The Mafia’s slippery Teflon Don John Gotti finally went to prison after being ratted out by hitman Sammy “The Bull” Gravano — who believed the mob boss targeted him for death.
That’s the chilling reason Gravano broke the Mafia’s code of silence and flipped on his godfather, according to former crime-busting Deputy U.S. Attorney John Gleeson’s bombshell book, The Gotti Wars: Taking Down America’s Most Notorious Mobster.
At the time Gravano sold out Gotti in 1987, Gleeson was readying to try the Gambino family boss for murder a second time.
Based on FBI wiretap tapes played at a pretrial hearing, Gravano told Gleeson he believed Gotti wanted him dead because the don “sounds like he’s trying … to go along with whacking me.”
So the pair and two FBI agents had a top secret meet in a jury room in Brooklyn’s federal courthouse, where Gravano told the crimebuster: “I want to jump from our government to your government.”
He believed if Gotti got off, “John will try to kill me when we hit the street.”
During the meeting, the goon admitted murdering “about 18 … one more or one less,” says the lawman.
One victim Gravano whacked was his wife Debbie’s brother Nick Scibetta, who’d insulted the daughter of a mob higher-up.
After signing a deal to squeal, The Bull was whisked to a Floral Park, N.Y., motel for safekeeping.
Gravano spilled his guts at Gotti’s trial and the “dapper don” was convicted of five murders and sentenced to life without parole in 1992.
He died at 61 of throat cancer at a federal supermax slammer in 2002.
Gravano helped put away a total of 39 gangsters including Vincent “The Chin” Gigante, boss of the Genovese crime family. He was sentenced to five years, but having already served four, he was out in 1995.
Rejecting witness protection, he split for Arizona where he got nabbed for drug dealing and spent 15 years behind bars. Wife Debbie found out about him snuffing her brother and left him in 1996.
Now 77, Gravano makes a living telling mob stories on the Our Thing podcast.