A Matter of Honor: One Cop's Lifelong Pursuit of John Gotti and the Mob

Overview

For thirty-five years, Remo Franceschini chased criminals - especially Mob criminals - in New York City. An Italian-American like many of the organized crime figures he pursued, Remo was driven by his own code. Cracking down on the Mob wasn't just a job for Remo, it was a matter of honor. Remo Franceschini was a hero cop. Early in his career, he and his partner chased a couple of armed robbery suspects into a subway station where the gunmen suddenly began shooting. In the point-blank gun battle, one criminal was ...
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1993 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. Sewn binding. Paper over boards. Audience: General/trade.

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Overview

For thirty-five years, Remo Franceschini chased criminals - especially Mob criminals - in New York City. An Italian-American like many of the organized crime figures he pursued, Remo was driven by his own code. Cracking down on the Mob wasn't just a job for Remo, it was a matter of honor. Remo Franceschini was a hero cop. Early in his career, he and his partner chased a couple of armed robbery suspects into a subway station where the gunmen suddenly began shooting. In the point-blank gun battle, one criminal was killed. Remo and his partner survived the deadly shoot-out and were awarded the Police Combat Cross. Remo began doing intelligence work for the police department, especially wiretapping and physical surveillance. While J. Edgar Hoover's FBI was denying there was such a thing as organized crime, Remo became an expert on it. Listening to mobsters browbeat their soldiers and kowtow to their capos, Remo laid out the Mob's secret structure. Soon he was on the trail of Bumpy Johnson, one of New York's most notorious organized crime figures, the "Black Godfather" whose extensive connections made him pivotal. When a new district attorney took over in New York City's Queens County, Remo became commander of the D.A.'s squad of detectives. He immediately began cracking down on the Mob, keeping their faces in front of him on his famous Wall of Crime. Remo criticized the lax security at JFK airport that was producing a gold mine in stolen goods for the Mob; not long afterward the famous Lufthansa heist took place there. His daring raid on a Mott Street gambling den netted more than thirty Mob figures and kept the heat on the mobsters. And he began watching a young Queens wiseguy named John Gotti. Remo saw John Gotti's rise through the ranks of the Gambino crime family, and he kept the pressure on Gotti and his men for years. He turned Gotti's chauffeur into a key informant on the Gambino gang, and then watched as his informant was revealed - at a prosecutor's insist
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Franceschini was a member of the New York Police Department from 1957 to 1991. Serving in a number of elite units, he specialized in fighting the Mafia, and during his final 14 years he headed the squad working under Queens District Attorney John Santucci. Franceschini notes that he was the first to unravel the structure of the local Cosa Nostra, although some of his colleagues mocked him for creating an ``imaginary'' mob empire. He was responsible for sending dozens of gangsters to prison, but the ``very flamboyant, very hands-on'' Gotti, whom his unit had been investigating for years, was finally nailed by the FBI after Franceschini had retired from the force. This dedicated officer's memoir presents a tough-minded, involving, proud view of his career in law enforcement, doing a job he sums up thusly: ``It's like if you shine a flashlight in a rat hole, you won't have a lot of activity. Flick off the light and the place starts to scurry. I spent my professional life shining that light.'' Photos not seen by PW . (Aug.)
Joe Collins
Franceschini, a New York cop for 35 years, headed up the Queens detective bureau that hounded the head of one of the most infamous families, Gambino boss John Gotti. Franceschini's prose style echoes his career, hard-hitting and forthright, and his emotional yet businesslike approach to police work makes the reader root for him and his fellow officers as well as Queens D.A. John Santucci all the way. Despite his love of police work and his fellow cops, Franceschini acknowledges that corruption was present in the NYPD, and maintains he lost out on arrests through interdepartmental battles with the FBI and overzealous federal attorneys. The author traces his own early heroism in a gun battle with a subway punk, and moves on to infiltrating the Mob (police and criminals alike never call it the Mafia). Undoubtedly, however, the most magnetic personality here is Gotti. Franceschini grudgingly acknowledges the personal charisma of the "Teflon Don," but also points out the graphic underside of Gotti the Boss. In one memorable sequence, Gotti loses his legendary cool when he discovers police surveillance outside his house and tears outside in a jogging suit and loafers--hardly the image he'd so carefully cultivated--to confront the cops. There's no backing down here . . . not from the Mob or the cops.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671739478
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 3/2/1993
  • Pages: 288

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