IN THE PRESS
How is it possible that John Alite moved back to the very area where he killed for a living, shot and maimed countless enemies, after leaving a ton of wreckage and chaos behind?
The question we must all ask ourselves on so many different levels is—why?
Why doesn’t any former boss from any crime family, captain of any crew, or any soldier who worked the streets not live like John Alite? Why do all those so-called killers, who were “made men,” stay hidden away in other states while existing under different identities?
Why did John Alite turn down the government’s Witness Protection Program? What does he have that so many others don’t?
Besides the nonsensical, ignorant critics who only know how to write obscenities on social media, cowering behind their keyboards like insolent five-year-olds hiding behind their mothers’ skirts, why isn’t the mafia making an attack on his life? John Alite is very much in the public, living on his terms, which basically dares anyone who has ever been after him to step out and challenge him to a duel.
This is John’s question to everyone. Why?
Through a life of heartache, betrayal, and loss comes a story of grace, healing, and redemption. But some things never truly change, do they? The very fabric of John’s being is comprised of a sober fearlessness with a propensity to dole out violence the very moment he suspects a threat—without a second’s hesitation.
This amazing man didn’t hesitate to open up his heart and soul to me. He’s allowed me to capture his life’s story in a way that goes far beyond just the facts of the mob life. And as the months have passed between us, I’ve come to understand John in a new light. I’ve been able to tap into his complex mind and extract not only his very thoughts, but his reasoning and thought processes. John keeps his emotions under lock and key, but I was determined to open those doors too.
John’s story goes beyond unique. I believe it’s different than anything anyone has ever written before. It’s simply not in me to write a story without being able to pull the reader in, making them feel as if they’re walking in the main character’s shoes themselves. I want the reader to feel the anger, the laughter, the tears, and heartache of loss, while experiencing the blood-pumping adrenaline that John lived through on a day-to-day basis.
I’ve never been one to conform to traditions, and I adhere to very few social protocols and procedures. I don’t disrespect authority, but I suppose I’m still considered a rebel of sorts. My father raised me to be independent, strong-minded, and to question everything. I’ve always taken the initiative to investigate all things for myself in order to formulate my very own conclusions, taking no one’s word as gospel. I have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, new challenges, and uncovering untapped territories, and when I want something, I go after it with a vengeance.
I was writing under my pen name when I began to investigate the New York mafia world for a new book I was writing. Of course, reading a few books on this subject simply wouldn’t do. I’ve always had this inane desire to master subjects and topics to the absolute extreme. So, I began to devour dozens and dozens of books, left and right, one after the other. I was reading true story undercover biographies, and more mafia and true crime stories than what should’ve been considered normal. For five months straight, I was digesting close to four books a week, soaking in all the information I could find on the mafia.
But the very moment I stumbled upon George Anastasia’s book Gotti’s Rules, everything around me came to a screeching halt. I had found myself overly engrossed and beyond intrigued by John Alite’s story. I never read books for a second time, never, but I was in awe of Mr. Anastasia’s talent and his ability to write John’s tale.
I had to contact him.
I had more questions.
I wanted answers.
George Anastasia had articulated the facts so intriguingly well I didn’t walk away from this book having mafia questions. Instead, I had soul-searching ones. I had an uncontrollable and overwhelming need to know what made this man tick, what made John Alite be… John Alite. I had to know how he survived the series of events that played out in his life, and what made him want to turn his life around, and what his breaking point was. I started out with every intention of writing John’s life story as one novel, but by carefully peeling away all the complex layers from his history, he revealed more layers that lead to more questions, and I had to keep backing up his timeline. John is like trying to assemble a five-thousand-piece puzzle while being blindfolded. When I described him this way, that’s when I knew one book wasn’t enough to tell his story.
John lived a series of events that didn’t happen simply one after the other. Everything overlapped and intertwined, becoming a matrix of chaos. There are too many elaborate circumstances from his childhood that have come together to form this complex and highly intelligent man.
