From The Godfather to Mob Wives to The Irishman, there's always been an American fascination with mobs, especially with the Mafia. The gruesome and ruthless nature of organized crime has been the subject of many films, shows, and books, and the true stories behind them are sometimes unfathomable.
Sammy "The Bull" Gravano is best known for being the former underboss of the Gambino crime family and for becoming an informant to the FBI in order to get a diminished prison sentence.
He's also confessed to being a part of 19 murders.
After multiple stints in prison for his slew of crimes during his time in the Mafia, Sammy Gravano is a free man. His daughter, Karen Gravano, was one of the stars on the VH1 series Mob Wives, which ran from 2011 to 2016. The series highlighted the relatives of some of the biggest crime families in the United States, and some believed that it put a target on people in the mob.
Karen Gravano and her daughter, Karina Seabrook, are starring on MTV's newest reality series, Families of the Mafia, meaning that Sammy Gravano's past indiscretions will once again be a topic of discussion.
Where is Sammy "The Bull" Gravano now? The mobster got out of prison in 2017, and his family is slated to appear in the MTV reality series. Find out if he will be part of the series at all, and what he's been doing since his release.
Where is Sammy "The Bull" Gravano now?
After two arrests and a recent 18-year imprisonment, Sammy "The Bull" Gravano will be making an appearance on the MTV series.
In an interview with Fox News, Karen Gravano confirmed that the 75-year-old wanted to be on the show because he was interested in spending time with Karina Seabrook.
"When he came home, he wanted to rebuild his relationship with my daughter," she said in the interview. "He pretty much spent most of her life in prison. And seeing that I’ve done shows and a book before, he supported me."
Karen confirmed that showing her life on TV again would be incomplete without her dad being part of it.
"I also sat down with him and explained exactly what this is is going to be about. It's not like he came out [of prison] and then wanted to do reality TV. We were filming and I was like, 'You’re such a big part of my life, my story. This is who we are. Let’s share our experience with others,'" she continued. "Once I explained to him in that way he agreed and wanted to support me."
Because Sammy Gravano was in prison from 2000 to nearly 2018 on drug trafficking charges (which also implicated Karen), he's also been adjusting to modern life since he got out.
"He's older now and did over 18 years in prison. So when he came back home, life was just so different. The world is so different. He had to see things in a new light, like telephones and social media," Karen said. "He's keeping busy and working on his own projects, but he’s just taking it day-by-day and enjoying life."
These days, it appears as if Sammy Gravano has put his criminal past behind him. Now, he's focused on bonding with granddaughter Karina and setting the record straight on his arrests.
He also has a podcast, Gravano's Bullpen, which has chronicled his past mob experiences and his takes on current events.
Why did Sammy "The Bull" Gravano go to prison?
Sammy Gravano worked closely with mob boss John Gotti as an underboss in the '80s, which made it all the more surprising when he turned on Gotti. After learning that Gotti had badmouthed him during a government wiretap, Sammy Gravano decided to work with the FBI. His account of mafia events sent dozens to prison, and though he admitted to plotting multiple murders, he was only given five years in prison.
After his first prison release, the family moved to Arizona so they could be in the Witness Protection Program. Sammy Gravano also allegedly got plastic surgery so he would be unrecognizable. But, he couldn't stay out of his old ways for long, as he continued criminal work. He organized a drug ring with his family members, including son Gerard Gravano, Karen, and now ex-wife Debra.
They trafficked ecstasy, and Sammy Gravano was arrested in 2000.
He pled guilty to the charges against him in 2001, and he was sentenced to 19 years in prison in the state of Arizona, and to 20 years in the state of New York.
Sammy Gravano served his time in ADX Florence, a maximum security prison in Colorado. His sentences for both states ran concurrently. He was released early in September of 2017, and he has been a free man ever since.
Gerard got nine years in prison for the drug trafficking charges, while Karen and Debra were given probation.
Families of the Mafia airs on Thursdays at 9 p.m. following Jersey Shore Family Vacation on MTV.