STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.– In what appears to be a social media campaign launched by “Sammy the Bull” Gravano, the infamous Gambino crime family turncoat — who formerly lived on Staten Island — is touting an upcoming podcast about his former career as a mobster, while opening up dialogue with the public.
Recent posts by the former Mafia underboss, who ultimately copped to 19 murders, include photos with his grand children in his Arizona-based studio, along with teasers for his new venture as an on-air personality, the New York Post first reported.
One of the photos posted on Facebook is captioned, in part: “My grandkids love my new Studio. Lights camera action.”
In an advertisement for the podcast on Youtube, he describes himself as a “father, a grandfather and a gangster.”
Salvatore Gravano, 75, became a government informant in 1991 and reportedly helped bring down 39 mobsters while testifying against then-Gambino boss John Gotti. He was placed in witness protection in Arizona, where at one point he nearly was rubbed out by a hit team sent by Gotti’s brother.
Gotti was sentenced to life in prison, where he died in 2002.
While living in Arizona, Gravano again came under investigation by federal authorities.
In 2000, he was charged in connection with an ecstasy ring, for which he served more than 17 years in prison.
STATEN ISLAND TIES
The recent Facebook post showing a family gathering in Arizona garnered more than 200 responses, including some referencing his former home on Staten Island.
“You would walk up and down my street and we would scatter lol,” one man wrote. “Also would never forget the 4th of July party you threw with the rides and everything across from your house. Glad to see all is well!!!”
Replied Gravano: “Those were the days.”
A photo on Gravano’s Instagram page shows him standing outside his former home in what a commenter referred to as Bull’s Head, though Advance records list the address in Graniteville.
In an advertisement for the podcast, a video on Instagram shows grainy surveillance footage of Gravano and Gotti outside the Ravenite Social Club in Little Italy in 1989, shot by FBI investigators. Wrote Gravano: “Get ready to hear the story behind the story.”
In October, Gravano gave his first interview in two decades, which aired on YouTube. He described a plot to kill Gotti that never came to fruition, dished gossip on assassinated Mafia don and Staten Island resident Paul Castellano, and delved into the mindset of carrying out a hit.
And while that interview approached two million views on YouTube, families of the people who were killed as a result of his actions were forced to grieve all over again.
Authorities said one of the victims was 16-year-old Alan Kaiser, an innocent bystander fatally shot seconds after witnessing Gravano and an associate carrying out a drive-by shooting in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, in 1977.
“How much can we tell (the grandchildren) about him?” Thomas Faraci previously told the Advance/Silive.com. Faraci was dating the victim’s sister at the time of the incident. “We knew (Kaiser) barely 16 years. He wasn’t a gangster. He was just an innocent kid walking home. “
Of the 200 or so comments posted in response to Gravano’s recent Facebook post, most are supportive of his return to public scrutiny.
One commenter on Facebook who identified himself as a retired NYPD detective wrote, “Hey, I am a retired NYPD detective, those were great days in NYC, wish u well Sally.”