When I met John for the first time, I was struck by the unspoken, powerful presence he exuded the moment he walked into the lobby. Besides him being a brick wall of pure muscle, charisma and self-confidence radiated off him in droves. Yet, at the same time, he displayed a genuine humbleness.
I must have some fear-factor meter missing from my genetics, because I didn’t feel any intimidation or nervousness upon meeting John Alite for the first time. My husband always told me there’s a fine line between bravery and stupidity; I’d like to think I’m neither. I’m just me, which includes a decent dose of the unconventional. My gut never steers me wrong, and I had a gut feeling that John truly had changed for the better. He has a story to tell, and a strong desire to help young kids and inspire them to stay off the streets.
Those closest to me have expressed their concern for my safety, because of the sensitive subject matter I’m writing about. My immediate response to them was:
“I’ve always put my faith in God, asking for his guidance and his protection. He has blessed me with awesome guardian angels! Yes, I may work them overtime... but they knew that when they took on the job!”
Within the first hour of meeting John, I did, however, need a drink in order to let my true self out of its cage. But this had zero to do with the fact I was getting ready to interview a notorious criminal, one who served a vast amount of prison time for serious crimes he committed. Understand firstly, I constantly struggle with being an introvert. And despite having a quirky, unfiltered, yet fun-loving personality, my jobs require me to act as if I do not. I put on my game face every day, playing the highly interactive professional business woman while running two separate businesses. So, until I get to know someone, I sometimes need an icebreaker to relax so people can see behind my exterior walls and get to know the real me.
I also spent significant time with John’s immediate family so I could get a better feel for his early childhood and how the family’s dynamics operate. In one particular circumstance, I witnessed firsthand the temper he battles to control on a consistent basis. It all started with a phone call… and then his emotions slowly unraveled over the next thirty minutes. I could feel his struggle as he tried valiantly to maintain his composure. Heated anger began to boil up from the depths of his soul, and there was no stopping it. He was like a ticking time bomb, a volcano about to erupt. With morbid curiosity, I had to sit back and watch this event unfold. I didn’t give a second thought to John’s past and what violence would rain down on the recipient of his anger. I couldn’t stop myself from observing with rapt fascination how everything within him finally exploded. It was like watching fireworks on the Fourth of July, his vocals being the first thing to go off.
My God, that deep, raspy voice of his. It projected outward like a thunderous roar, like an untamed lion staking his claim over the lands. This outburst should've been scary to me, but I was more mesmerized than anything. I’m certain anyone within a hundred feet of his voice was turning around and walking the other way—quickly, I might add. I remained quiet, staying out of the way, all the while taking mental notes and giving him the space he needed to work through his personal storm.
Later that evening, as we continued our interviewing, we broached the subject of his temper. John said matter-of-factly, “That explosion of anger was nothing. You should see me when I’m really angry.”
I found myself damn near bursting out with laughter at that statement. The common sense gene I didn’t own was screaming at me from some far away distance, “Abort! Abort this project! Run, woman, run!”
I’ve also seen John’s moods shift in the blink of an eye, going from a relaxed, smiling, jovial state, to the cold, hard, bone-chilling tough-guy persona he keeps hidden in the dark recesses of his soul. This quick change in behavior did give me pause… but only for a brief moment, because I know that tough-guy would never be unleashed on me. I already have a deep level of understanding of him, how he thinks, and how he operates. I have the utmost confidence, respect, and trust in him, and above all, I can see the good in his soul.
But this right here—John’s compassion, kindness, charity, and lionhearted spirit—this is what I want the world to see, who I want the world to know. I want people to understand the real John Alite. This highly caring and giving man who’d give his last dollar to help someone in need, who simply had the cards stacked against him since birth. He was living the only way he knew how while growing up in the most turbulent and violent times in New York’s history.
He was on the street, and the goal was to survive.