After Gravano removed Simone's shoes, Milito shot Simone in the back of the head, killing him. Gravano later expressed admiration for Simone as a so-called "man's man," remarking favorably on the calmness with which he accepted his fate. Gravano earned praise from Paul Castellano for the killing.
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Unlike his earlier club ventures, Sammy, now immersed in his construction projects,was not on the scene every night. I have my own professional manager, Joe Skaggs. I bring in new bartenders and I hire good working neighborhood girls as waitresses. Everybody who was in there are people around me, or people who knew people who were close and loyal to me. Long lines curled around the block.
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The wait to enter was frequently an hour or more. Some nights it was simply impossible to get in. The music was basically deejay, but there were live performances as well. Before the transaction was completed, Fiala began acting like he already owned the club. Not only that, but Fiala had ordered work to begin breaking through an office wall for a staircase leading directly to the Plaza Suite, so he would not have to use the 86th Street building entrance and walk around the block to enter the disco.
He had brought in Doberman guard dogs. He had armed men patrolling the premises. It started to look like a concentration camp. This ultimate affront enraged Sammy beyond redemption. A brace of Dobermans growled menacingly. Sammy ignored them.
Oh no, there's been an error
Get the hell out of here. He ordered Sammy and Garafola to sit down. They sat.
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My body completely tensed up like it was a piece of steel. I figured the bullets are coming the next second.
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He shoots. With that, I kind of caught my second wind. What are you getting excited about? This is a business deal. The deal is already three-quarters done. You want to stay in the office? Sammy watched Fiala relax and lay down the Uzi on the desk. I tell Eddie to get up and we leave. He should have killed me right then and there. Sammy stationed Nicky Cowboy in a car parked on the corner.
He had a shotgun. If anyone in the group that normally accompanied Fiala drew a gun, he was to start shooting. Eddie Garafola would stand on the opposite corner of the side street. As Fiala neared the Plaza Suite, Garafola was to call out to him. Armed with pistols and wearing ski masks, Stymie and Milito would be hiding in the alley. Michael DeBatt would be at his usual post by the door. Huck was inside in case of trouble there.
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Sammy himself would be on the side street near the alley. At a prearranged signal from him, Stymie and Milito would leap out and gun down Fiala. Down at the corner, Eddie sees him coming and nods to me. I look at Mike DeBatt at the door and give him a nod. He has a small entourage with him, maybe eight or ten people. In turning, he sees me. I am no more than six or seven feet away from him.
Maybe he picked up the fury in my face or eyes. You could see the puzzled expression he had. Louie gets him with a shot to the head. He flops to the sidewalk. Louie goes and stands over him. He leans down and puts his gun to one eye and blows it out. Then he puts the gun in the other eye and blows it away, too.
People are running every which way. Some people are trying to get into the disco. Others are trying to get out. Get down! Stymie and Louie immediately head for it and take off. Down at the corner, Nicky Cowboy has his shotgun ready. I spit on him. So does Eddie. We both had guns. We give them to Nicky and off he goes.
The hit men are gone. The guns are gone. But by now the cops are all over. According to the police, the murder occurred at approximately 2 A. But nobody said a word. Sammy, however, was confronting a far more serious and immediate reality: the wrath of Paul Castellano. The Fiala hit had not been sanctioned, a mortal sin in the world of Cosa Nostra.
The ultimate penalty, of course, was that Sammy could now die because of this transgression. To make matters worse, the New York Daily News reported rumors that the Gambino crime family had a hidden interest in the Plaza Suite and identified Castellano as the head of the family. Later that night, Gravano confronted Fiala on the street as he exited the Plaza Suite among a group of people, asking, "Hey, Frank, how you doing?