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Dismembered and Dissolved in Acid: The Fate of John Favara, the Man who Killed John Gotti’s Son

John Gotti standing
John Favara was murdered for the accidental death of Frank Gotti
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John Gott’s criminal life has been transcribed multiple times on the small and big screen. The crime family, the rise, and the subsequent fall of what is considered New York’s most powerful (albeit the most popular) crime boss. However, one question persists: What became of John Favara, a neighbor whose accidental collision fatally struck Gotti’s 12-year-old son, leading to his subsequent disappearance?

Filings from 2009 in Brooklyn federal court reveal a sinister conclusion to this enduring mystery. Authorities allege that John Favara, the unfortunate neighbor, was executed under the directives of an incensed John Gotti, the then-leader of the Gambino crime family. According to the court documents, Favara’s demise was orchestrated by Charles Carneglia, a 62-year-old ex-mobster, who reportedly disposed of Favara’s body by submerging it in a barrel of acid, effectively erasing any trace of the deed.

Frank Gotti, the son of John Gotti

Frank Gotti, the son of John Gotti, the NYC Crime boss. Frank was killed in an accident when John Favara accidentally knocked him over

Carneglia described this chilling method as relayed to another informant, “the best method to use to avoid detection.” These revelations, part of a 44-page evidence motion for a racketeering trial, shed new light on the fate of Favara, a 51-year-old furniture warehouse worker from the Howard Beach area of Queens, intertwining his tragic end with the dark legacy of the Gambino crime family.

What Happened to Frank Gotti, John Gotti’s son?

On the fateful day of March 18, 1980, John Gotti’s 12-year-old middle son, Frank Gotti, was excited to take a turn on a minibike his friend had brought, allowing friends to ride it in turns. Frank impulsively took off without waiting for his friend’s instructions on how to handle the bike properly. His hasty decision led him to dart out into the street from a blind spot, where he was tragically struck by a car driven by John Favara.

John Favara was returning home from work and described the Gotti boy as darting in front of his car. Favara reported to the police that he had been momentarily blinded by the sun, leaving him unable to see the young boy and hitting him in an accident.

Frank Gotti and John Gotti together

Frank Gotti with his father, John Gotti, in an undated photo

The incident was indeed deemed an accidental tragedy by authorities, with Frank’s premature rush into the street cited as a critical factor. As a result, no criminal charges were filed against Favara. Despite this, Favara faced severe repercussions; he received death threats and experienced a violent confrontation when he attempted to apologize to the Gotti family, during which Victoria Gotti Senior, Frank’s mother, attacked him with a baseball bat. His vehicle was stolen and defaced with the word “murderer.”

What Happened to John Favara?

At the time of his son Frank’s tragic accident, John Gotti was freshly released from prison and was rapidly ascending the ranks within the Gambino crime family. John Favara, cognizant of his neighbor’s notorious criminal background, prudently decided that relocation was the best option for his family’s safety. Tragically, before he could enact these plans, Favara was forcefully taken from his community.

On July 28, 1980, John Favara, the neighbor implicated in the tragic accident that claimed the life of John Gotti’s son, was forcibly taken from near his workplace, marking the start of his mysterious disappearance. This abduction, witnessed by several bystanders, involved Favara being shoved into a van by multiple assailants. Eyewitness accounts varied, with some stating he was beaten with a baseball bat, others asserting he was shot with a silenced .22 caliber pistol, and some claiming both actions occurred.

The fate of Favara’s body remains a topic of speculation and horror. One disturbing account suggested that while still alive, Favara was dismembered with a chainsaw, encased in a barrel filled with concrete, and then either dumped into the ocean or buried at a chop shop lot.

Following this harrowing event, Favara’s family, comprised of his wife and two sons, left Howard Beach. Favara was officially declared legally dead in 1983. In a significant development in November 2004, FBI informants prompted an excavation of a parking lot in The Hole, New York City, a site suspected to be a mob graveyard. Although two bodies were discovered, neither was identified as Favara’s.

Despite John Gotti and his family being on vacation in Florida three days prior to Favara’s disappearance, it is widely believed that Gotti ordered the murder. In an attempt to disassociate themselves from the events of July 28, 1980, provided the police with hotel receipts that verified their presence in Florida on the date John Favara was abducted. Despite this alibi, no arrests were made concerning Favara’s disappearance.

John Gotti, the NYC Crime Boss

John Gotti, the NYC Crime Boss

When detectives later questioned Gotti about Favara’s disappearance, his cold response was, “I’m not sorry the guy’s missing. I wouldn’t be sorry if the guy turned up dead.”

Initially, it was thought that Favara’s remains were concealed in a barrel of concrete and dropped off a pier in Sheepshead Bay. However, allegations surfaced in Brooklyn federal court documents filed in January 2009, suggesting that mob hitman Charles Carneglia was responsible for Favara’s murder, having killed him and then dissolved his body in acid.

Jerry Capeci, a recognized authority on Mafia history and author who has written extensively about John Gotti, noted that persistent rumors were suggesting that “Favara’s body had been put into a cement-filled oil drum and dropped in the ocean.”

At the time of Favara’s disappearance, John Gotti Sr. was a rising captain within the Gambino family, ruthlessly maneuvering to become the family’s boss. His notoriety was cemented after two acquittals in high-profile trials earned him the nickname “Teflon Don.” Gotti’s reign ended with his 1992 conviction on charges of murder, racketeering, and other offenses, leading to his death in federal prison in 2002.

According to court documents, Charles Carneglia was implicated as a member of a seven-person hit squad responsible for carrying out murders on behalf of the Gambino family and ensuring the victims’ bodies were never found. Carneglia is currently facing charges of racketeering and involvement in five murders.

The prosecutors’ motion, authored by Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger Burlingame, lists the Favara case among several “uncharged crimes.” Despite the charges, Carneglia has maintained his innocence and pleaded not guilty.

This ongoing investigation has sparked new questions among organized crime experts. One particular point of intrigue raised by Jerry Capeci concerns the practicality of the alleged method used to dispose of Favara’s body: “What kind of acid could be used in a metal drum without leaking?”

Next, read about the story of Chandra Levy, the woman who was killed after having an affair with a congressman. Then, about a South Korean woman who killed for the thrill.

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Written By

Abin Tom Sebastian, also known as Mr. Morbid in the community, is an avid fan of the paranormal and the dark history of the world. He believes that sharing these stories and histories are essential for the future generations. For god forbid, we have seen that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

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