MURDER MACHINE by Gene Mustain


A True Story of Murder, Madness and the Mafia
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 First-rate story of a Mafia murder crew so deadly that even John Gotti turned aside a contract on its leader. New York Daily News reporters Mustain and Capeci (coauthors, Mob Star, 1989--not reviewed) tell the fascinating and repellently detailed story of Roy DeMeo and the gang he raised from teenagers in Canarsie--a Brooklyn neighborhood where death by natural causes is ``six bullets in the head,'' according to one cop. The middle-class DeMeo, a natural criminal, was carrying cash in brown paper bags and driving a Cadillac by his high- school senior year. After establishing loan-sharking headquarters at his Gemini Lounge in Brooklyn, he shipped scores of stolen luxury cars to Kuwait, distributed drugs (one of his crew was the chief supplier of cocaine at Studio 54), and wholesaled child pornography. When the inevitable business disputes arose, his crew simply made the other parties disappear. The victims were lured into a clubhouse behind the Gemini Lounge, where they were shot and dismembered (``it's just like takin' apart a deer''), then secured in Hefty Bags and tossed on the Canarsie dump. One murder led so easily to another that soon the ``Gemini method'' was used on anybody who got in the gang's way or annoyed them. DeMeo presented three of his coke-crazed crew with sets of custom carving knives, which they kept in their car trunks in case a quick assignment arose. When a special NYPD/FBI task force cracked the DeMeo gang, it tagged the criminals for 75 murders. DeMeo (who was rubbed out by fellow mobsters as the cops closed in) bragged of one hundred personally, making him far more destructive than any known US serial killer. Vivid, hair-raising, day-to-day-in-the-life-of narrative: the best mob book in recent memory. (Sixteen pages of b&w photographs--not seen.)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-525-93467-7
Page count: 432pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1992