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Nicholas Scibetta, also known as "Little Nicky" (died 1978), was a Sicilian American mobster[1] who was the nephew of Joseph and John Zicarelli, the brother-in-law of mobster Sammy Gravano[2] and uncle of Gerard Gravano, who was a Gambino crime family mob associate who was later marked as an informant by fellow crime family members.

Early lifeEdit

Scibetta was born and raised in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, like his future brother-in-law Gravano. He was the only son born to first generation immigrants, his father from Cammarata in the province of Agrigento, Sicily, and his Italian-American mother from Bayonne, New Jersey. Scibetta had two older sisters, Debra and Diane. His mother was a housewife and their father was "a terrific father, but very strict" man who was a certified electrical engineer who worked the night shift for Western Electric (now AT&T Technologies) putting together circuit boards for the telephone company.

In 1971, Gravano married Debra.[3]

Falling out with the Gambino crime family and murderEdit

Scibetta was the source of much anxiety, grief and stress for Gravano from the time he married his sister, to the time of his murder in 1978 in Bensonhurst. Part of the motive for the murder was that Scibetta was suspected of being gay.[3]

In another incident, Scibetta had apparently insulted the daughter of George DeCicco, the uncle of Frank DeCicco. Gravano later said,

Now Frank (Frank DeCicco) did not get into this, but the girl's father went bananas. He goes to Toddo (Salvatore Aurello). He wants Nick roughed up. I step in and say I'll take care of it, let me handle it. I talked to Nick and slapped him in the face pretty hard. But it was better than getting his arms and legs broken. There are other situations with the kid. I'm trying to figure out what to do. Maybe get him the hell out of Bensonhurst. But unbeknownst to me, Paul Castellano is hearing about all of this. It's being put on record with Paul, the incidents with the recreational drug use and alcoholism, the thing with Tony Jets's son, George DeCicco's daughter and many other incidents. Paul Castellano told Frank DeCicco to get Sammy Gravano's crew to murder Nick. Frank gave the murder contract to mob associates Liborio (Louie) Milito and Joseph (Stymie) D'Angelo Sr. They felt sorry for Gravano and told him of the murder contract that had been handed down. Frank DeCicco discussed the planned murder with Castellano and convinced Paul to let Gravano know of his murder that was to be carried out. Gravano would later say,

I couldn't talk to Toddo (Salvatore Aurello) about this. Paul has purposely kept him out of the loop. This piece of work is off the record. If I talk to him, he's involved, too.

Gravano later said,

So now I got an option. It's to die with Nicky. I chose against Nicky. I took an oath that Cosa Nostra came before everything. I never thought it would come down to this. But it did. I was devastated. I was thinking of my wife and in-laws, what good people they are, and how devastated they would be.

Gravano stated,

I was hoping that it would be like he just disappeared. It would be better for his mother and father. They knew he was a crazy kid. Maybe he had met somebody, some group of people, and run off. The bottom line is that I let it happen. That makes me just as guilty. I didn't know the body would be chopped up afterwards. That's not me.

Scibetta was dismembered and his body was never found other than an arm.[3][4]

In popular cultureEdit

In the made for television HBO movie Gotti, Scibetta is portrayed as "Nicky Scibetta" by actor Frank Crudele. In the film Witness to the Mob, Nicky is portrayed by actor Kirk Acevedo. He is allegedly a real life inspiration for HBO prison drama series Oz characters father and son, Nino Schibetta and Peter Schibetta.

Discrepancies in filmEdit

In the television movie Gotti, Sammy Gravano, portrayed by William Forsythe, murders Nicholas by himself in a construction supply warehouse, while in his autobiography Underboss he states that members of Gravano's own crew, allegedly Liborio Milito and Joseph D'Angelo and Frank DeCicco, carried out the murder contract for Paul Castellano and not Gravano. The Gravano character also states that his wife Debra, the sister of Nicholas, would be divorcing him after he testified in court about being an accomplice in both before and after the fact of Nicholas' gangland execution, Debra did not.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Staff, PageSix com (2009-11-09). "Call him Sammy the gay bull". Page Six. Retrieved 2019-08-24.
  2. ^ "Sammy Gravano's 19 Victims". Mafia Hitters. Retrieved 2019-08-24.
  3. ^ a b c "Gravano killed brother-in-law, defense attorney says N.Y. judge rules revelations were too inflammatory for Gotti mob jury to hear". March 12, 1992.
  4. ^ News, New York Daily. "Gravano killed brother-in-law, defense attorney says N.Y. judge rules revelations were too inflammatory for Gotti mob jury to hear". Retrieved 2019-08-24.

External linksEdit