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How Victimization Theories Relate to John Gotti’s Victims?


Criminal and violent behavior has been the focus of psychologists, scientists, and criminologists who had been searching for the answer to one of the many questions what are the reasons some people become victims? Various victims and their stories have been studied in order to comprehend who is more vulnerable to victimization. Many criminologists have been coming up with many theories regarding why people are inclined toward committing crimes (Siegel, 2010), and why certain people become the target of these crimes.

John Gotti is one of the notable criminals in the history of criminology. He grabbed most of the media’s attention. He ran an organization in a traditional buyer-customer style which was actually based on the crimes he, along with his whole gang, has to commit.

According to the Strain and cultural deviance theory, individuals’ deficiencies urge them to become a criminal and fulfill their needs. This is common in our societies where people become robbers, and killers to gain wealth and achieve their goals. Subculture theory refers to the rebellion act of individuals who think they’ve had enough of the societal norms and values as they are not being beneficial to their lives. Social control theory is about an individual inclined towards criminal actions due to the breakdown of the societal bonds he once had. Radical theories are based on the differences in race, gender, color, age, etc. due to which people indulge themselves in criminal actions. Other theories and their relationship with the victims of John Gotti are as follows.

Victim precipitation theory in relation to John Gotti’s victims

This theory suggests that certain properties or undeliberate actions of the victim may be the cause of the crime committed (McKenna, 2018). It may also occur due to personal conflict.

Since John Gotti was a serial killer, and serial killers search for different characteristics such as gender, age, color, etc. in their victims, Gotti’s victims may relate to this theory in this regard. These characteristics depend upon the experiences of the killer as a victim. One of their main victims of Gotti named Favara became his victim due to the accidental death of Gotti’s son due to Favara’s car.

Lifestyle theory and John Gotti’s victim

This theory suggests that certain actions may provoke criminal actions to be committed. These actions include residing in unsafe areas, going out at night alone, alcoholism, etc.

One instance of John Gotti’s victim named Favara who accidentally became the cause of Gotti’s son’s death may fit this theory. The hitting of Favara’s car with the boy’s mini-bike became the reason for Favara’s murder (

Deviant place theory and its connection with John Gotti’s victim

This theory states that increased exposure to unsafe places makes an individual vulnerable to criminal activities (Siegel, 2005).

The innocent people who may have resided in the neighborhood of Gotti and his mafia may have become victims due to their presence in that specific area. Favara, one of the main victims of John Gotti, lived in his neighborhood and hence was more obvious in the eyes of Gotti and his gang.

Routine activities theory

This theory describes the level of victimization by a number of situations that refer to the daily routines of normal beings such as the accessibility of appropriate objectives, the nonexistence of adept caretakers, and the existence of driven offenders.

The presence of John Gotti and his gang may have been a big threat to the innocent people living nearby, and their unawareness and innocence led them to become Gotti’s victims.


We observed how there’s a whole background plays a role in any criminal activity being done. All these theories mentioned above indicate that the relationship between the offender and the victim is important to study in order to determine the causes of the criminal activity.


Analysis of Criminological Theory Relating to Organized Crime, John Gotti, and Gang Organizations. Retrieved March 14, 2018, from

McKenna, B. Victim Precipitation: Definition & Theory. Retrieved March 14, 2018, from

Person. (2009, January 8). Gotti Victim Dissolved in a Barrel of Flesh-Eating Acid. Retrieved March 14, 2018, from

Siegal, L.J., 2005. Criminology: The Core. Thompson.

Siegel, L.J., and McCormick, C.R., 2010. Criminology in Canada: Theories, patterns, and typologies. Nelson Education.



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