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Sammy the Bull Gravano’s Story of
Life in the Mafia
By Peter Maas
One thing is clear about the book, Peter Maas sat back and without any research or confirmation, took Gravano’s words and put them on paper in such a way as to allow Gravano to make himself look like the saint.
There is no question that this book is Gravano’s version to combat the version put out by John Gotti, as promoted in the Jerry Capeci/Gene Mustain book and the HBO movie that came from it.
What are the two versions?
The facts are irrelevent, here, because no one seems to be able to confirm anything, a sad commentary on the role of the Justice Department in the Gotti investigation. Was it a matter that having someone like Gotti made it easy to convict Gotti, who had beat the system at least twice before? Could it have been bruised ego that allowed a man like Gravano to be released?
These are serious questions that beg answers.
Gravano’s version is simple: Gotti ordered me to kill eight of the 19 people he has confessed to murdering. Eleven of the murdered victims were people Gravano killed before he became underboss to John Gotti, and therefore Gotti is not responsible for those killings. But Gravano claims that the remaining 8, including the killing of Robert “DiB” DiBernardo which was graphically portrayed during the HBO special, were ordered by Gravano. (In the DiBernardo case, the victim, a allegedly the mafia’s liaison to the unions and an alleged prono king, was sitting in Gravano’s office when one of Gravano’s aide walked behind him and shot him in the head as Gravano sipped his coffee.)
Gotti’s version is that Gravano orchestrated mostif not all of the eight murders, and committed them himself, providing false charges againstt he victims, including his own brother-in-law, Eddie Garofalo, who he murdered. In the DiBernardo and Garofalo cases, Gravano assumed their businesses, which is the motive that Gotti insists pushed Gravano to the decisions to kill.
The Maas book is difficult to read. The story is somewhat twisted. Gravano’s recollections seem hard to believe, and mostly self-serving. You cannot read this book believing that a journalist took the words of a confessed killer and put them to the tests. It is not a balanced view of the facts, as was the Capeci/Mustain book, written by two New York reporters familiar with the mob.
Sadly, in this affair, a New York District Judge, I. Leo Glasser, and two US Senators who are yet unnamed, played a major role in reducing Gravano’s intended sentence of 20 years to the five years he served. Glasser reduced the sentence. The two senators were among many who pleaded with the court to grant Gravano leniency.
Even after he had agreed to a 20 year sentence? And had agreed to testify against Gotti? Was this extra icing on the cake?
There is a good argument that Gravano put away some 38 mafia members, according to Prime Time TV, but were these 38 people as vicious of killers as Gravano?