Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Karen Gravano tells how dad Sammy the Bull betrayed 2 families

 Karen Gravano, of “Mob Wives” fame,

The family that murdered omerta is back to pump a few more slugs into what’s left of the once-sacred Mafia oath.
Two decades after her father/underboss Sammy opened the tell-all Mafia floodgates as an FBI informant, Karen Gravano spills her own secrets in a new autobiography, “Mob Daughter.”
The Staten Islander — a main player on the VH1 reality show “Mob Wives” — harbors no illusions about the world’s ongoing interest in her life and times.
It’s still about her dad, the murderous bite to Gambino family don John Gotti’s bark — until Gravano’s 1991 decision to abandon his two families, both blood and blood-spattered.
“The fascination still exists because there’s never been another John Gotti, and there’s never been another Sammy "The Bull" Gravano,” she told the Daily News.
“The dynamics of those two together. . . . People are still interested in that world, still want to know about it.”
The subtitle of her book says as much: “The Mafia, Sammy ‘The Bull’ Gravano, and Me!”
Which is not to say the 39-year-old Gravano doesn’t boast about her own boosters.
She has more than 26,000 fans on a book-related Facebook page, which includes a link where actor Anthony Hopkins confesses his devotion to her reality show.
The undeniable reality: The show is both a blessing and a curse.
“Some days you love it, some days you hate it,” she said. “Anyone in reality television knows you’re vulnerable. You look at the television, and you know it’s not who you are.
"It’s almost like you’re stuck in a fishbowl.”
Gravano, who returned to Staten Island after she was sentenced to three years’ probation in 2002 for her role in her father’s drug operation in Arizona, is slated for a Feb. 16 book signing at the Barnes & Noble at 97 Warren St. in Tribeca.
Like any good Italian daughter, she sought her father’s approval before going forward with the book, which is due out on Valentine’s Day.
And though the paterfamilias cooperated on a best-selling biography and testified dozens of times about his past, the Bull initially snorted at the idea.
“He first felt, ‘What kind of a story do you have? ” she recounted. “And I explained to him, ‘Everyone had a story.’ I can tell what happened to you and me as a family.”
Sammy’s tale remains tough to top: He admitted to 19 murders and helped convict 39 organized crime colleagues after going into the federal witness protection program.
The rest of his family refused to go along with him, creating a rift that took years to heal.
Her father’s betrayal also caused a split with the Gotti clan.
Karen remembers John Gotti as a movie star presence from her childhood, although she didn’t pay much attention to fellow mob offspring Victoria Gotti’s reality show.
“You know, I really didn’t watch too much of ‘Growing Up Gotti,’ ” she said.
Despite her falling-out with her father over the years, Karen Gravano says she and Sammy are close these days — even though he’s serving a 20-year prison term for running an Ecstasy ring.
Their ties were bolstered when he was released from solitary confinement at the federal Supermax prison in Florence, Colo., eliminating a lot of the restrictions that made it hard to keep in touch.
“We talk all the time, and I’m able to visit,” she said. “It’s not the best conditions, but I’m able to go and talk.”



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