Saturday, January 25, 2014

Goodfellas, Part II: A True-Life Lufthansa Crime Figure Comes To Court

Michael Daly at the Daily Beast offers a piece on the arrest of Bonanno crime figure Vincent Asaro and his connection to the Lufthansa heist via a series of recordings made by an informant.

Right out of the movie Goodfellas, Vincent Asaro strode into Brooklyn federal court along his with son Jerry and two co-defendants on Thursday afternoon.

In earlier days, the elder Asaro was often seen in the company of James “Jimmy the Gent” Burke, the model for Robert DeNiro’s character in the seminal gangster movie and the reputed mastermind of the $6 million Lufthansa robbery in 1978.

Asaro and Burke were co-owners of Robert’s Lounge, model for the hangout in Goodfellas and a “personal cemetery” where a number of gangland victims were said to be buried before their bodies were moved elsewhere. 

Fans of Goodfellas who remember the scene where the Joe Pesci character shoots a kid named Spider in the foot for refusing to dance might be interested to know that Asaro is said to be the one who took the real-life victim to as neighborhood doctor afterward.

Burke died of cancer in 1996 while serving a 20-year prison term for murder, but Vincent Asaro had survived to now be charged with participating in the legendary heist at Kennedy Airport. Court papers filed on Thursday cite the lead informant in the case—an Asaro cousin identified only as CW-1—in reporting that each participant was supposed to receive $750,000, but “most did not live to receive their share (either because they were killed first or it was never given to them).”   

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

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