Karen Gravano Book Excerpt on Facebook


 I was nine years old when I began to suspect that my father was a gangster. It was Sunday and Dad had us all packed into the car for an afternoon of house hunting. He loved driving around different neighborhoods, pointing out houses he liked and sharing his renovation ideas. On this particular Sunday, we were cruising around Todt Hill, an upscale community on the southern end of Staten Island, filled with homes owned by doctors, lawyers, and “businessmen.”

Mom was in the front seat with Dad, and my younger brother, Gerard, and I were buckled in the back. My father had just finished the renovations on a three- bedroom house he’d bought for us in Bulls Head, a predominantly blue- collar neighborhood just over the Verrazano- Narrows Bridge and not far from the two- bedroom apartment we had been renting in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.

My father was obsessed with construction and remodeling. He’d ripped apart and remodeled every place we’d ever lived in. He’d started tearing apart the new house the minute we had taken ownership, knocking down walls and putting in improvements, like nice European tiles.

My brother and I attended the local public school; P.S. 60.My mother would walk me to school every day. I had some good friends there, but Dad’s friend Louie Milito was forever suggesting that he transfer me to the private prep school on “The Hill.” His own daughter, Dina, went there. And so did Dori LaForte. Dori’s grandfather was a big player in the Gambino crime family. “The Hill” had large manicured homes dotting its steep streets and was about ten minutes from our three bedroom house on Leggett Place. Anybody who was anybody lived on “The Hill.”

One particular house in this fancy neighborhood belonged to Gambino family crime boss Paul Castellano. We were on one of our Sunday expeditions when Dad pointed it out to us.


Read the rest of the excerpt: Mob Daughter

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