The true story of how Sal Polisi—a member of a New York crime family and author of The Sinatra Club—turned his back on the mob and spoke out against organized crime.
As a wiseguy for some of New York’s biggest crime families, “Crazy Sal” Polisi couldn’t imagine another way of life. Until the day he was busted and faced life behind bars. Then he decided it was time to talk—not so much for himself, but for the sake of his two teenaged sons.
But Polisi discovered a chilling truth—no one squeals on the mob. Forced to assume a new identity moving from town to town in the middle of the night, his sons chose to stand by their father. In exchange for federal protection, Polisi took a huge gamble—he decided to testify against John Gotti, the reputed head of New York’s powerful Gambino family. As packed with shocking insider details as Nicholas Pileggi’s Wiseguy and as gripping as The Godfather—only true—Sal Polisi’s story marks his captivating transformation from ruthless criminal to devoted father and crusader against organized crime.
In one sense, this is a typically American story of a father who wanted a better life for his sons than he had had; in another, however, it is anything but representative. ``Crazy Sal'' Polisi was a New York City criminal, involved in gambling, car and jewelry theft, hijacking and drug dealing. In an effort to reform, he moved his family to upstate New York in 1982 with hopes of a new life; both his sons became football stars. But he soon returned to drug dealing, was caught and chose to become a government informant rather than serve a 35-year jail term. Polisi then helped convict a corrupt judge and testified against John Gotti, so he and his family were placed in the Federal Witness Protection Program, which meant relocation and new names. But he was ill-suited to this program--a flamboyant man, he hungered for the spotlight--and left federal protection (only to return to it again). Taylor, whose articles have appeared in Esquire and New York magazines, has told the tale of Polisi's strangely shifting fortunes well. Author tour.