2008-08-08 / Front Page

Gotti Indicted In 1991 Boardwalk Slay

By Howard Schwach With additional reporting by Elio Velez

Reputed mobster John "Junior" Gotti, the son of the famed "Dapper Don," John Gotti, Sr., was arrested on Tuesday under multiple federal counts of racketeering and murder.

One of the murders for which he was indicted this week is the 1991 slaying of Bruce Gotterup of Ozone Park, who was found shot multiple times on a boardwalk ramp leading to the beach at Beach 115 Street in Rockaway Park. The indictment alleges that Gotterup was a rival drug dealer who challenged Gotti's control of a Queens bar that Junior used as a spot for selling cocaine.

The Wave archive shows that Gotterup, 33, was shot in the head several times, "execution style," on November 20, 1991.

Staff at the nursing home on the boardwalk at Beach 115 Street reportedly called 911 at about 1:50 a.m., when they heard multiple shots at the scene.

Police officers from the 100 Precinct responding to the call found Gotterup face down on the boardwalk ramp.

The triggerman in the Gotterup murder, 47-year-old John Burke, was charged with the murder in 2001, but was acquitted in a Queens jury trial. He was doing time in an upstate prison this week on an unrelated conviction when he was hit with the new federal racketeering charges.

Another man, Guy Peden, 47, of Wantagh, Long Island, was charged this week with assisting Burke in killing Gotterup in Rockaway.

Officials at the FBI said this week that the investigation of the Gambino crime family, which, they say, is being run by Gotti after the death of his father in prison in 2002, began in Tampa, Florida.

An attorney for Gotti says that his client is being framed for the three mob murders.

He is fighting Gotti's extradition to Florida for the federal trial.

"We never believed that someone would actually bring a case like this, especially after three trials up here," his attorney said, referring to the three trials in which separate hung juries failed to find Gotti guilty of attempting to kidnap Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa.

Gotti faces life in prison should he be convicted of ordering the three murders.

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