Sunday, April 23, 2017

My Washington Times Review Of The Pierre Hotel Affair: How Eight Gentleman Orchestrated The Largest Jewel Heist In History

My review of The Pierre Hotel Affair appeared in the Washington Times.

In the predawn hours of Jan. 2, 1972, eight armed thieves dressed in tuxedos and transported by limousine invaded the Pierre Hotel in New City. Wearing sunglasses, fake noses, beards and mustaches with their formal wear, the crooks tied up the security guards, the night shift staff and any residents and guests they came across. They even trapped two NYPD officers in the basement after the freezing cops came into the luxury hotel for coffee.

As the hostages were rounded up and detained in an alcove, two members of the gang ripped through selected safety deposit boxes in the hotel vault. The gang escaped with reportedly $28 million dollars in cash, bearer bonds and jewelry. To this day the case is considered to be unsolved, although the two primary crooks, Bobby Comfort and Sammy ‘the Arab” Nalo, went to prison on related charges.

But as David Simone tells us in ‘The Pierre Hotel Affair,” the organized, professional and bold gang of thieves who committed “the perfect crime” did not thrive with their “swag.” The greedy and duplicitous gang members promptly double-crossed each other. The two leaders held out some of the jewels from the rest of the gang while two other members of the gang escaped to Europe with most of the stolen jewels. Three of the thieves were later murdered by other gang members.

Nick “the Cat” Sacco, a former jewel thief and the sole survivor of the gang, wrote the book with David Simone. Written in a sensational and lurid style, reminding me of an early Mickey Spillane crime thriller, the book recounts the detailed planning of the robbery, the robbery itself and the bloody aftermath. The book also introduces us to the motley crew of crooks, which included a stone cold hitman for the mob, a degenerate gambler and serial double-crosser, and professional jewel thieves like Comfort and Sacco.

Sacco, then an associate of Lucchese organized crime family consigliere Christie “the Tick” Furnari, received the backing of the Cosa Nostra boss for the Pierre robbery.

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

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