How honest New York State Trooper Ed Croswell crashed a special meeting of gangster elites in 1957 and exposed organized crime to a dozing American public.
Screenwriter and playwright Reavill (Aftermath, Inc.: Cleaning Up After CSI Goes Home, 2007, etc.) vividly recreates that miasmic era of ignorance and innocence with all the blunt-end aplomb befitting coldblooded killers and crooked lawmen. In the fall of 1957, a cadre of "fourteen-karat hoodlums" decided to meet and talk business at the rustic estate in Apalachin, N.Y. It was a mistake that would forever cost the mob its coveted mask of anonymity. Much has been written about how the authorities managed to find out about the secret Apalachin gathering, but Reavill argues that none of the complex conspiracy theories involving insider betrayals and double crosses are true. Instead, the author constructs a compelling case that the landmark bust was all due to a little luck and one man simply doing his job. Lively, detailed reporting sets intriguing characters on both sides of the law on an inexorable crash course for the sleepy woodlands of upstate New York. Some of the intimate portraits stretch back before World War II and from as far away as Sicily, but the colorful writing makes the events as accessible and immediate as if they were unfolding today. In addition to requisite stories of bloody mob hits and ruthless grabs at power, there are shocking reversals of fortune, incredible examples of collusion between the mob and the U.S. government, and an eye-opening look at how the Mafia built its highly durable and lucrative narcotics trade. While none of that came to a screeching halt on that fateful day in Apalachin, Croswell’s dogged determination forced law enforcement agents to confront the mob like never before.
An exciting, comprehensive chronicle of one of the most pivotal events in mob history.