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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, drug crime, white collar crime, crime fiction, crime prevention, espionage and terrorism. His 'On Crime' column appears weekly in the Washington Times. He is also a regular contributor to Counterterrorism magazine. His work has also appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and other newspapers, magazines and online publications. As a writer, he has attended police academy training, gone out on patrol with police officers, accompanied detectives as they worked cases, accompanied narcotics officers on drug raids, observed criminal court proceedings and visited jails and prisons. He has covered street riots, mob wars and murder investigations. Paul Davis' online "Crime Beat" column offers his Q&As with cops, crooks, crime writers and others. 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. Following his Navy service, he performed security work as a Defense Department civilian and he later became a full-time writer. Paul Davis' On Crime and Crime Beat columns, crime fiction and magazine and newspaper pieces can be read on this website. His full bio can be read by clicking on the above photo.