Cullotta: The Life of a Chicago Criminal, Las Vegas Mobster, and Government Witness

( 5 )

Overview

From burglary to armed robbery and murder, infamous bad guy Frank Cullotta not only did it all, in Cullotta he admits to it -- and in graphic detail.

This no-holds-barred biography chronicles the life of a career criminal who started out as a thug on the streets of Chicago and became a trusted lieutenant in Tony Spilotro's gang of organized lawbreakers in Las Vegas. Cullotta's was a world of high-profile heists, street muscle, and information ...
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Cullotta: The Life of a Chicago Criminal, Las Vegas Mobster, and Government Witness

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Overview

From burglary to armed robbery and murder, infamous bad guy Frank Cullotta not only did it all, in Cullotta he admits to it -- and in graphic detail.

This no-holds-barred biography chronicles the life of a career criminal who started out as a thug on the streets of Chicago and became a trusted lieutenant in Tony Spilotro's gang of organized lawbreakers in Las Vegas. Cullotta's was a world of high-profile heists, street muscle, and information -- lots of it -- about many of the FBI's most wanted. In the end, that information was his ticket out of crime, as he turned government witness and became one of a handful of mob insiders to enter the Witness Protection Program.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Mystery and nonfiction writer Griffin covered the Vegas reign of kingpin Tony "the Ant" Spilotro in The Battle for Las Vegas: The Law vs. the Mob. Digging deeper into mob history, he now focuses on Spilotro's lifelong pal, career criminal Cullotta, who appeared in Martin Scorsese's 1995 film, Casino, recreating an actual murder he committed in 1979. Spilotro and Cullotta met in Chicago as teenage troublemakers, and early chapters detail the violent escapades of Cullotta's youth before he escalated to major crimes. Spilotro rose in the ranks of the mob and became the Chicago Outfit's man in Las Vegas, and Cullotta eventually joined him, running a robbery and murder crew. Together, Spilotro and Cullotta extorted illegal bookmakers and drug dealers throughout Vegas. But in the early 1980s, Cullotta became a government witness, bringing down the house. In addition to poring through newspaper archives, Griffin interviewed various sheriffs, attorneys, agents and detectives, while primarily relying on information from retired FBI agent Arnoldy and what Pileggi calls the "phenomenal" memory of Cullotta himself. Griffin's flat, unemotional yet potent writing makes the bloodletting, murders and mayhem chilling and unnerving throughout. 30 b&w photos. (July 1)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780929712451
  • Publisher: Huntington Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2007
  • Pages: 291
  • Sales rank: 544,261
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2009

    VERY GOOD BOOK

    THIS BOOK WAS VERY ENTERTAINING WELL WRITTEN AND KEEPS YOU WANTING TO READ MORE DEFIANTLY A 5 STAR BOOK

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2007

    A reviewer

    Cullotta By Dennis N. Griffin and Frank Cullotta: In his newest book, Cullotta, Dennis Griffin paints a vivid picture of the life and times of a career criminal and Las Vegas mobster by the name of Frank Cullotta. What¿s so intriguing about this fascinating account is every word of it is true, as told to Dennis by the real Cullotta. Once started, you will find it impossible to put this book down. Well researched and artfully crafted, this is a must read for all who ever wondered if, and how, the mob got its hooks into the lucrative Las Vegas casino scene. Dennis chronicles in vivid detail the burglaries, robberies, extortion, and murders that were the everyday business of the ¿Outfit¿. From the psychotic to the honorable, you will meet them all. Fact is stranger than fiction, and this factual account is a must read. Dennis weaves a solid, interesting story that will hold your attention from start to finish, and I highly recommend this intriguing tale. Review by John R. Schembra Retired Police Sergeant Author of M.P., A Novel of Vietnam, and Retribution

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2007

    True Crime At Its Best

    CULLOTTA The Life of a Chicago Criminal, Las Vegas Mobster, and Government Witness by Dennis N. Griffin and Frank Cullotta Review by Ron Kruger, newspaper columnist for over 30 years and author of ¿A Higher Good.¿ True crime is fascinating. It has been the background of countless newspaper headlines, books, TV series and movies. Over the years, there has been a gradual trend toward more truth in ¿true crime¿ literature and more realism in the visual depictions of crime figures. Joe Pesci¿s brilliant portrayal in Casino is far more penetrating and revealing than were those of Edward G. Robinson. The popular series, Sapranos, is far more realistic than the old Untouchables program. I¿m not sure why others are so intrigued by crime and criminals, but I wonder most what motivates criminals and how they justify and rationalize the bizarre acts they commit. Beyond all the drama and entertainment, I wonder what makes gangsters tick. That¿s why I found Dennis Griffin¿s CULLOTTA so fascinating. It is a compelling look into the mind and motives of a classic criminal. He approaches this subject with the discipline of a seasoned reporter, objectively telling both sides of the story in plain English. He doesn¿t add anything for dramatic effect. He doesn¿t embellish. He doesn¿t extrapolate. He doesn¿t try to impress you with his prose. Like the old TV crime show, Dragnet, his motto seems to be ¿just the facts, ma¿am.¿ (Griffin¿s background, by the way, is not as a reporter, but as a police detective. Nevertheless, his journalistic approach puts most modern ¿reporters¿ to shame. He has written a series of books about Las Vegas and the famous mob figures of the 1970s and 1980s. Each one is better than the previous.) His latest work, CULLOTTA, is a natural progression of more truth in true crime that began with Mario Puzzo¿s prize winning book, The Godfather. While The Godfather was a fictional account based upon real characters, CULLOTTA is a concrete account of a real crime figure. It is the most realistic account of organized crime I¿ve read to date. No small part of that credit goes to the co-author and subject of the book, Frank Cullotta. Though a career criminal in every sense of the word, this mobster, turned government witness, seems to display a candid honesty that has endeared him to the enforcement officials who hounded him and the writers who tell the stories. As it says in the first line of the foreword, written by Nicholas Pillegi, who wrote the screenplay for the movie Casino, ¿Frank Cullotta is the real thing.¿ So is Denny Griffin. That¿s why he has become my favorite true crime writer.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2007

    A reviewer

    Bought the book, and went to the booksigning in Las Vegas. Listened to the the co- authors,Denny Griffin and Frank Cullotta explain the rise and fall of the criminal empire in Las Vegas. Fascinating story and well written in Frank Cullotta's own voice. Frank looks like the grandfather living next door. He has a great sense of humor when speaking to the public, but told the reporters and the audience members that questioned him the facts about what really happened - and they're all in the book. Order the book and take an eye-opening peek at the criminal empire the Chicago mob ran in old time Las Vegas.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

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