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THE CREW

What did it take be part of Sammy's crew?  Choosing wisely and keeping them close, being both a racketeer and gangster was mandatory. A cunning racketeer and money maker in legitimate and illegitimate dealings, earning his seat at the table. A gangster, with the delicate balance of keeping the peace, but also knowing when to pull the trigger on a rule breaker, with permission of course.  Sammy The Bull's crew had one of the most dangerous and vicious reputations on the street.  The members of The Crew lived and breathed Cosa Nostra.  They lived for the this life and for Sammy, they were all in. 

Above all else, Sammy valued loyalty. Without loyalty....you're nothing. Sammy's stories about his Crew are endless, some still in the vault..untold even until today...for now....

 

Until then, meet the The Crew.

Image by Lerone Pieters
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Salvatore “Toddo” Aurello 

In 1972 Sammy left the Columbo family, was transferred to the Gambino Family and became part of Toddo’s crew. In 1976 Toddo proposed Sammy to become to a made guy in Cosa Nostra.

By Christmas of 1977 Toddo made Sammy his acting capo (captain). Sammy became so close to Toddo, he was considered a son to him by many members of the Gambino family. Toddo also became a mentor to Sammy throughout the years.

March 14, 1914 – 1998 

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Frank "Frankie" or "Cheech" DeCicco 

A close childhood friend of John Gotti’s, DeCicco was made underboss in December of 1985 after his involvement in the successful murder plot of the Gambino family’s then boss, Paul Castellano. Days before the murder, Frankie told Sammy: “Sammy, I’ll tell you what. We’ll give [Gotti] a shot. Let him be the boss. We’ll be the power behind the throne. If it don’t work within a year, me and you, we’ll kill him. I’ll become the boss, and you’ll be my underboss, and we’ll run the family right.” Four months after the Paul Castellano hit Frankie was violently killed in a car bomb.

November 5, 1935 – April 13, 1986

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Louie Milito

 

From being in the Rampers together to Gambino crime family associates, Sammy and Louie Milito were lifelong friends. When Sammy became consigliere in 1986, his old crew was taken over by Louis Vallario. Milito was not pleased with this decision, and made the mistake of telling other crew members that it was he who should have been given the top spot, not Vallario. Gotti wanted Milito killed for being a Castellano Loyalist. Sammy later said, “Louie Milito was a friend of mine, ‘A friend of ours,’ but there came a time when Louie, who had helped me with many hits, had to be hit himself.

Unknown – 1988

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Michael "Big Mike" DeBatt

His father was a Gambino crime family mob associate and a close friend of Sammy’s who became indebted to loansharks and bookmakers. He died leaving his family under financial strain and heavily indebted. While Michael was still a football player in college, his mother was being told she owed the money. Sammy told her that if anyone came asking to tell them Sammy had the money. Sammy settled Michael’s father's outstanding debts to the loansharks and bookmakers. A short time later, Michael became a member of Sammy’s crew.

1949 – November 2, 1987

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Louis “Big Louie” Vallario

 

Louis was originally with Toddo, before Sammy joined Toddo’s crew. Sammy said, “was super loyal and solid. He handled my appointments and kept me straight about what had to be done.” After Old Man Paruta and Stymie died, Louie said, “I know what you're feeling. I can';t fill Stymie's shoes, or Paruta's. I wouldn;t even try. But I promise I'll be there foryou.” When Sammy became consigliere he promoted Vallario to captain, who then took over his crew.

Born 1942 

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Frank “Frankie Fap” Fappiano

 

Frank was the second cousin of Frankie DeCicco and one of Sammy’s top hitmen. He was the triggerman along with Stymie’s son Joey D’Angelo in the murder of Eddie “The Chink” Garofalo. After his involvement in the murder of Frank Hydell along with Thomas Carbonaro, he turned government witness. He was one of three former Gambino henchmen who cooperated with the government case against John (Junior) Gotti.

Born 1962

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Louis Saccenti

Louis was a member of Toddo’s original Bensonhurst crew that Sammy inherited. Sammy
believed that he lacked a killer’s instincts and was unfit to become a Mafia soldier, so he utilized him as a chauffeur. When associate Pauly Marmone who was the president of the union retired, Sammy pushed for Saccenti to replace him, eventually Saccenti did become president of the union.

