- "I don't have it in me to feel shame for the things I've done to others. Never have."
- — Sal Marcano
Sal Marcano is the boss of the Marcano crime family. He first started paying tribute to The Commission circa 1948, which is presumably when he became the boss and ran casinos for the mob in Havana. Marcano effectively controlled all criminal activity in the city of New Bordeaux, allowing smaller gangs to operate in the city's neighborhoods in exchange for a cut of the profits. Two such gangs that benefited from this arrangement were the Black Mob, whose leader, Sammy Robinson, Marcano had known for decades, and the Irish Mob, whose leader, Thomas Burke, became acquainted with Marcano at some point in the thirties after the mobster became aware of his growing bootlegging operation.
Marcano's brother, Lucio, was murdered at some point before 1968, and Marcano had nightmares after his brother's death. It is stated in a conversation between him and his son Giorgi that Lucio's killer was found and Lucio was avenged. Lucio's wife, Olivia Marcano, remained with the family and joined the management of their empire.
Marcano betrayed many people over the years. He dispatched one of his enforcers, Roman "The Butcher" Barbieri, to reclaim Pointe Verdun from Burke, who had been running bootlegging and car theft rackets in the district for Marcano for decades after a falling out over a lost shipment spurred the mobster to double cross him. Vito Scaletta, a "made" mobster from Empire Bay, was exiled to New Bordeaux after 1951 and Marcano was forced by the Commission (particularly Leo Galante) to make Vito his lieutenant, which he did (albeit reluctantly). It was also later alleged by John Donovan during a Senate hearing in 1971 that Marcano and Senator Blake were conspirators in the murder of President Kennedy in 1963.
Tired of the constant betrayals and threats he has to endure as an essential part of the mob life, he is looking to legitimize his criminal empire by opening the city's first casino and eventually settling down, handing over the reins to his son and most trusted capo, Giorgi. Marcano was not on easy terms with the rest of the Commission, suspecting Vito to be a mole planted by the Commission into his outfit to act as their eyes and ears, and was scared that Vito would eventually find out about his plan to open a casino in New Bordeaux and rat him out to Leo and the rest of the Commission, who would demand to share in the casino's profits.
Eliminating the Black Mob
By 1968, Sammy Robinson was in deep debt with Marcano due to the attacks of the Haitian Mob, led by the unscrupulous Baka, on the Black Mob's lottery. Sammy was unable to pay Marcano for about three months due to the Haitians' continual attacks, and Marcano believed the Sammy was getting too old for this and considered replacing him with another man.
Lincoln Clay, Sammy's protegee and an old friend of Giorgi, arrived at New Bordeaux after being discharged by the military, returning from the war at Vietnam. Marcano saw potential in Lincoln, and his good opinions on the boy only increased when Lincoln effectively killed Baka and left the Haitians in disarray. After Baka's murder, Marcano called a meeting with Lincoln at a white-only Yacht Club, giving instructions to the gatekeeper to allow Lincoln in.
Giorgi greets Lincoln when he arrives in the Club, and introduces him to Marcano, who after some conversation, finally offers Lincoln the position of leader of the Black Mob, proposing Sammy to retire, or to be 'replaced' by some other means. Lincoln refuses, saying that he can't do that to Sammy. Disappointed, Marcano then sees the Black Mob's only usefulness is to help him rob the Federal Reserve in order to steal some money plates. However, he only disclosed to Lincoln that they were there simply to earn some money,
After the successful heist, Marcano goes with his associate Ritchie Doucet and Giorgi to Sammy's Bar in order to get his cut of the heist. After some supposed celebrating, Giorgi reveals Marcano's true intentions when he shoots Lincoln in the forehead, and Ritchie then brutally stabs Ellis in the gut repeatedly while Giorgi kills Danny Burke by executing him with a pistol. Marcano personally executes Sammy and the group, then escapes with the money and sets the place on fire.
Unknown to all of them, Lincoln survived the shot by an inch (as the bullet passed by his skull and only left a deep scar on the side of his forehead) and was pulled out of the fire by Father James. Hellbent on vengeance, Lincoln allies himself with John Donovan, former CIA agent and with the Haitians, now led by Cassandra. He starts by killing Ritchie, whom Marcano had put in charge of Delray Hollow after Sammy's death, by hanging him on a Ferris wheel in Baron Saturday's Fun Park in order to send a message.
