Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In November of 1986, the federal government brought to trial 21 members of the Lucchese crime family, regarded by law enforcement officials as the Mafia group in charge of activities in northern New Jersey. Held in the Newark court of Judge Harold Ackerman, the proceedings featured V. Grady O'Malley as chief prosecutor and Michael Critchley as coordinator of the defense. Each of the accused was represented by a different attorney. In August of 1988 all of the defendants were found not guilty. Why? Rudolph, a reporter for the Newark Star Ledger , suggests that too many defendants were tried at the same time; that the case went on so long that the jurors became restive; that the defense succeeded in discrediting many of the mobsters who had become informants; that the judge did not exercise proper control; that ``Fat Jack'' DiNorscio, who usurped his lawyer and called himself ``a comedian, not a gangster,'' turned the trial into a circus. Rudolph is a journalistic stylist of the highest order: his sentences and paragraphs are short, punchy and highly readable. Photos not seen by PW. (Apr.)
The case described here involved 20 alleged members of the Lucchese crime family led by Newark, New Jersey mob boss Anthony Accetturo. After a lengthy two-year trial, despite seemingly persuasive evidence, all the accused were acquitted of all charges, a rare victory for organized crime and an embarrassing loss for the government. Prosecution witnesses confessed to more heinous crimes than were charged against the defendants, which may have influenced the jury. Journalist Rudolph provides an anecdotal account, focusing on many humorous trial incidents, such as the antics of ``Fat Jack'' DiNorscio who was allowed to represent himself and made a mockery of the court. Although somewhat superficial, this book is readable and entertaining. Recommended for Mafia buffs.-- Gregor A. Preston, Univ. of California Lib., Davis
The Denver Post
"The dialogue is so frank at times that the reader wonders if the tale is fiction or fact."
- The Denver Post.
"An incisive who's-who in the ranks of organized crime... a major portrayal of how a trial went wrong, of how a system of justice failed, of how the bad guys became the good guys... one of those books you won't want to put down until the end."
- Herb Jaffe, Star-Ledger.
"Rudolph is a journalistic stylist of the highest order."
- Publisher's Weekly.
The Houston Chronicle
"A good read."
- The Houston Chronicle
The Jersey Journal
"The bizarre untold story of how federal authorities let the 'big one' get away."
- The Jersey Journal
New Jersey Monthly
The true-life account of a mob trial so bizarre that it could pass for fiction . . . [Rudolph] has captured the longest and most expensive mob trial in U.S. history in all of its behind-the-scenes intrigue and courtroom lunacy. . . meticulously reported by a veteran journalist.
Star-Ledger - Herb Jaffe
An incisive who's-who in the ranks of organized crime. . . . a major portrayal of how a trial went wrong, of how a system of justice failed, of how the bad guys became the good guys . . . one of those books you won't want to put down until the end.