(2 of 2)
For the alleged goumada (Mafia mistress) and her daughter, the suggested ties are anything but welcome. Until last week, Shannon Connelly, 49, lived quietly in a modest two-family house on Staten Island, a floor above her mother. Speaking to the reporters who stake out the house dawn to dusk, the divorcé denied that Gotti had ever been anything more than a "friend," begged for privacy and expressed distress for her daughter, a 19-year-old college freshman. But Connelly is no stranger to wiseguy connections. In their 1996 book, Gotti: Rise and Fall, Jerry Capeci and Gene Mustain identified her as the don's girlfriend. Connelly's ex-husband Ernesto Grillo was her alleged paramour's underling. And her mother Rosemary has long been identified as the goumada of Gotti mentor Aniello Dellacroce--with Connelly as their supposed love child.
The oddest twist in the tale may be that DiLeonardo was apparently referring to an entirely different Gotti lover and love child. But the media circus is unlikely to move on just yet, what with such juicy new acts as a jailhouse videotape uncovered by Capeci of a 1998 conversation between Gotti and his brother Peter. On the tape, the Mob boss talks wistfully of Connelly's "precious little kid." "She look like I told you?" he asks his brother. "I feel bad I can't do the right thing, but what am I gonna do, you know what I'm saying?"
As Shakespeare sort of said, it is a wiseguy that knows his own child. But with Gotti in the grave, the only thing for certain is that he is still the main attraction. "They just won't let my husband rest in peace," fumes his widow Victoria. A godfather with secrets never does.