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: 9780451403872
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/28/1993
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 119,480
  • Product dimensions: 4.28 (w) x 6.84 (h) x 1.41 (d)

Meet the Author

Jerry Capeci is considered one of the world’s foremost authorities on the Mafia and organized crime. He covered the crime beat for both the New York Daily News and the New York Post (and was the only newspaperman to sneak his way into Carlo Gambino’s funeral in 1976) for more than 20 years. He is the co-author of Murder Machine, the terrifying saga of Roy DeMeo’s bloodthirsty Mafia crew, and Gotti: Rise & Fall. A native of the mean streets of Bath Beach, Brooklyn, he now lives in Manhattan.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 22 )
Rating Distribution

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(13)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2008

    Best Mafia True Crime Book Ever

    I have read a large number of true crime mafia books, from the Valachi Papers to Mob Star, and this is by far the best. Roy De Meo`s crue are the most vicious and nasty murderers ever assembled. Read this book - it is unmissable.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2005

    Must read

    This book is thoroughly researched and sometimes the drawn out details of the minor crimes can get a little tedious, especially when they larger, more interesting ones seem to be just glazed over. I wish more of the facts could have been corroborated by someone other than Dominic Montaglio, the known liar, and that the authors hadn't tried to make all of the snitch witnesses look so selfless, as if they had only been caught up in the action by accident, but all in all it was a great book. I also wish that they had gotten more information about the other Gemini crew members, Joey Testa, Anthony Senter, and Henry Borelli, and included them in the updates. Maybe when the next addition comes out they will think about doing this.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2013

    The absolute best mafia book I've ever read. Action packed &

    The absolute best mafia book I've ever read. Action packed & so well written it was hard to put down. Not really sure why this isn't a movie yet? If directed by Martin Scorsese, Murder Machine could easily be one of the all-time best Mob flicks.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2013

    Best book about the ny mafia yet. From page one until its over.

    Best book about the ny mafia yet. From page one until its over. Growing up in Howard beach ny and being around the gotti's I thought I had heard and seen it all. I was mistaken. A must read 100% 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2005

    Good Stuff!

    A great read. Read it in 2 days.This guy truely was a murder machine. A must for any mafia, true crime buff.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2005

    Great!

    A little long winded at times, but a real page turner. I still find it hard to believe all these people where murdered. A worthwhile read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2005

    A MASTERPIECE!!!

    Usually I hate to read but I Got grounded so i drove to B&N and got this book. It goes into grim detail about some of the murders commited. A must have for a mafioso fanatic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2004

    Facts or Fiction?

    This book is well written and features some interesting accounts. Still, in researching its information, it cannot be held as a 'true-crime' novel. Undoubtedly, the characters cast as murderers in the story were certainly immersed within a criminal element in actual life. Yet, we are left to believe the details provided by a known liar, named Dominic Montiglio. This individual pits himself as a war hero, but he is nothing more than '...a thief and a loan shark [who] eventually became a drug addict' (105). The aforementioned are words of Capeci and Mustain in 'Mob Star,' their story of John Gotti, written before they authored 'Murder Machine.' Then, if one ventures to read the book 'Stolen Valor,' they will come to understand that Montiglio never served as a member in any of America's armed forces, at any capacity whatsoever. There goes the credibility of Murder Machine and its so-called 'True Story of Murder, Madness, and the Mafia.' After all, a whole chapter is devoted to Montiglio's war stories from 'Nam and numerous references are made to his tenure as a 'LURP' throughout the novel. Unfortunately, -or fortunately, depending upon how one looks at it- who or what is to say that any of the uncorroborated information attested to by Montiglio, concerning the characters in the story, are true?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2004

    Not as good as For the Sins of My Father

    When reading this book it seemed to drag on and have useless facts, but after completing it it didn't seem as long. The wrap up at the end could not have been more complete, although it seems some facts are just thrown in there. Definitely worth your time to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2002

    WOW

    One of the best true crime books I ever read. Scary and completely unputdownable! I read it twice in a row. Unlike the other reviewer, who said it was long, it was actually not long enough for me and sent me to the Internet to see what else I could uncover about this unbelievable crew of killers. Highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2001

    Murder Machine...fantastic!

    This is one of the better mafia books I have read. A little hard on the stomach at times, but nothing any true mafia fanatic couldn't handle. One of the reasons why I enjoyed this book is because it covers more then just one thug. It covers everyone from Roy Demeo, through Anthony Gaggi. In addition, it details one of the most brutal mafia crews, the Demeo gang. Murder Machine is a good switch-hit from your typical mob book, the one's that are usually about the FBI bringing down the family, not in this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2001

    Capeci and Mustain Triumph

    In this long but highly readable piece, Capeci and Mustain chronicle the rise and fall of Roy DeMeo's fearsome crew within the Gambino crime family. With vivid descriptions and lively firsthand accounts from key players, the book leaves no stone unturned in telling the gruesome truth. A must for any mafioso enthusiast.

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    Posted December 3, 2009

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