Gangsters and Goodfellas: The Mob, Witness Protection, and Life on the Run

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M. Evans, Jan 1, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 273 pages
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When Henry Hill entered the Witness Protection Program, he was certain that his criminal days had finally come to an end. He was wrong.
For over twenty years, Henry Hill lived the high life as a powerful member of the Lucchese crime family, a life immortalized in Martin Scorsese's classic film GoodFellas. After his arrest in 1980, he disappeared into the Witness Protection Program. With this book, Henry comes clean about his last twenty years, filling in the gaps about his recent past as well as setting the record straight on his days as a wiseguy.
Shipping Henry to Nebraska and giving him a new identity, the Feds bring his fast-paced life to a screeching halt. Instantly gone are the days of hand-tailored suits and million dollar heists. To the prosecutors, he is a Federal Witness #4427. To his neighbors, he's Peter Haines or Martin Todd Lewis. Henry Hill has become a thing of the past.
Unfortunately for the U. S. Marshals, the quiet, suburban life proves a bit too quiet for Henry, and it does not take him long to tire of life in the slow lane. With a knack for attracting seedy characters, Henry adds to his insane cast of associates wherever he travels. There's Jack, the crooked horse breeder and Fernando, the Peruvian drug dealer, not to mention the women who cross his path in every state. From the cow country of Nebraska to the bluegrass of Kentucky, Henry relocates often, finding trouble at every turn ending up in Los Angeles with a brand new money making scam: the film industry. The best part is that this racket is legal.
But Marshal Al and the rest of the government's babysitters can not guarantee his safety from the watchful eyes of Jimmy "The Gent" Burke, Paulle Vario, and the other members of the Lucchese crime family who would rather see Henry dead than on the witness stand. This is the real story of life on the run from the mob and the toll it takes on Henry and his loved ones, both mentally and physically, as he incarcerates his former friends with his witness-stand testimonies. Always on edge, the family can never get too comfortable. At a moment's notice, they must pack up and leave, changing names and addresses, leaving behind a scattered trail of abbreviated lives. Nowhere is safe.
Amidst this madness, the only constant is Henry, who remains his impulsive and entertaining self. Henry Hill's tale will destroy everything you thought you knew about the Witness Protection Program.

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About the author (2004)

Henry whose life in the New York Mafia was the subject of Nicholas Pileggi's bestselling book Wiseguy and Martin Scorsese's film Goodfellas, started his career as a Brooklyn gangster at the age of 12.

Gus Russo is the author of "Live By the Sword: The Secret War Against Castro and the Death of JFK," He is an investigative reporter who has worked for various major television networks, including PBS' "Frontline" series.

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