The Shocking Truth: Billy Batts’ Brutal Demise in Goodfellas

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Billy Batts, feared enforcer, murdered, reasons simplified in Goodfellas film.

Key Insights

  • Billy Batts was a feared enforcer in the Gambino family, known for his ruthlessness.
  • He was a close associate of John Gotti but was eventually sentenced to prison for his involvement in organized crime activities.
  • Batts' murder in Goodfellas was based on real events, although the film simplified the reasons behind his death.
  • The film portrays Batts as a hot-headed and arrogant mobster who had a falling out with Tommy DeVito.
  • According to Nicholas Pellegi's book Wiseguy, Batts was beaten to death with a tire iron by Tommy Desimone, Jimmy Burke, and Henry Hill.
  • Martin Scorsese toned down the violence in the movie to avoid glorifying it, focusing on conveying the impact through reactions and emotions.
  • The real cause of Batts' death was likely related to a conflict over his loan shark business, involving Jimmy Burke and a power struggle within the crime families.
  • Speculations suggest that Jimmy Burke, not John Gotti, ordered the murder of Tommy Desimone, as Burke wanted to eliminate a potential liability.
  • Greg Bucciarone, a controversial witness, believes Burke was responsible for Desimone's murder.
  • Despite controversies surrounding Bucciarone's credibility, his theory holds some weight due to Burke's efforts to cover his tracks in the Lufthansa heist and the murder of Batts.
  • The truth behind Desimone's murder remains a mystery, and the mob's code of silence and lack of evidence make it difficult to confirm or refute any theory.

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Transcript

Title: Fallout from the Murder of Billy Batts: Behind the Scenes of Goodfellas

[00:00:00] What was the fallout from the murder of Billy Batts, the mobster who inspired the central murder in Goodfellas? Batts became involved in organized crime at a young age. He was known for his ruthlessness and was considered one of the most feared enforcers in the Gambino family. He became a close associate of John Gotti, a Capo and rising star in the family at the time.

[00:00:25] However, his criminal activities eventually caught up with him, and he was sentenced to a lengthy prison term for his involvement in organized crime activities. His time behind bars would later play a significant role in the events that led to his murder as tensions and rivalries within the Mafia community came to a head, resulting in a tragic and violent end for Batts.

[00:00:48] The scene in which he is killed is one of the most memorable scenes in the film. It tries to capture a brutality and violence that was an integral part of the Mafia’s lifestyle. In Goodfellas, Billy Batts is portrayed as a hot-headed and arrogant mobster who had recently been released from prison. He is shown to be a former mentor of character Tommy DeVito, but their relationship had soured over time.

[00:01:14] In the film, Batts was killed by Tommy, Jimmy Conway, and a brutal scene that has become one of the most iconic moments in the movie. According to Nicholas Pellegi’s book Wiseguy, Batts was beaten to death with a tire iron by Tommy Desimone, Jimmy Burke, and Henry Hill. They then wrapped his body in a plastic bag and put it in the trunk of Hill’s car before burying it.

[00:01:41] Scorsese chose not to show the murder scene in graphic detail, instead opting to convey the brutality of the event through the reactions and emotions of the characters. Scorsese has said that he toned down the violence in Goodfellas to avoid glorifying it, as he felt that the audience might become desensitized to the violence if it was depicted too realistically. He wanted the audience to feel the impact of the violence without being overwhelmed by it.

[00:02:07] What real-life events led to Billy Batts’ death? Rumor has it the events that led to Batts’ death were more complex than the portrayal in the film. It is believed that, while Batts and Tommy Desimone did have a falling out in real life, the actual cause of their conflict was related to business. Specifically, it is said that while Batts was in prison, Jimmy Burke muscled in on his loan shark business, a detail that is only hinted at in the film.

[00:02:35] When Batts was released from prison, he went to Crazy Joe Gallo of the Colombo crime family to get his business back from Burke. However, Burke refused to give it up, leading to a conflict between him and Batts. This version of events is corroborated by Hill, an associate in Gallo’s crew, together with Burke and Desimone.

[00:02:58] While the insult over shiny shoes is a memorable moment in the film, it is likely that the actual cause of Batts’ death was related to his loan shark business and the power struggle within the crime families. The murder of Batts highlights the violent and cutthroat nature of the criminal underworld. It was a significant event in the history of the Mafia, triggering a landslide of unfortunate events for many of its members.

[00:03:24] In the world of organized crime, there are often many theories and rumors about who was responsible for a particular crime. This is certainly the case with the murder of Tommy Desimone, which occurred in 1979. While some press reports claim that John Gotti and his crew were behind the hit, Greg Bucciarone believes that this is incorrect.

[00:03:47] Instead, Bucciarone thinks that Jimmy Burke was the one who ordered the killing of Desimone. According to Bucciarone, Desimone was murdered at Burke’s home in 1979 while Burke was busy covering his tracks in relation to the infamous Lufthansa heist. At the time, John Gotti was investigating Burke and Desimone’s involvement in the murder of Billy Batts. Bucciarone believes that Desimone’s murder was simply a way for Burke to eliminate a potential liability.

[00:04:17] Bucciarone’s own background is also worth noting. He is a former child prostitute who came forward as part of a ring that served former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky and the late Philadelphia businessman Ed Uncle Eddie Savitz. Despite the controversy surrounding Bucciarone and his credibility, his theory regarding Tommy Desimone’s murder by Jimmy Burke cannot be completely dismissed. The mob’s code of silence and the lack of hard evidence make it difficult to confirm or refute any theory.

[00:04:50] However, the fact that Burke went to great lengths to cover his tracks in the Lufthansa heist and the murder of Billy Batts lends some credence to Bucciarone’s theory that Burke was also responsible for Desimone’s murder. The murder of Tommy Desimone remains shrouded in mystery and speculation. While some believe that John Gotti and his crew were responsible, others, like Greg Bucciarone, think that Jimmy Burke was the true mastermind behind the hit.

[00:05:19] Regardless of who is responsible, one thing is clear. The events surrounding Desimone’s murder continue to captivate and intrigue people to this day.

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘The Shocking Truth Behind Billy Batts Brutal Demise in Goodfellas’ by Movies Consigliere