Tommy DeVito was a character in the blockbuster 1990 Academy Award winning Martin Scorcese film GoodFellas. The role, played by veteran character actor Joe Pesci (Go Home and Get Your Shinebox!)
John Gotti killed him on this day in 1978 for The mobster — famously portrayed by Joe Pesci in “Goodfellas” — killed two made men, tried to rape the wife of his gangster pal Henry Hill and stupidly lifted his ski mask during 1978’s historic $6 million Lufthansa heist.
So John Gotti took care of it — personally. capo used a silencer-equipped Colt .38 to shoot DeSimone three times in the skull in January 1979 in the basement of an Italian restaurant on Arthur Avenue in The Bronx, says in the book, “The Lufthansa Heist,” written by Hill and journalist Daniel Simone.
It’s the first book where the details of Gotti’s role in the death of the 28-year-old psychopath have been revealed.
Tommy DeVito was based on real-life gangster Thomas 'Two-Gun Tommy' DeSimone, renowned for his violent temper. According to the real Henry Hill, Pesci's portrayal was “90 to 99 per cent accurate”, with two notable exceptions. Firstly, DeSimone was a big, burly enforcer, standing 6 ft 2in and weighing 210 lbs. He was terrifying. Joe Pesci is 5'4 and he was pretty scaring even at that height..Can't imagine that character being so big.
Hill heard the specifics surrounding DeSimone’s murder from Sal Polisi, a Gotti confidant he met in the Witness Protection Program. When Hill collaborated with author Nicholas Pileggi on “Wiseguy,” the 1986 book that was the basis of “Goodfellas,” he withheld the information on DeSimone’s slaying because he feared reprisals from Gotti, who by then had risen to become godfather of the Gambino crime family.