THIEF! The Gutsy, True Story of an Ex-Con Artist

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THIEF! character, Vince Eli

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Unpublished excerpt from THIEF!

Slick and I were talking about some of the stories that didn't make it (for one reason or another) into THIEF! Here's one of them:
On Keeping Your Mouth Shut around Mob Guys

Between the years 1964-1970, I lived and conned my way around Miami, Florida. The city was loaded with tan gangsters puffing Cuban cigars. With Mafia guys, I found out that if you kept your mouth shut, mobsters would tell you everything. But if you asked a bunch of questions, they'd clam up. It wasn't just Miami, but everywhere I ran into them—from Chicago Outfit headquarters to Las Vegas casinos—that they acted this way.

One day a Lucchese soldier I was in the restaurant business with by the name of Lucio asked me to drive one of his crew down to the beach. For some reason, the guy couldn't take his own car. I didn't say anything. A few minutes passed and I asked where we were going? He told me not to worry; just keep driving. I kept my mouth shut and did as he ordered.

We arrived at the Singapore Hotel on Collins. He told me to wait in the car. About 30 minutes later, he came out, got in the car and said nothing. As we drove back to Lucio's in complete silence, the guy got very fidgety and chain-smoked 5 cigarettes. Finally, he couldn't stand it any longer and blurted out, "Do you know who I was just with?"

"No," I answered.

"Jimmy Blue Eyes," he said, puffing out his chest on account of meeting Myer Lansky's chief muscle.

Moral of the story: Keep your mouth shut and you learn everything.

By keeping my mouth shut, I found out who really killed Marilyn Monroe and how they did it. You can read the details in my book THIEF!

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