This holiday season, the Mob Museum continues to remind us of the world’s bloody past and present, starting with John Gotti’s blood-red 1972 Jaguar XKE. The infamous gangster’s convertible is on display at the Fashion Show Mall near the Neiman Marcus entrance until December 18.
The museum has owned the car since it opened in five years ago. It was donated by Gotti’s wife, Victoria. Gotti originally acquired the car from his right-hand man and veteran gangster Greg DePalma, presumably as an effort to gain favor with the New York mob boss. Gotti later gave it to Victoria as a 25th anniversary gift. Mob Museum senior director of content Geoff Schumacher says that there probably were never any enemy corpses in the car because of its size. “The car is pretty small. It would be pretty hard to put a body in there,” Schumacher says. See the steering wheel that was driven by Gotti’s murderous hands on Mob Mondays from 6 to 8 p.m. to receive discounts and deals at the museum.
On December 2, the Mob Museum is hosting a talk with David Howard, the author of Chasing Phil: The Adventures of Two Undercover Agents with the World’s Most Charming Con Man. The book follows two FBI agents in the early ‘70s. They traveled around the world with Phil Kitzer, a con man and white collar criminal who was around “before Madoff was the big guy,” Schumacher says. The agents eventually busted Kitzer and exposed other gangster activity. One of those agents, Jim Wedick, will also be at the event to give first-hand accounts of his time chasing Kitzer.
Bringing Mob Museum guests into present day is the temporary photo exhibit “Cartel Violence in Mexico,” which is on display until mid-January. The exhibit, located on the first floor, shows the work of Ioan Grillo and Fernando Brito depicting a “grim story.” “The pictures are very blunt,” Schumacher warns. He says that in many cases, when cartels kill somebody, there are rituals attached, such as placing objects on the body, or they will kill their victims in a specific way. It’s these photos that Schumacher finds the most fascinating.
Finally, Schumacher says that the museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. this Christmas for those who like a little brutality with their stockings and eggnog. And it’s the last chance for locals to receive free parking and buy-one-get-one-free drink deals at the concession stand. The promotion ends November 30.