It was the Summer of Sam.
And Alan Kaiser, just 16, would soon learn that 1977 was also the Summer of Sammy Bull.
“I want Sammy Gravano’s daughter Karen — who was born in 1977, the same year my brother was killed, and who is now getting rich and famous on a classless TV reality show and from her ghoulish book about her father — to know that her father didn’t just murder other mobsters,” Alan’s sister says. “He also murdered a teenage boy. I want her to see my brother’s pictures. To know what he did and what he took from us. Her father is a monster. Not someone to idolize or profit from.”
Before Alan Kaiser left their two-bedroom apartment in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, on that hot, clammy night of Aug. 5, 1977, wearing a spotless white safari suit he got for his 16th birthday on June 24, Alan Kaiser told his sister’s fiancé, Tom Faraci, 20, a city garbage man, to please make sure that Son of Sam did not hurt his beloved 19-year-old sibling, Joi.
“Alan worried about me so much he gave me his Boy Scout knife,” Joi Faraci says now, eyes watering, caressing the black-handled Forest Master knife 35 years later in the finished basement of the couple’s modest Staten Island home.
“My father and brother were cops, and I can tell you Alan was anything but mobbed up,” says Tom. “He was an innocent kid with a peach fuzz mustache trying to impress girls. . . .”
“Alan won a school art contest with a painting hung in the Brooklyn Museum,” says Joi, frowning in a forever sad way. “A New Utrecht High honor student. Mechanically inclined, like my father, who was a Korean War vet.”
Joi says Alan was walking along Kings Highway near West Eighth St. about 11:30 that night when two gunmen burst from a car. Sammy "The Bull" Gravano, with an ankle cast, waved a handgun. The second hood, Louie Milito, cocked a sawed-off shotgun.
Gravano’s ankle had been broken the week before by a couple of guys in an after-hours joint. One of them was Aldo Candido, 21, who now fled when he saw the two mooks firing in revenge. He escaped.
Just as Alan Kaiser happened along Kings Highway.
In Gravano’s federal confession, he says he called Milito and waved at Alan Kaiser, and Milito obediently shot the boy in his chest. Bam. Then fired a second, loud, point-blank round into Alan Kaiser’s teenage face.
At the funeral, a wailing Joi leapt on Alan’s body in the casket. “He was hard as stone and so, so cold,” she says. “Today, the mere smell of flowers makes me relive my brother’s death.”
So does mention of the name Gravano.