SALVATORE THE BULL
By Fiction Writer Anthony Darden
You are no better or worse than anyone else in La Cosa Nostra. You are your own man. You and your father are now equals. Your father, sons, and brothers have no priority. We are all as one, united in blood. Once you become part of this, there is no greater bond." -Thomas DiBella
Unless you have been under a rock for the last fifty years, you better know about Salvatore The Bull” Gravano, a ruthless underboss and prolific hitman for the Gambino Crime Family. The F.B.I. and government knew what they were doing when they let him off so easy. After hours of debate, they finally took a deep breath and said, “let’s do it.” Or course it was going to take some serious maneuvering to avert the public outcry. It was crazy and unheard of. And if they F’d it up, there was going to be hell to pay.
Salvatore’s heart raced with excitement. He couldn’t believe it. “Holy shit!”, he exclaimed. “To stick your head in the lion’s mouth and come out with your ass intact. Brother, I will tell on God”, he would often joke around with the fellow officers of his witness protection detail. Meanwhile, cut from his two thousand dollar custom suits, his polished shoes, pinky rings, and fine gold chains, the Godfather was having a five star dinner in his cell. A black cup of coffee. A bag of chips, and a candy bar. I wouldn’t say he was happy. With all pun intended: steaming like a bull. The man that had once had it all, and called the boss of all bosses, was now sitting in a six by eight and having meals through the slot of a steel door. But still he had his dignity and pride. He was still The Teflon Don. They don't have a conviction yet. His fans would never let it go down like that. This was a man that had killed his own brother. This was a man that had no problem killing anyone. He had the name, The Bull for a reason, for God sake! There is no way.
The Feds had a different outlook. They didn’t see it that way, and put all their eggs in one basket. They knew with The Bull, if everything went right, it was money in the bank. Not only would they recoup the wasted millions, once this was over, the Cosa Nostra boys were going to come running like their ass was on fire.
The analyst had done a complete profile. “The Bull is a psycho. He is a small fish with a big fish ego. He’ll be back. It’s just a matter of time. He thinks he’s smarter then everyone. And with this free ticket, it’s going to put his narcissistic behavior on a whole new level. It’s only a matter of time before he’ll be sitting in a six by eight next to his boss.”
They knew that after The Bull turned state's evidence against his boss, the floodgates of Cosa Nostra was going to open, and all hell was going to break loss. There was not going to be enough cells or deals on the table. After The Bill, they wouldn’t need any more deals. This would be a monumental success, and years down the road, it will set up a lot of good careers. The Bull was going to break the bank, and they knew it. It was in his nature. You can’t escape being a natural born killer. There is no escaping, no matter how smart you may think you are.
For killing his own brother-in-law and committing many other heinous crimes, including nineteen murders he gainfully admitted, before turning on his Teflon boss, (who sat in his car watching The Bull’s public execution then Gambino boss, Paul Castellano), was only sentenced to five years. But as the Fed’s had predicted, The Bull would turn back to his nature and eventually ended up with a twenty year sentence for earning five hundred thousand a week selling ecstasy, and simultaneously opened the door for new top rank informants who ran to the prosecutor with open arms to break the bank of the once great family and loyalist of the blood oath, Cosa Nostra.
“He longed for the glory days”, assistant U.S. attorney, Linda Lacewell had said. So much so, his undercover operation included his wife, Debra, 24 year old son, Gerard, his 27 year old daughter, Karen, and 32 others. Son Gerard received nine years for his role in the drug ring. Debra and Karen Gravano pleaded guilty and received several years on probation. Karen, after her 2000 bust, deciding she had had enough of her father’s antics, package up and headed back to New York, where she pinned a New York Times bestseller novel, with Lisa Pulitzer, Mob Daughter: The Mafia, Sammy “The Bull” Gravano, and me! Karen is also one of the stars of VH1’s hit reality show Mob Wives.
Gravano, one of the world’s most famous turncoats, blames turncoats for his twenty year sentence. He is quoted as saying: “They all flipped on me as a meal ticket to get out.” He also said he overstated his role in the ring to save his son, who was originally facing a life sentence.