Joe Bruno on the Mob – 400-pound Hit Man Claims He Was Sent to Whack Sammy the Bull


Is this what the mob has become; sending a calzone with feet to whack a top-echelon mob rat?

Well, if 400-pound former Gambino crime family member Salvatore “Fat Sal” Mangiavillano can be believed (and that’s doubtful, since he’s now a government informant and known for telling a fib or two), the mob was so desperate to whack Sammy “The Bull” Gravano, in the early 1990’s they sent this blubbering whale Mangiavillano to Arizona to track down Gravano, and then kill him. (There was a rumor that the method of the proposed murder was for Mangiavillano to sit on Gravano until Gravano became a pancake.)

Editor’s note:  the first part of Mangiavillano’s name is “Mangia” which means “eat.” How ironic.

The skinny (no one has used that word in the same sentence with Mangiavillano before) on how this transpired started in Argentina where Mangiavillano was born. At the age of eight, Mangiavillano moved to Brooklyn and commenced a life of crime. He never did apply for American citizenship.

 After probably reading a bio on Willie Sutton (or more likely, someone read it to him), Mangiavillano decided to become a bank robber. This was not a very bright idea, since Mangiavillano was caught robbing a bank (imagine this whale trying to flee the scene of a crime) and sentenced to eight years in prison. After he did his stint in the can, Mangiavillano was deported back to Argentina.

However, Fat Sal longed for his old haunts back in Brooklyn.

Mangiavillano’s trip back to Brooklyn was a circuitous one. He somehow illegally made it into Canada, where he was met by a few fellow wiseguys, who snuck Mangiavillano back into the United States (no doubt in a very large tractor trailer). The next thing he knew, Fat Sal was back in Brooklyn, happy as a pig in slop and eating with both hands.

According to Fat Sal, in the early 1990’s he was assigned the Sammy the Bull hit. As a result, he made several trips to Arizona looking for Gravano, but was unsuccessful in finding him. (There is a good chance Gravano spotted Big Sal first and went into hiding, since spotting Mangiavillano could be done from the distance of the width of three American states).

Before this comedy of errors could reach the desired conclusion of the mob in Brooklyn, Gravano, along with his wife, son, and daughter Karen (of Mob Wives fame), was arrested for running an drug ring that specialized in the sale of Ecstasy. With Sammy the Bull back in the can, Big Sal went back to what he did best – shoveling food into his mouth.

Soon, Fat Sal was arrested (probably for felonious piggishness), and facing big time in the slammer, he decided to become a rat like Gravano; albeit a much heftier rat.

The moral to this story is this: If you want a person to find and kill someone, don’t send someone whose footsteps can be heard five miles mile away.

A 400-pound hitman!

What’s next; a 400-pound Olympic sprinter?

Makes just about as much sense.




3 Responses to “Joe Bruno on the Mob – 400-pound Hit Man Claims He Was Sent to Whack Sammy the Bull”

  1. While it’s true fat sal liked to rob banks. Which was mostly on staten island,ny. He didn’t go for the inside, open to the public roberies. He went after the nite drop boxes. Because the drop is only a 3ft. fall when you make a business drop off at night. He an others would pry the box off the wall, which arent alarmed & just reach in & grab it all. He also was a buddy of Frankie carbonaro, who was also a bank robber{ & his nephew paul ratted him out } & would have side bets with fat sal on who’s bank heist would make the front page of the S.I. Advance or how much the guys got. Frank Carbonaro was another willy sutton wanna be who did die in prison after being convicted with others for conspiroring to rob the hudson armor car company up in new paltz,ny.

  2. Hi Joe-
    Is there a real photo of fat sal somewhere out in the land of the Internet? I know he turned informant, so Google may be blocked but I was wondering if you have a link somewhere?

    Trying to piece something together.

    Many thanks,


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