Sonny Corinthos met Joe Scully when he was sixteen years old. When Sonny was told to leave home by his mother, he was living on the streets for a while. He told Luke one time that he “went wild.” Sonny didn’t care what happened to him. Sonny was glad to be out of his house and away from Deke, but he couldn’t really take care of himself. He was eating out of garbage cans and getting into trouble.
Sonny stole a car and took it for a joy ride. He didn't know it belonged to Joe Scully. Joe was the neighborhood mob boss. Sonny thought he was done with for stealing Joe's car, but it was actually the turning point in his life. Joe liked Sonny immediately and gave him a job and a home. The most important thing Joe did for Sonny was to be the father that he never had. In fact, Sonny told Brenda one time that the most surprising thing about Joe was that he never hit him, because Sonny thought that’s what people did when you did something wrong. Joe taught Sonny everything he needed to know about how to survive in the world of organized crime.
Sonny will always be indebted to Joe because he was the one that had his stepfather killed. When Sonny went home to visit his mother, he found Adela so badly beaten he had to take her to the hospital. Sonny told Joe his darkest secret. That Sonny and his mother were abused by Deke for years. Joe had Deke killed in an alley, shot in the head and the heart. It was the sign of a corrupt cop. Sonny was very grateful to Joe for what he did to Deke. His nightmare was finally over.
Joe Scully arrives in Port Charles in 1995. Joe wants to take over Sonny's territory. He starts with wanting a piece of Luke's Club. Sonny is good friends with Luke, but doesn't want to betray Joe. Luke has been out of the mob and he tells Sonny he isn't going to pay Joe. Sonny still feels indebted to Joe, so he tells Luke the reason. Luke understands, but still doesn't want to pay Joe. After a firebomb at Luke's Club and some other threats, Sonny finally decides to go against his mentor and father figure.
Sonny has a confrontation with Joe on the docks. They both draw their guns. Joe tells Sonny that he isn't worried, because he knows that Sonny never did have the guts to pull the trigger on anyone. He always had a problem killing people. After some more taunting Joe starts to shoot Sonny, but Mike gets in the way of the bullet. Luke and Mike are on the docks during the confrontation. When Sonny sees that Joe shoots Mike, he looks at Joe and shoots him. Joe goes down and Sonny is in shock. Joe is surprised that Sonny had the guts to shoot him. Joe is killed. Sonny is upset that Joe betrayed him like everyone else in his life. He was the one person that Sonny thought he could trust. But in the end, Sonny realizes he can't trust anyone.