If there’s one thing absolutely nobody can deny, it’s that when Salvatore “Crazy Sal” Polisi chose to leave the mob behind around the peak of his career in the mid-1980s, he really did it for good. After all, as carefully explored in Netflix’s ‘Get Gotti,’ this wise guy’s motivations were much different than anyone else despite his actions being just as criminal, heinous, as well as mind-boggling. So now, if you simply wish to learn more about him — with a particular focus on his early background, his illegal endeavors, and his clear current standing — we’ve got the necessary details for you.
Who is Sal Polisi?
It was reportedly back when Brooklyn, New York native Sal was merely four or five that he was first introduced to the mafia by an uncle, only for his interest in the same to expand as the years passed. He thus began dabbling in the art of lying and stealing in high school itself, with his first grab being a coach’s wallet to buy some baseball cards, followed by feigning severe mental health issues. In fact, he utilized this talent later on not just to obtain a medical discharge from the US Marines but also to avoid numerous prison sentences — he apparently duped over two dozen psychiatrists.
Coming to Sal’s mob starting, according to his own account in this Netflix original production, he and infamous Gambino family boss John Gotti “came up the ranks together through the ’70s. We robbed trucks together with Tommy DeSimone. The same Tommy that was in ‘Goodfellas’ [1990 movie], the character [Joe] Pesci played. Working your way up; you had to do a murder or something. Then you would be looked at like a potential made man.” He subsequently detailed a few of John’s ambitions plus crimes prior to revealing how he himself dealt drugs and once flew to Florida simply to castrate a man for touching another made man’s wife.
“There was a standard code in the mob,” Sal candidly stated. “You weren’t supposed to deal drugs because you could get busted and get 30, 40, 50 years. Some of them will get life without parole. That allowed the government to pitch those guys…, ‘You wanna do life, or do you want to come over and become a witness or an informant?’ So [for us], it was ‘do the smack, get the whack.'” This then-official manager of Gambino hangout spot Sinatra Club added, “A lot of the guys followed the rules, and they didn’t make any money… I was a drug dealer. I was dealing heroin and cocaine. Back then, I had $20,000 a week coming in. That was a fortune.”
However, even though Sal was operating a drug ring, a gambling enterprise, plus a few haunts in the city, all the while owning several sports cars, jewelry, and weapons, he had a change of heart in 1984. He was on a $1 million bail in prison for a 4-ounce cocaine charge at the time, so it was seeing a mere glimpse of his two kids crying in the waiting room as his wife visited him that made him decide enough was enough. “That was the moment where I decided, ‘I gotta flip. I gotta get out of this life. I don’t want to keep torturing them. Finally, one day [in 1986], I made a phone call. I’m gonna work with the government.'”
Where is Sal Polisi Now?
Sal or Sally Ubatz reportedly also felt as if there was no honor or respect left in the mafia anymore, which is why he had no qualms about switching sides and helping federal authorities create RICO cases. It hence comes as no surprise he as well as his loved ones were placed into the Witness Protection Program in 1985 itself, meaning they relocated to a secret location, took up new identities, and tried to lead normal lives. This was obviously easier said than done since Sal had to be called upon numerous times in the ensuing few years to testify against former peers, just for it to ultimately result in him coming out of hiding.
By this point, Sal’s marriage had unfortunately crumbled apart, yet he wasn’t too down over it because he’d met the love of his life, his future wife, plus the mother of his two youngest children, Debrah, in 1988. They actually tied the knot three years later, after which they settled in California to enable this former wise guy to kickstart a career in the industry he was utterly passionate about — screenwriting in entertainment.
“I started out in Hollywood the same way I got my start with the mob,” Sal says, per his LinkedIn profile. “I learned from the best [Mardik Martin]. I’ve written scripts for feature film, television, and stage.” This includes ‘Sinatra Club,’ ‘Ubatz,’ a stage play titled ‘Goomada,’ plus a ‘Crime Time’ television show that’s in the works. Moreover, a board game and a video game based on his life in the mob are in development at the moment, and he continues to serve as an author (‘Sinatra Club), screenwriter, podcast host (‘A LifeTime Of Mafia Tales’) as well as a public speaker.
Sal was actually the keynote speaker at the FBI Academy’s graduation ceremony for the great class of 1989, plus he has spoken at conferences and workshops for the US Justice Department, FBI, and other law enforcement organizations across the country. This Malibu-based co-owner of production company Ubatz Productions Inc., alongside his loving wife Debrah, has also been a star witness in so many mob trials over the years that the US Federal Court of NY has certified him as a “crime expert” in gambling, drugs, and organized crime.
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