Sins of the Father: The True Story of a Family Running from the Mob

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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.
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About the author

NICK TAYLOR is a journalist and the critically acclaimed author of nine books. He lives in New York City.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Jan 31, 2012
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Pages
496
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ISBN
9781451668674
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Criminology
True Crime / General
True Crime / Organized Crime
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Gangster Paul Grimes was a one-man crimewave with a breathtaking capacity to steal. Any villains who got in his way were made to pay - often with their blood. But when his son died of a drugs overdose, the old-school mobster swore revenge on the new generation of Liverpool-based heroin and cocaine dealers. Against all odds, he turned undercover informant.

The first gangster to fall foul of Grimes' change of heart was Curtis Warren, aka 'Cocky', the wealthiest and most successful criminal in British history. Grimes infiltrated his cocaine cartel and led Customs to the largest narcotics seizure on record, putting Warren in the dock in the drugs trial of the twentieth century.

After turning his attention to heroin baron John Haase, Grimes rose to become the boss of the villain's notoriously bloodthirsty 'security firm' - a professional gang of racketeers addicted to cocaine, explosive violence and non-stop criminality. But as his net began to tighten, Grimes was confronted with the ultimate dilemma. He discovered his second son was now a rising star in the drugs business. The life-or-death question was: should he shop him or not?

Powder Wars also reveals the secrets behind one of the most controversial episodes in British judicial history - how former Home Secretary Michael Howard was duped into granting John Haase a Royal Pardon.

Today, Paul Grimes has a £100,000 contract on his head and is a real-life dead man walking. Powder Wars is a riveting account of modern gangsters told in brutal detail.

Kray gang boss Tony Lambrianou, who served a life sentence for the brutal murder of Jack 'the Hat' McVitie, has threatened to kill Bernard O'Mahoney 'by smashing a hammer through his head'. 'Dodgy' Dave Courtney, who claims to have murdered two gangland rivals, tried 'to put him out of his misery' and 'the most dangerous man in the country', John 'Gaffer' Rollinson, has vowed to kill him 'when he finds him'.

But O'Mahoney, one-time friend of the notorious Kray Brothers and former key member of the Essex Boys gang, isn't concerned about any of these threats, because he knows the truth about the wannabe gangsters who have built their 'reputations' on fantasy gleaned from Hollywood movies and 'true' crime books written by their heroes.

Wannabe in my Gang? is a story that spans two decades and involves some of the most infamous names and crimes in British history. It gives a unique insight into the Kray brothers' firm, revealing that its public image is far from the truth. Also uncovered is what happened to the remaining members of the Essex Boys firm following the death of Esctasy victim Leah Betts and the murder of three of its leaders, who were found dead in their blood-spattered Range Rover one winter's evening.

For the first time ever, O'Mahoney will expose the gangland myths that have made legends of those who claim to be responsible for mayhem and murder. He reveals the sordid secret of one of Britain's most infamous gangsters and tells the truth about the imposters who make a living selling stories and writing books about events that have never even happened.

Wannabe in my Gang? is the book that many in the underworld never wanted the public to read. A crime exposé of the highest order, it is shocking, revelatory and gripping from beginning to end.

If you’ve traveled the nation’s highways, flown into New York’s LaGuardia Airport, strolled San Antonio’s River Walk, or seen the Pacific Ocean from the Beach Chalet in San Francisco, you have experienced some part of the legacy of the Works Progress Administration (WPA)—one of the enduring cornerstones of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.

When President Roosevelt took the oath of office in March 1933, he was facing a devastated nation. Four years into the Great Depression, a staggering 13 million American workers were jobless and many millions more of their family members were equally in need. Desperation ruled the land.

What people wanted were jobs, not handouts: the pride of earning a paycheck; and in 1935, after a variety of temporary relief measures, a permanent nationwide jobs program was created. This was the Works Progress Administration, and it would forever change the physical landscape and the social policies of the United States.

The WPA lasted for eight years, spent $11 billion, employed 8½ million men and women, and gave the country not only a renewed spirit but a fresh face. Under its colorful head, Harry Hopkins, the agency’s remarkable accomplishment was to combine the urgency of putting people back to work with its vision of physically rebuilding America. Its workers laid roads, erected dams, bridges, tunnels, and airports. They stocked rivers, made toys, sewed clothes, served millions of hot school lunches. When disasters struck, they were there by the thousands to rescue the stranded. And all across the country the WPA’s arts programs performed concerts, staged plays, painted murals, delighted children with circuses, created invaluable guidebooks. Even today, more than sixty years after the WPA ceased to exist, there is almost no area in America that does not bear some visible mark of its presence.

Politically controversial, the WPA was staffed by passionate believers and hated by conservatives; its critics called its projects make-work and wags said it stood for We Piddle Around. The contrary was true. We have only to look about us today to discover its lasting presence.
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