Little is known about his
early life. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and was described as a long time friend of John Gotti. In 1959 he became an associate of the Gambino crime family and became a made member in 1961. Batts met Jimmy Burke in 1962 and was on friendly terms with him. In 1964, he went to Connecticut to complete a drug deal but upon arrival he was arrested by undercover police for possession and exchange of narcotics and was sentenced to 6 years in a State Prison.
Release from prison and confrontation with DeSimone and Burke
On June 9, 1970, he was released from prison and two days later, while celebrating his release at a club called
The Suite in Queens, he ran into Tommy DeSimone. He had not seen him since his early teens. Batts remembered him to shine shoes and made a remark which Tommy took as an insult. The remark wasn't the only problem going on with Batts, since Burke had also taken over his money-lending business and therefore wanted to keep Batts out of the way. Batts was way over his head and had been drinking far to many that night, not being able to defend himself if trouble occured. Once they were alone in the club DeSimmone and Burke started to beat him and then strangled him. After they were done they took his body in the trunk of their car and buried him in the bush.