How the real-life mobster immortalized in the film Goodfellas was a bigamist in witness protection

How the real-life mobster immortalized in the film Goodfellas was a bigamist in witness protection

The real-life mafia turncoat immortalized in the film Goodfellas was a bigamist who married a Mormon beautician while in witness protection with his f

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The real-life mafia turncoat immortalized in the film Goodfellas was a bigamist who married a Mormon beautician while in witness protection with his family, according to a new report. 

Henry Hill – depicted by Ray Liotta on the big screen in 1990 Scorsese movie – was moved into the program in 1980 after helping to jail his gangster friends. 

There he assumed the name Martin Lewis and, along with long suffering wife Karen and their two children Gail and Michael, moved to Redmond, Washington.  

But it didn’t stop Hill, who plucked the name from Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, from dating other women and when he met Mormon hairdresser Sherry Anders he appeared instantly smitten.    

So smitten, in fact, that the pair moved in together at her home and got hitched after just seven weeks of dating, the Medium.com reports. 

For Sherry, who was raised in a rural town in Washington as a Mormon, this was ‘magic’. The two had met in a restaurant after ‘Martin’ overheard her talking about horses. He popped the question under two months later. 

She told Medium.com: ‘It was magic.’ Her roommate Samantha Kellum said: ‘The electricity during those months was just absolutely volatile, just screaming.’

Henry Hill testified against his former associates to avoid a possible execution by his crew or going to prison for his crimes and went into the US Marshals¿ Witness Protection Program

Henry Hill testified against his former associates to avoid a possible execution by his crew or going to prison for his crimes and went into the US Marshals¿ Witness Protection Program

Henry Hill testified against his former associates to avoid a possible execution by his crew or going to prison for his crimes and went into the US Marshals’ Witness Protection Program

Henry and Karen Hill, pictured on their wedding day in 1965, moved to Redmond, Washington

Henry and Karen Hill, pictured on their wedding day in 1965, moved to Redmond, Washington

Hill met Sherry Anders, pictured, and the pair got hitched after just seven weeks of dating

Hill met Sherry Anders, pictured, and the pair got hitched after just seven weeks of dating

Henry and Karen Hill, pictured on their wedding day in 1965, moved to Redmond, Washington. There Hill met Sherry Anders, right, and the pair got hitched after just seven weeks of dating

Martin Lewis and, along with long suffering wife Karen and their two children, who assumed the alias' Gail and Michael when they moved into witness protection 

Martin Lewis and, along with long suffering wife Karen and their two children, who assumed the alias' Gail and Michael when they moved into witness protection 

Martin Lewis and, along with long suffering wife Karen and their two children, who assumed the alias’ Gail and Michael when they moved into witness protection 

WHY DID HENRY HILL GO INTO WITNESS PROTECTION? 

Against his father’s wishes Hill got in with the mafia crowd aged 11 when he started hanging around with the infamous Lucchese family.

Hill’s last major job with his gang was the Lufthansa heist at John F Kennedy airport in New York in December 1978, which netted them a then record £3.2million. 

Following his arrest for the robbery on April 27, 1980, detectives played him wire taps of other mob members threatening to kill him but he refused to talk, at least for a while.

Eventually, Hill testified against his former associates to avoid a possible execution by his crew or going to prison for his crimes.

The testimony led to 50 convictions and meant that Hill, his wife Karen, and their two children had to be put in the US Marshals’ Witness Protection Programme in 1980.  

But Vivian Walsh, who owned the salon where Sherry, rented a chair, said: ‘He kind of slinked in and didn’t make good eye contact when I was introduced. I said, ‘You know, I hope that’s not a red flag, but there’s something kind of creepy about him.’’ 

The mobster, who died at the age of 69 in 2012, assumed varying cover stories during his time in witness protection. He told people he worked for the government, an insurance investigator and an author. 

When Hill met up with writer Nick Pileggi single mom Sherry did not know the book Wiseguys which would inspire the 1990 Martin Scorsese crime classic Goodfellas in which he was played by Liotta alongside Robert de Niro and Joe Pesci, was being written in front of her.  

But their romance would be short lived after his first wife Karen, now known as Kaylen, discovered his affair and confronted Sherry. When Sherry asked her: ‘Do you know Martin Lewis?’ Kaylen replied: ‘Yeah. He’s my husband.’ 

And when ‘Martin’ turned up later he found his two wives in the home he shared with Karen. Sherry would later throw him out of their home, screaming: ‘Don’t you ever f***ing come back here.’

One night the two wives are even said to have walked arm in arm into the club Hill was in. Sherry said: ‘Here’s wife Number One and wife Number Two. Isn’t that special?’

At the same time Hill was being followed by a private investigator called Janet. She had been hired a New York law firm representing former mob boss, Jimmy Burke. They wanted dirt on the prosecution’s star witness. 

When Hill and Sherry split Janet approached his second wife for help. Sherry told ‘Kaylen’ who decided his second marriage needed to be dissolved immediately. But Sherry who was now pregnant, refused, according to reports. 

Henry Hill pictured in hiding in 1980s during which time he got married to his second wife 

Henry Hill pictured in hiding in 1980s during which time he got married to his second wife 

Henry Hill pictured in hiding in 1980s during which time he got married to his second wife 

Henry Hill went from small-time gangster to big-time celebrity when his life as a mobster-turned-FBI informant became the basis for the Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas

Henry Hill went from small-time gangster to big-time celebrity when his life as a mobster-turned-FBI informant became the basis for the Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas

Henry Hill went from small-time gangster to big-time celebrity when his life as a mobster-turned-FBI informant became the basis for the Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas

Joe Pesci and Ray Liotta, who played Hill, in the movie Goodfellas 

Joe Pesci and Ray Liotta, who played Hill, in the movie Goodfellas 

Joe Pesci and Ray Liotta, who played Hill, in the movie Goodfellas 

Twice Kaylan is said to have attacked Sherry, who said: ‘I was never so scared in my life.’ Finally, through a religious loophole Kaylan was able to get the marriage annulled. 

But the family were still taken out of the witness protection program ‘based upon continued arrests and breaches of security’. Martin was sent to prison again and his book Wiseguys was released. Sherry lost their baby.

Hill had already been arrested for getting into a fight with a presumed mistress when they were hidden in Independence, Kentucky.  So brazen was Hill that he even wore a ‘Witness Protection Program’ t-shirt while dating Sherry.

In recent times however he ventured out in public more – opening a restaurant called Wiseguys, launching his own brand of spaghetti sauce and appearing on US TV talking about gangster movies. 

Ten years after their wedding Hill called Sherry, who has now also changed her name to Scarlett. They met up and Hill told her: ‘I’ll love you forever.’ 

As for Karen she divorced Hill in 1990 and it was finalized in 2002. It is not known where she is now.               

Hill died at a hospital in Los Angeles in June 2012 having suffered a heart attack brought on by years of smoking, a habit he blamed on his nerves. 

 

 

 

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