In Deal with the Devil, five-time Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter Peter Lance draws on three decades of once-secret FBI files and exclusive new interviews to disclose the epic saga of Colombo family capo Gregory Scarpa Sr., who spent more than thirty years as a paid Top Echelon FBI informant while wreaking havoc as a drug dealer, loan shark, bank robber, hijacker, high-end securities thief-and killer.
A Mafia capo who "stopped counting" after fifty murders-earning nicknames including "the Grim Reaper" and "the Killing Machine"- Greg Scarpa was enlisted by the FBI as early as 1960. His detailed debriefings on Mafia practices and activities went straight to J. Edgar Hoover and revealed the structure of Cosa Nostra long before the celebrated Valachi hearings. In forty-two years of murder and racketeering, Scarpa served only thirty days in jail, thanks to his secret relationship with the Feds. But Scarpa's most deadly reign of terror came in the period from 1980 to 1992, when more than half his homicides occurred-even as Scarpa was serving as a paid informant under Supervisory Special Agent R. Lindley DeVecchio, who ran two organized crime squads in the FBI's New York Office.
The celebrated case agent on the 1985-1986 Mafia Commission prosecution, DeVecchio had persuaded Scarpa to return to the fold as an informant, under laws that explicitly forbid organized crime insiders from committing murder or other crimes while receiving compensation from the Bureau. And yet, drawing on secret memos that went to every FBI director from Hoover to Louis Freeh, Lance documents that Scarpa not only continued his violent rampage during these years, but actually launched a new war for control of the Colombo crime family-a conflict that left fourteen dead and dozens injured.
Before he died of AIDS, contracted through a tainted blood transfusion, Scarpa committed or ordered twenty-six murders-including the violent rubout of his own brother Sal in 1987 an...
Peter Lance is A former correspondent for ABC News, he covered hundreds of stories worldwide for 20/20, Nightline, and World News Tonight. Among his awards are the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Prize and the Sevellon Brown Award from the Associated Press. In 2010 he was appointed Research Scholar at the Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies.
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