Former Mafia Underboss Sammy “The Bull” Gravano Is Now A Podcaster

The FBI informant took down John Gotti.

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Washington - Hearing of Italo-American boxer Salvatore Gravano, nicknamed "Sammy the Bull", at the C...
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Netflix’s true-crime docuseries Get Gotti charts the “meteoric rise and crashing fall” of John Gotti, who once led America’s most powerful mafia family. Underboss Salvatore “Sammy” Gravano, better known as “Sammy The Bull,” aided the infamous “Teflon Don,” as he was called, in his ascent to power.

But he also sealed his downfall by cooperating with the government in a trial that sent Gotti to prison for life.

In addition to their status as two of the most powerful men in New York, Gotti and Gravano were among the most surveilled, the Netflix doc contends. The FBI planted bugs inside buildings where they frequently met, and those recordings eventually broke Gravano’s loyalty to Gotti, according to ABC News.

Gravano thought Gotti was setting him up to take a fall, and decided to strike a deal with the FBI in November 1991.

After 23 years in the mob, Gravano testified against Gotti, leading to guilty verdicts for five murders, including the assassination of previous Gambino “boss of bosses,” Paul Castellano.

After receiving a life sentence, Gotti died of cancer in a Missouri prison hospital in June 2002.

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Sammy The Bull Speaks

As part of his FBI deal, Gravano — who admitted to carrying out his first mob hit in 1970 (for the Colombo family) — confessed to involvement in 19 murders, including the killings of his best friend, Louis Milito, and his brother-in-law, Nicholas Scibetta.

In exchange for his testimony against Gotti, he only served five years in prison. Following his 1995 release, Gravano entered into the federal witness protection program.

Living in Arizona and working in construction under a new identity, Gravano didn’t stay out of the spotlight for long, though. He collaborated with author Peter Maas to share his story of “life in the mafia,” in the 1997 New York Times bestseller, Underboss. The same year, Gravano appeared in a nationally televised ABC News interview with Diane Sawyer.

When Sawyer brought up the Milito hit, Gravano admitted feeling guilty about participating in his friend’s killing. “Oh, I absolutely felt something, tore me up. I knew the wife. I knew the children. It killed me inside,” he said.

Back To Prison

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After leaving witness protection, Gravano relocated to Tempe, Arizona, and began installing swimming pools under the name Jimmy Moran, per The New York Times. Prosecutors alleged that he soon returned to crime, forming a multimillion-dollar Ecstasy gang whose nearly 40 members included his wife, Debra, his son, Gerard, and his daughter, Karen, who later starred on VH1’s Mob Wives.

He was arrested in February 2000 in Arizona, but charged in Brooklyn because he allegedly bought pills from a New York drug gang.

Gravano pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges in Arizona and New York in May 2001, and a judge sentenced him to 20 years in federal prison (to run concurrently with a 19-year Arizona state sentence). After serving the bulk of his time, Gravano was released from a Colorado prison early in September 2017, but will be on federal parole for the rest of his life.

A New Chapter

Speaking to ABC News again in 2021, Gravano said he still has regrets about his crimes, particularly how his “being a gangster” hurt his family.

“It was so ugly,” he admitted during the Truth and Lies: The Last Gangster special. “Would you change it? Yes, the way I feel now. But even looking now, I couldn't.”


Gravano, who turned 78 in March, now lives in Phoenix and hosts a podcast called Our Thing with Sammy The Bull. Already in its fifth season, the program features him “speaking freely” about his former mafia life.

Gravano, the self-described “Don of Social Media,” also has a YouTube channel (and recently shared an interview with Alec Baldwin) and is active on Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), and TikTok. He sells merch, too, including autographed mug shots.

However, Gravano will always be best known as the turncoat mafioso who took down Gotti.

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