Trending
Calendar
 
CP on Facebook

 

CP on Twitter
Print Email

Feature

Simon on Salsbury

David Simon shares his theories on the story of Julius Salsbury, which inspired his wife’s new novel

“Boy, it would be nice to know the end of that story. He’s not an unsympathetic character if you know the whole story. Here’s this guy, he wasn’t much of a gangster. He wasn’t a gangster in any sense. And then this 15-year term that the government gave him was grandiose by the standards of everything that came after him in terms of the drug war. It’s almost embarrassing in its excess. The reason the government felt so strongly about him, earlier in the mid-’60s—I don’t know if it was ever reported but it’s true—there were a couple of CID [IRS Criminal Investigations Division] agents who were corrupt and who made a case against him, an assets case, a civil forfeiture case, and they came to him and they threatened to chase him down or he could pay them off. And he paid them off. And it showed up on a wire tap that he paid these guys off. But they were the ones who approached him, he never sought to bribe them. That was really the reason that the U.S. attorney became so incensed about a guy who’s basically involved in gambling. He was a numbers bank, a sports book, and ran a strip joint. That does not equal 15 years. But if they think you are a corrupting force on federal agents, you get 15 years. I don’t know if anyone knows this. I got it contingent on some stuff years ago. Maybe I used it. I covered Pam Gail’s funeral. The FBI sent an agent to the funeral, just in case Salsbury showed up. This would have been the mid-’80s, late ’80s, sometime around there.

“I was kind of sympathetic. I think he got kind of a raw deal. He never should have run. He would have done three, three and a half, four years. [Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul] Kramer told me that they did receive through an intermediary a proposed proffer from Salsbury: If he could get a reduction in sentence, he would come back. They didn’t reply and never heard anything again.”

  • The Art of Organizing MICA’s adjunct faculty moves to unionize, and academics everywhere watch to see what happens | 3/19/2014
  • Crime Family Urged by husband David Simon, Laura Lippman takes on a real-life Mobtown mystery | 2/5/2014
  • Simon on Salsbury David Simon shares his theories on the story of Julius Salsbury, which inspired his wife’s new novel | 2/5/2014
  • Excerpt from After I’m Gone They left at dusk, about an hour before the fireworks were scheduled | 2/5/2014
  • The Quiet Revolution Can Heather Mizeur ride Maryland’s wave of progressive politics to the governor’s office? | 1/15/2014
  • Great Expectations Baltimore’s youngest councilman has high hopes for himself and for his city | 1/8/2014
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus