Murder Machine: A True Story of Murder, Madness and the Mafia

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Mustain and Capeci, reporters for the New York Daily News , here present a feature expose of Roy DeMeo, leader of a pack of especially gruesome hit men known as the Murder Machine. DeMeo's crew was so ``scary,'' according to an FBI agent quoted here, that even then-Mafia don John Gotti was wary of them. By the FBI's estimate, the Murder Machine killed at least 200 people before it was dismantled during the 1980s in what proved to be the longest federal serial murder investigation in history. Mustain and Capeci's main informant about the case was Dominick Montiglio, nephew of a top aide in the Gambino family. DeMeo, in his turn, was killed by a volley of shots fired at close range; his body, stuffed into the trunk of his Cadillac, was found in Brooklyn in January 1983, a week after this devoted father failed to show up for his daughter's birthday party. No one was ever convicted of the murder. In a masterpiece of crime reporting, the authors re-create the DeMeo underworld in gripping detail. Photos not seen by PW . (Aug.)
Library Journal
A modern-day ``Murder, Incorporated,'' the vicious Gambino crime family crew led by Roy DeMeo committed upward of 200 murders. Most victims were fellow criminals, but contrary to the supposed Mafia code, many were hapless civilians. So brutal and pathological were DeMeo's cohorts that even crime boss John Gotti reportedly feared them. The crew was convicted (DeMeo was murdered) in part by the testimony of Dominick Montiglio, a primary source for this book. Montiglio, a former Green Beret who became a mobster through the influence of his Mafia uncle, presents first-hand evidence of mob treachery and depravity. The authors , who wrote about Gotti in Mob Star (Franklin Watts, 1988) , tell a vivid, chilling tale that should dispel any remaining romantic myths about Mafia life. Highly recommended for crime collections. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 4/15/91.-- Gregor Preston, Univ. of California Lib., Davis
Kirkus Reviews
First-rate story of a Mafia murder crew so deadly that even John Gotti turned aside a contract on its leader. New York Daily News reporters Mustain and Capeci (coauthors, Mob Star, 1989—not reviewed) tell the fascinating and repellently detailed story of Roy DeMeo and the gang he raised from teenagers in Canarsie—a Brooklyn neighborhood where death by natural causes is "six bullets in the head," according to one cop. The middle-class DeMeo, a natural criminal, was carrying cash in brown paper bags and driving a Cadillac by his high- school senior year. After establishing loan-sharking headquarters at his Gemini Lounge in Brooklyn, he shipped scores of stolen luxury cars to Kuwait, distributed drugs (one of his crew was the chief supplier of cocaine at Studio 54), and wholesaled child pornography. When the inevitable business disputes arose, his crew simply made the other parties disappear. The victims were lured into a clubhouse behind the Gemini Lounge, where they were shot and dismembered ("it's just like takin' apart a deer"), then secured in Hefty Bags and tossed on the Canarsie dump. One murder led so easily to another that soon the "Gemini method" was used on anybody who got in the gang's way or annoyed them. DeMeo presented three of his coke-crazed crew with sets of custom carving knives, which they kept in their car trunks in case a quick assignment arose. When a special NYPD/FBI task force cracked the DeMeo gang, it tagged the criminals for 75 murders. DeMeo (who was rubbed out by fellow mobsters as the cops closed in) bragged of one hundred personally, making him far more destructive than any known US serial killer. Vivid, hair-raising, day-to-day-in-the-life-ofnarrative: the best mob book in recent memory. (Sixteen pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525934677
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/28/1992
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 9.37 (w) x 6.38 (h) x 1.31 (d)

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