Screenshot of the 'John Gotti Tribute Page' taken on 28 April 1999. Graphic: Melissa Angelini /

23 August 2018 (Desdemona Despair) – Amid all of the cries of "disgrace" and "witch hunt" from the capo of the Trump crime family, I'm reminded of another famous gang of New York mobsters taken down by Robert Mueller: the Gambino crime family.

After the "Dapper Don", John Gotti, was sent to prison, Gotti supporter Melissa Angelini (aka, "Ravenna") turned to "cyberspace" to sing his praises and decry the injustice of it all. Her site,, was full of gambling imagery and essays like, "A Kinder, Gentler Gotti" and "Rats & the Witless Protection Program". It sold "Free John Gotti!" T-shirts for $19.95 (discounted to $16.95 in 1999). The landing page warns us, "If you don't like this site, vaffanculo!"

Sadly, went to the Big House In The Sky in 1999, but it's memorialized forever in the Wayback Machine, so you can still enjoy this snapshot of early web design and mobster sycophancy. The best part of Ravenna's site is the "Recipes from Readers" section, which collects some traditional Italian dishes like "Messala's Sicilian-Style Tomatoes and Pasta". To prepare the garlic: "Sauté it in a tiny bit of the olive oil (and if you don't have the herbs in it, you're no Italian *I* want to associate with)."

Maybe, in the not-too-distant future, we'll see a similar site from MAGA types, selling us "Free Don Trump" T-shirts and recipes for steak with ketchup.



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