Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Sammy 'The Bull' Gravano

Life After the WPP

As revealed in Howard Blum's interview, Gravano boasts that he is prepared for retaliation from the mob:

"They send a hit team down," he continues, now full of authority, his usual confidence restored, "I'll kill them. They better not miss, because even if they get me, there will still be a lot of body bags going back to New York."

"I'm not afraid," he goes on. "I don't have it in me. I'm too detached maybe. If it happens, fuck it. A bullet in the head is pretty quick. You go like that! It's better than cancer.

"I'm not meeting you in Montana on some fuckin' farm. I'm not sitting here like some jerk-off with a phony beard.

"I'll tell you something else: I'm a fuckin' pro. If someone comes to my house, I got a few little surprises for them. Even if they win, there might be surprises."

Blum's interview was to focus on "Junior" Gotti assuming leadership of the Gambino crime family. It was here that Gravano poured out his feelings, which would attain for him a great deal of respect by Vanity Fair's audience. Ironically, Gravano's words would come back and bite him viciously and cause people to question not only his recent statements, but also his previous courtroom testimony.

Gravano revealed that he had gone "legit." He owned a construction company that employed 15 people, which grossed nearly a million dollars a year. "I even pay my taxes," Gravano boasted.

Not bad for a confessed murderer of 19 people! Who gets a second chance like this? While most people, who kill just once, face the death penalty, life in prison or at least a lengthy sentence – not to mention huge fines or even financial ruin – here's Gravano with 19 notches raking in "nearly a million dollars" a year.

Blum reveals, "Sammy's goal, ultimately, is to create a business that he can pass on to his children and grandchildren. "I want to give them something that I never could've given them if I had stayed in the life.'"

Gravano continues to emphasize how important his family is during the interview. Blum writes:

"In fact, when he was at his lowest point, it was his attachment to his son and daughter to ensure that they would have a valuable future that, Sammy says, pulled him through. 'After I had flipped, when I was at Quantico, I started thinking I had made a big mistake. I thought I had fucked up big-time. I started thinking about killing myself. I worked it all out. How I would do everything.

'"And I would've done it. But then I realized: I kill myself, I would leave vegetables behind. First my kids had to deal with me flipping. Then they would have to deal with me killing myself. That wouldn't be fair. What kind of life would they have? So instead I made up my mind to show 'em why I did what I did. That my turning on John was a double cross of a double cross. John wanted me to take the rap for everything he did. He played a game of chess against me, and I won. I made up my mind I would leave them something they could be proud of.'"

What Gravano was intending to leave behind for his children to be proud of is still being pondered. In the next few years, his life, due to his own indiscretions, would begin to spin out of control.

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