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Infamous Former Mafia Members And Hitmen Reveal All On YouTube Channels

by : Cameron Frew on :
Infamous Former Mafia Members And Hitmen Reveal All On YouTube ChannelsSalvatore Sammy The Bull Gravano/YouTube

Former US mafia members are racking up millions of views on YouTube with tales of their lives in the mob.

Whether it’s Goodfellas, The Godfather, Once Upon a Time in America or The Sopranos, the public’s fascination with organised crime has manifested itself in a long line of movies, TV shows, documentaries and now, YouTube channels with content created by retired mobsters themselves.

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For example, there’s Sammy ‘The Bull’ Gravano, the former underboss of the Gambino crime family who testified as a government witness in the prosecution of John Gotti. At the time of writing, he has more than 423,000 subscribers.

There’s also Michael Franzese, a former Capo in the Colombo crime family, with more than 706,000 subscribers tuning in for him breaking down aspects of life in the mafia, as well as his reactions to mob movies like The Many Saints of Newark.

Patrick Bet-David, an entrepreneur and YouTuber who’s interviewed the likes of Gravano and Franzese, spoke to The Independent about the ethics of such content on the platform, given its criminal, sometimes macabre history.

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‘These stories are very compelling. You have people that listen to every word that comes out of their mouth. There’s an audience for it. They are both going to be million subscriber channels in no time,’ he said.

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Christian Cipollini, a crime historian and author of Lucky Luciano: Mysterious Tales of a Gangland Legend, also told the outlet, ‘The trend of former organised crime figures transitioning, or parlaying their experiences and notoriety into pop culture media isn’t really a new trend at all,’ referring to earlier tell-alls and book deals, if not movie adaptations.

‘So in other words, if an opportunity exists – well, they’re opportunists. The YouTube era provides a contemporary media vehicle for contemporary mobsters. The only difference between the old era and now is technology, and perhaps the generational attitudes and differences.’

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Cameron Frew

Entertainment Editor at UNILAD. 2001: A Space Odyssey is the best film ever made, and Warrior is better than Rocky. That's all you need to know.

Topics: Film and TV, Now, US, YouTube

Credits

The Independent
  1. The Independent

    From hits to clicks: Former mafia bosses are making a killing on YouTube