Truth and Lies: The Last Gangster: who is Mafia hitman Sammy ‘The Bull’ Gravano, focus of Disney+ documentary?

Truth and Lies: The Last Gangster is a new Disney+ documentary that features an exclusive interview with a notorious member of the American Mafia

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Sammy Gravano is a former mobster who worked for two of the most powerful crime families in American history before becoming a government witness.

At the time of his testimony, Gravano was the highest ranking member of the Five Families to have broken their blood oath and worked with the government against other members of the family.

In the feature-length documentary, Gravano speaks about his involvement with organised crime, his role in bringing the head of a New York crime family down, and the consequences of his criminal activities.

Sammy GravanoSammy Gravano
Sammy Gravano

Who is Sammy ‘The Bull Gravano?

Salvatore Gravano was born in Brooklyn in 1945 to parents who were originally from Sicily.

As a young teenager, Gravano joined a local gang, and caught the attention of members of the Mafia when they saw him involved in street fights.

He gained the nickname ‘The Bull’ when a made man saw him fighting several people at once and said that he fought like a bull.

Gravano became a member of the Mafia, starting as a mobster in the Colombo crime family.

He eventually became underboss of the Gambino crime family - a major player in organised crime and one of New York’s Five Families.

Gravano was heavily involved in the murder of the Gambino family boss Paul Castellano in 1985, working alongside other infamous mobsters including John Gotti to organise the killing.

It was after Castellano was killed that Gravano became underboss of the Gambino family, while Gotti became the boss.

Six years later, in 1991, he became a government witness, testifying against Gotti, leading the Teflon Don to be sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole - Gotti died of cancer in 2002 while serving his sentence.

Gravano’s testimony brought down Gambino boss John GottiGravano’s testimony brought down Gambino boss John Gotti
Gravano’s testimony brought down Gambino boss John Gotti

Gravano’s testimony also resulted in Gotti’s Consiglieri, Frank LoCascio, being sentenced to life imprisonment, and he died in October last year.

Where is Sammy Gravano now?

After striking a deal with the government to give evidence against Gotti, Gravano was sentenced to five years, having already served four.

He became involved in crime again and In 2002 he was sentenced in New York to 20 years for drug trafficking.

His request for early release in 2015 was denied because of his reputation for extreme violence, but in 2017 he was granted an early release.

Since being released from prison, he has started a YouTube channel, Salvatore Sammy The Bull Gravano, which has more than 500,000 subscribers.

He posts videos where he talks about his life and the history of Cosa Nostra (the Mafia). He also produced a podcast called Our Thing.

What crimes did Sammy Gravano commit?

In the deal in which Gravano agrees to testify against Gotti in return for a lighter sentence, he confessed that he had been involved in 19 murders.

These included Castellano, wealthy businessman Frank Fiala, and his own brother in law, Nicholas Scibetta.

When is Truth and Lies: The Last Gangster on Disney Plus?

The documentary was released on 22 July and is available to watch on Disney Plus now.

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