Allan May, Crime Historian
Allan May is an organized crime historian, writer and lecturer. He also writes a monthly column for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Contact him at AllanMay@AmericanMafia.com
The Definition of Minuscule
A Gravano Family Commentary
By Allan May
The “American Heritage Dictionary” defines minuscule as: very small, tiny. As many dictionaries will do they display a picture to illustrate their point. In this case the picture is of Sammy Gravano’s brain.
This past Thursday the most celebrated “rat” of all time was arrested in Arizona and accused of being the “brains, bankroller and boss of an Arizona crime syndicate dealing in the designer drug known as Ecstasy.”
How many people in this world get the kind of breaks that Sammy Gravano received? Let’s forget for a moment all the criminals that are incarcerated today that would walk barefoot on hot coals just to get out of prison. Even us hard working mutts might appreciate a new shot at life like Sammy got with all the money from his book and movie deals and then being relocated to the warm climate of Arizona.
Last week two death row inmates were put to sleep, both had been convicted of one murder. Hundreds of inmates sit on death row in this country convicted of murder. Ninety percent of these people claim to be innocent. Sammy doesn’t claim to be innocent. He’s proud of the fact he has nineteen notches next to his name. Gravano got to spill his guts about his life of crime and the brutal murders he was involved in, including his own brother-in-law, and was paid handsomely for it. Instead of walking away from his life of crime and counting his blessings for a new start in life, the imbecile is right back at it under the very noses of the people who are paid to keep an eye on him.
Diane Sawyer interviewed Gravano on national television, and Vanity Fair magazine did a long article on his last summer. Gravano, though making millions from his notoriety, would have you believe he is the victim.
Well, now he is a victim. A victim of his own greed and stupidity. This time instead of destroying a crime family he destroyed his own family. His wife, son and daughter were arrested with him. Many of us were surprised to find out he was still in contact with his family. I thought they were still living in the New York area. Both the book and the made-for-TV movie indicated that his wife wanted nothing to do with him. How can she stand to be near this scumbag when he was involved in the murder of her own brother? One Forum poster reminds us how Gravano openly criticized John Gotti for allowing his son “Junior” to become a made member of the Gambino Family.
In Peter Maas’s book “Underboss,” Gravano talked about his son getting involved in the crime family, “I myself would be dead set against it. I wanted my son to be legitimate, to have nothing to do with what I did. And if he winds up in the life, he’s sure to end up either whacked or going to jail himself.” Nice prediction, Sammy.
Newspaper articles indicate that after Gravano’s presence in Arizona was exposed last summer his business “went south.” Is Sammy pleading poverty? Is that why he got involved in the local drug ring? What happened to the million dollars Sammy reputedly made on his book deal? Last year’s article stated Sammy lived in a simple bungalow. Where did all that money go? Does this mean there is no money left for the families of Sammy’s murder victims that attorney Ron Kuby is representing? Kuby was quoted last week:
“I wonder how the government officials who cozied up to this mobster must feel. First they allow him to get away with 19 murders, then they turn him loose to deal poison to the unsuspecting people of Arizona. There ought to be a couple of FBI agents, U.S. attorneys and one federal judge named as accomplices.”
On the subject of government officials cozying up, Dennis Wagner’s article last July in The Arizona Republic had Gravano claiming, “he’s become pals with FBI agents and U.S. marshals. They drop by on vacations to Arizona. He talks to their wives by phone.” With the recent revelations of FBI misconduct in Boston involving the leaders of the Winter Hill Gang, law and order advocates, myself included, are left shaking our heads in disbelief.
Arizona Attorney General Janet Napolitano said that Gravano’s “prior testimony against the mob was not a free pass to peddle drugs to Arizona’s youth.” It will be interesting to see if Napolitano will allow Gravano to return to New York in April to testify at the Bosko Radonjich trial. If he does the feds will probably throw a ticker-tape parade to welcome their returning hero?
Here’s is to hoping that justice this time will prevail for “The Bull.” And that he gets the full twelve and a half years he deserves.
Here are a few interesting comments from Forum posters on Sammy’s demise:
Posted by Dave C:
It would be fitting if Sammy's 2 children would flip & testify against their worthless excuse for a Father. The worm has definitely turned for Salvatore Gravano.
Posted by Joey Botts:
It will be fun to watch Sammy squirm. The government didn't mind when he screwed all his friends, but now he has no friends. They're going to throw the book at him and he deserves it. Bon voyage Sammy you rat bastard. What did he gain - he hurt a lot of people (and killed a lot of people) and now he's right back in the same place he was before. Don't kid yourselves, the people who buy Ecstasy are children, teenagers usually - this rat bastard was selling drugs to kids. I hope the FBI is proud of itself for leaving this piece of garbage on the streets.
Posted by Joey Bagga-Donuts a/k/a Joey Bagg's:
Look for the Judge in the Gotti RICO case to haul the "Bull" back into NYC for violating his parole. That should make for a pretty interesting proceeding. Also, if and when Gravano is sentenced there is a very good chance he will do time in New York for his lifetime parole violation.