Sammy the Bull Gravano is the father of Karen Gravano, star of reality show Mob Wives. For several seasons we’ve heard Karen talk about her father and how there was a stipulation about her because of her father’s cooperating with the feds. Karen’s been labeled untrustworthy because her father was considered “a rat.” As Karen returns to the show after taking a small break from it, new cast member Natalie Guercio labels her a rate because of her father being Sammy the Bull. So, who is Sammy the Bull exactly?
Sammy was a gangster who turned into a witness for the government and is most known for testifying against his mob associates in exchange for protection. Biography.com writes:
Born in 1945 in Brooklyn, New York, Sammy “The Bull” Gravano became the highest-ranking mafioso in history to turn government witness. His testimony helped to jail 36 of his former mafia associates and, as part of the deal, admitted to the murders of 19 people, including that of his brother-in-law. Gravano then entered the government’s Witness Protection Program, but left the program in 1997 to promote his autobiography.
In the late 90s, Sammy got acquainted with an Arizona gang called the “Devil Dogs.” In turn, Sammy got back into the criminal game and he’s currently in prison in Colorado. He reportedly started a multimillion-dollar Ecstasy trafficking faction in Arizona, and in 2000, he was arrested. In 2001, he pleaded guilty to federal and state drug-trafficking charges, and was later sentenced to 20 years in prison. The NY Daily News reported that Sammy the Bull’s cooperation with the feds caused problems not only in the notorious Gotti family, but within his own as well:
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 … 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.
On an interesting note, Victoria Gotti will appear on this season of Mob Wives.