Some time after the heist, Marcano decided to get rid of Vito, fearing that he was a mole to the Commission and that he could possibly rat his plans of building a Casino to Leo and the Commission. He orders his nephew and lieutenant, Michael Grecco, to take Vito's rackets in River Row and cut his money-making line in order for Marcano to have a concrete reason to take him out. However, Vito is saved by Lincoln, who then collaborates with him to murder Grecco and take River Row from Marcano's grasp.
Finally, Lincoln aids Thomas Burke to reclaim Pointe Verdun from Marcano and his lieutenant, Roman Barbieri. Destroying Barbieri's rackets and then handing Barbieri himself to be tortured by Burke as revenge for Barbieri breaking Burke's leg, Lincoln effectively makes a name for himself.
Marcano meets with Giorgi, and they have a discussion about how Giorgi is going to take over the organization, find a nice girl, give him some grandchildren and finish the Casino, explaining to Giorgi that they can't work anymore in a world where everyone's screaming about racial equality. He then receives a call from his brother, Lou, who tells him that Lincoln is still alive. The two both express their shock.
The following months, Marcano's organization is effectively dismantled by Lincoln, who kills his lieutenants, Frank Pagani and Tony Derazio and rescues Enzo Conti, a lieutenant who had a falling-out with Marcano after Sammy's death, from Marcano's enforcers. Marcano's brothers are then killed savagely by Lincoln - Tommy Marcano was burnt alive and Lou was murdered and his gutted body hanged on a statue, and Marcano's political acquaintances, Judge Holden and Senator Jacobs, are killed to cut down Marcano's hand in the law. Marcano's sister-in-law and Lucio's widow, Olivia Marcano, was also defeated, and Sal had his son assassinate her for reasons unknown.
Marcano's connections to Cuba are also destroyed after the murders of Frank Pagani and Nino Santangelo and the disappearance of Alvarez, which puts him at odds with an old business acquaintance from Cuba, Zarraga, who is Alvarez's uncle.
With all his businesses and territories taken from him, Marcano and Giorgi hide in the Casino they built, with Marcano staying on his luxurious penthouse. Lincoln finally decides to get rid of both of them and avenge his foster family, going to the casino and shooting his way to his targets, stabbing Giorgi fatally after a fight.
Lincoln then personally confronts Marcano at his penthouse, where they peacefully have a drink together and discuss what life has in store for them. Marcano tells Lincoln that he had nightmares after Lucio's death, but that the nightmare that got him was the one where he was at Giorgi's funeral. He was laid out in a shitty little casket, neck cut same as Lucio's. Lincoln tells him about the nightmares he got after the war at Vietnam.
Marcano then finally tells Lincoln that he didn't regret betraying and killing the Black Mob, saying that he can't apologize, since he would be lying. He tells Lincoln that this is not the last time they will see each other, to which Lincoln agrees and stands up.
At this point, Lincoln can decide to kill or spare Marcano. If he decides to kill Marcano and avenge his adoptive family, Lincoln will slide across the table, brutally stab Marcano's thigh deep and then kick his chair, causing him to fall from the penthouse to his cold death. If Lincoln decides to spare him, Marcano will then curse at Lincoln and then grab a pistol and shoot himself in the throat.
- Valerio Marcano (father, deceased)
- Virginia Marcano (wife, deceased)
- Lou Marcano (brother, deceased)
- Tommy Marcano (brother, deceased)
- Giorgi Marcano (son, deceased)
- Olivia Marcano (sister-in-law, deceased)
- Lucio Marcano (brother, deceased)
- Michael Grecco (nephew, deceased)
- The Home Fires Burn
- Thicker Than Blood (flashback)
- Fish Gotta Eat
- Real Nice Time
- Burn Like Napalm
- Certainly Was Exciting
- Yet Here We Are (killed)
- He is inspired by real life mob boss Carlos Marcello, who was the leader of the New Orleans crime family in the 1960s.
- According to his kill list bio, it is implicated that Sal had his own father murdered, and gave the blame to the Carillo Crime Family, to sway his brothers to assist him in their "vendetta" against them.
- He was born in Baton Rouge.
- Sal was only 17 when he was sent to the State Penitentiary at Cordoba for B&Es committed around the French Ward.
- His mentor was Giuseppe Carillo, whom he saved from being shanked in prison.