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Thomas “Huck” Carbonaro

 

He b ecame an associate of Sammy’s crew through his friend Stymie. Sammy helped his family move from the ghetto into the Bensonhurst neighborhood, and their families became so close that they occasionally vacationed together in Florida to “get away from ‘the life,’ – the everyday grind of being in Cosa Nostra.” After Sammy testified, Carbonaro along with Sammy’s brother-in-law Eddie Garafola were involved in an unsuccesful plot to kill him in Arizona. He aided in two separate assassinations of mobsters who had fallen under suspicion of being government informants and was sentenced to 70 years in

prison for a multitude of crimes.

Born 1948

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Joe "Stymie" D'Angelo

According to Karen, Sammy’s daughter, “Stymie was my father’s top hit guy and close friend. Dad said he had met him on the “street.” The two men were so simpatico they even looked alike with their dark brown hair and short stocky builds...They dressed the same, too, in similar sweat suits and sneakers. Stymie owned a bar in Brooklyn called Doc’s. Dad referred to him as his right-hand man. Stymie was gunned down at Tali’s, a bar that my father and Stymie owned together. What should have been a time of celebration was now marred by the loss of his closest friend. The Colombo associate who killed him was drunk, high, and out celebrating the fact he was about to be “made.” Stymie died honorably, protecting the female owner (who was the widow of a made man in the Genovese family) who was being harassed by the bastard. Everybody in our family was devastated. Stymie was family to us.” So much so, Debra (Sammy’s wife) fainted at Stymie’s funeral. Joey “Little Joe” DeAngelo, Jr. became like an unadopted son to them and later part of Sammy’s crew.

1948 – August 23, 1985

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Joseph “Old Man” Paruta
 

He was one of Gravano's original Bensonhurst crew that he had inherited from Toddo. Sammy got permission and had him made on his death bed. He requested a mercy killing; however, he died of lung cancer before this could happen. Sammy said, “My man of loyalty, of heart and soul, a man of honor, was gone.” “Everybody called Joe the 'Old Man'. He was only about fifteen years older than me but he already had white hair and looked kind of decrepit. He was tough and loyal. Old Man Paruta would kill for me as quick as he would get me a cup of coffee. Over the years, there was nothing I couldn't ask of him.

December 3, 1929 – October 1986

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Joseph "Little Joe" De’Angelo, Jr.

 

The son of Joseph “Stymie” D’Angelo,

Little Joey grew up in the world of the Gambino family. He started driving Sammy around and became like an unadopted son after his father was killed in a Brooklyn bar. He became a made member of the Gambino family in 1994. Joey cooperated with the government 2004.

Born 1969 

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Nicholas “Nicky-Cowboy” Mormando

 

Once a top hitman for Sammy, Nicky was present for the Fiala hit at The Plaza Suite in 1982. Nicky had always lived up to his nickname, always acting like a drunken cowboy. Years before joining Sammy’s crew, he was a member of the “69th street boys”, back when Sammy was still in the Rampers. The leader of the “69th street boys”, Nicky Beansi, also came over to Sammy’s crew.

October 28, 1944 – 1986

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Joseph "Joey" Bilotti

Was a made member in the Gambino family and brother to Tommy who was killed with Paul Castellano. At a meeting, Joe Watts wanted to kill him and take over everything. Sammy talked with John Gotti and told him he didn’t agree with taking out Joey. Frankie DiCicco agreed with Sammy. John Gotti also agreed, and then said he would put Joey Bilotti in Sammy’s crew and sent Sammy and Frankie to talk to him. Joey became an extreme loyalist to Sammy. After Sammy cooperated, Joe Watts wanted to kill Sammy’s son, Gerard. Joey found out about the plot, went to Joe Watts but Watt’s denied it. Joey then said if anything happens to Sammy’s son, if he gets pneumonia or has a heart attack, or a hair on his head is touched he would kill Watts.

1934 – 2017

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“Cousin Eddie” Garafola

Married to Sammy’s sister Fran, Eddie was proposed to be a made member by Sammy in the Gambino Crime Family. He made a phone call to his cousin Eddie “The Chink” Garofalo that lured him to his death at the hands of Sammy’s top hitmen Joey D’Angelo and Frank Fappiano. After Sammy cooperated, Eddie joined Thomas “Huck” Carbonaro and Fat Sally (who was later busted for drugs and cooperated putting away Peter Gotti, Eddie and Huck) in plotting Sammy’s murder.

March 25, 1938 - September 28, 2020

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Johnny Holmes

 

Was part of the younger guys of the crew. He was almost always around Sammy, on the farm and at close family functions. He could never be made because he was not Italian. But Johnny was loyal, tough and could always be counted on to do whatever he had to do. He was also never
arrested in connection with any crimes

involving Sammy.

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