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Monday, October 19, 2015
'Goodfellas' Heist case Could Be Last Old-School Mafia Trial
Selim Algar at the New York Post offers a piece on the trial of New York gangster Vincent Asaro.
Accused “Goodfellas” mobster Vincent Asaro personally handed off a case stuffed with jewelry from the infamous 1978 Lufthansa heist to future Bonanno boss Joey Massino, a witness testified Monday as the first ever trial in the long unsolved crime got underway in Brooklyn federal court.
Veteran mafia snitch Salvatore “Good Lookin’ Sal” Vitale took riveted jurors inside the more than $6 million heist that gained legendary status after its depiction in Martin Scorsese’s 1990 film.
“When Joe got in the car he had the case that Vinny gave him,” Vitale testified. “He had it in his lap…He opened up the case and he showed me all kinds of chains and he said ‘this is from the Lufthansa score.’”
Later that day, Vitale went to Massino’s Queens house and was shown a portion of the breathtaking haul.
... Vitale, now in the witness protection program, casually told jurors of his associations with major mob figures including former Gambino boss John Gotti.
His gripping recollections of the heist kicked off what could be the last old-school New York City mafia trial in history.
The Lufthansa job has festered as one of the longest, most notorious unsolved crimes in history.
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Paul Davis is a writer who covers crime. He has written extensively about organized crime, street crime, sex crime, cyber crime, white collar crime, crime fiction, crime prevention, espionage and terrorism. He is a contributing editor to The Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International and a regular contributor to the Washington Times. His work has also appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and other print and online publications. Paul Davis has been a student of crime since he was a 12-year-old aspiring writer growing up in South Philadelphia. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy when he was 17 in 1970 and served on the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk during the Vietnam War. He also served two years on the Navy harbor tugboat USS Saugus at the U.S. nuclear submarine base at Holy Loch, Scotland. He went on to do security work as a Defense Department civilian employee and then became a freelance writer. You can read Paul Davis' Crime Beat columns, crime fiction and magazine and newspaper pieces on this website. You can also read his full bio by clicking on the above photo.