THE WITNESS is the compelling account of the hard and fast life of an “up-and-coming star” within the Mafia ranks, the downward spiral created by his addiction to drugs, and his spiritual rebirth spurred by the heart-wrenching plea of his little girl.
Raised in the heart of an aging Brooklyn neighborhood, Robert was a small but fiery, attention-deprived Italian boy, drawn to the lifestyle of those who drove Cadillacs, had pretty girls, and were always loaded with easy cash. He became a part of that world early on, running errands and selling illegal goods for local mobsters. His reputation as a fierce fighter grew, and by the time he was a young adult, he had made an impression on influential members of the Gambino crime family. In his early twenties, Robert was on his way to Mafia stardom, mentored by one of the most prominent wise guys in New York City.
As the face of the Mafia began to change, so did their illegal business ventures. Robert began distributing and using cocaine; his addiction led to his eventual fall from the ranks of the mob. He tried to get clean and start a family, but his addiction was too strong. Eventually, the drugs became a barrier between him and his loved ones, including his newborn daughter. After another failed attempt at sobering up in Florida, Robert returned to New York, where the cycle of addiction to cocaine overwhelmed him. He was constantly high, shamelessly homeless, and hiding out in crack houses until the day federal agents caught up with him.
He saw his life ending in one of two ways; either he would die overdosing, or the men to whom he swore allegiance would silence him first.