano, Sammy Gravano, and Bruce Cutler, to name a few. Each of their backgrounds and the roles they played in Gotti’s life are well known. However, the life of one man who would have a significant impact on Gotti’s rise to power remains relatively unknown. His name became a footnote to the mob boss’s bloody climb to the top.
We all have seen the picture. You know the one. The man lying spread eagle on the floor of Snoope’s bar wearing white shoes and black socks. His plaid pants wide open at the zipper as if he had been shot while relieving himself. The shirt and tee shirt pulled up revealing a hairy beer belly. Not a pretty memory for the family and friends of Jimmy McBratney to remember him.