"A vivid portrait of a New York mobster turned government witness. The many sides of Sal Sr. -- his charm, disregard for the law, devotion to his kids, and selfishness -- are what really fascinate."
-- Kirkus Reviews
"COMPELLING . . . The contradiction of a mad-dog criminal/good father used by Mario Puzo in 'The Godfather' is even more effective here because Polisi is real and this story is true."
Sins of the Father
From Sins of the Father, Chapter 13:
Tuttie was a fur man. That is, he once had worked for a private carter who picked up garbage in the fur district of Manhattan, and he had arranged thefts with men inside who pilfered mink coats and set them out in garbage cans. Information about furs still came to Tuttie, and in the summer of 1972 he came out of the sunshine into the club on 101 Avenue in Ozone Park blinking and looking for Angelo Ruggiero. Somebody called, "Hey, Quack," Ruggiero's nickname for his open-toed stance and waddling walk. Soon Quack and John Gotti were talking to Sal and Foxy Jerothe, Sal's best friend and partner in crimes, including hijacking and selling drugs.
"It was Foxy and me and this guy Tuttie, and a guy named Red Collins from Paulie Vario's Lucchese family crew, and we were laying up there in the Bronx watching that fur truck come and go."
"I remember Foxy," Sal junior said, "he was always with a different girl."
"That's right. He was deadly with the women. That's what got him killed. Probably that's what it was. Anyway, we watched that truck for a couple of weeks and then, on a hot summer day that started out raining, just like today, we were gonna do the robbery."
Sal remembered the traffic hissing by on the Bruckner Expressway as he and Foxy watched through the rain the red truck being loading with furs at the Rapid Fur Dressing plant below the bridge where they stood. The truck pulling out, turning onto the bridge toward the Bruckner. Collins and Tuttie cutting it off, Collins driving an old bomb of an Olds, a hotski Tuttie had gotten from somewhere, swearing it ran, swearing the radiator had been fixed.
"Foxy and I nailed it from both sides," he said. "We opened the doors. There were three Italian guys in there, older guys. They didn't even have a gun, but the truck had an alarm, which went off, a siren-type alarm, like an ambulance. So we had a problem there."
Sal junior broke in. "Did you have guns, you and Foxy?"
Sal studied him. "What do you think? Of course we had guns. You're not gonna hijack no truck without no guns. Me and Foxy both used thirty-eight Smith and Wessons. And we like to keep a little snubnose either in our back pockets or taped to our legs."
Sal junior shook his head and looked off into the sun, squinting.
"What's the matter? You didn't think we'd carry guns?"