MOB LAWYER by Frank Ragano

MOB LAWYER

KIRKUS REVIEW

 A riveting memoir of life inside the murderous world of Mafia chieftain Santo Trafficante and Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa, by their personal lawyer (and longtime New York Times reporter Raab)--filled with chilling, credible revelations of mob involvement in the murders of President Kennedy and Hoffa. Ragano started practice as the protÇgÇ of a prominent Tampa criminal defense attorney, Pat Whittaker. Soon, he ingratiated himself with Trafficante, Whittaker's principal client, then became Trafficante's full-time lawyer, defending the mob boss and his associates in occasional criminal cases, tweaking the Florida authorities, and passing time in the Mafioso's Havana gambling clubs. Arrested by Castro's men in 1959, Trafficante was saved from almost certain execution by the lawyer's intervention, and by 1961, Trafficante had brought Ragano into contact with Jimmy Hoffa, hoping that Ragano's influence would induce Hoffa to make loans to the mob from the Teamsters' pension funds. In 1963, Hoffa, hard pressed by Bobby Kennedy's ``Get Hoffa'' squad, asked Ragano to tell Trafficante and New Orleans boss Carlos Marcello to kill John Kennedy. Ragano relayed the message, and, after the union boss's five-year prison term for jury tampering, he tried in vain to persuade Hoffa not to reenter union activities until Hoffa's 1975 disappearance. Ragano writes that in a 1987 conversation, Trafficante confirmed to Ragano that he was privy to CIA contracts to kill Castro, that he and Marcello had conspired to kill Kennedy, and that mobsters at the behest of Hoffa's successor, Ed Fitzsimmons, murdered Hoffa. Ragano's prominence as a lawyer ended with convictions for tax evasion, disbarment, a brief reinstatement as an attorney, and another conviction for tax violations. Ragano is presently serving a one-year term. An insider's impossible-to-put-down account of life within the ``Honorable Society.''

Pub Date: April 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-684-19568-2
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Scribner
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1994




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