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

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THIEF! character, Vince Eli

Saturday, May 26, 2007


For Immediate Release
Contact: Carole Stuart

Former Chicago Mob associate William “Slick” Hanner
denounces mobster Frank Cullotta re upcoming Outfit
trial dubbed “Operation Family Secrets.”

May 2007, Las Vegas - William “Slick” Hanner, co-author of THIEF! The Gutsy, True Story of an Ex-Con Artist, 2006, was a key informant interviewed by KLAS-TV Eyewitness News investigative reporter, George Knapp. The subject of Knapp’s special 2-part I-team report was the upcoming Chicago Outfit trial, “Operation Family Secrets,” due to begin in June 2007.

In an excerpt from the Knapp newscasts, as seen on, Knapp says:

Cullotta is expected to testify that his boss, Spilotro, reported to longtime reputed outfit kingpin Joey "The Clown" Lombardo, the best known of the fourteen defendants in the Operation Family Secrets case. Two other mobsters, Frank and Nick Calabrese, are ready to tell what they know about the other defendants. Lombardo's lawyer thinks those two will be tough witnesses, but he sounds like he will be ready for Cullotta.

Hanner gives George Knapp his take on Frank Cullotta:

Another Cullotta critic is former Chicago hoodlum William "Slick" Hanner, who grew up in the same Chicago neighborhoods, ran with the same crowd, but even before Cullotta.

Former mob associate, William "Slick" Hanner said, "What can he [Cullotta] say that they
don't know?"

Hanner said, "I ain't saying I'm better than him. I'm not a killer, but I don't embellish things.
He said Tony sent for him. Tony never sent for him. He came out here to put a girl to work. She was a prostitute. Then he went to Tony and said he's gonna bring his crew out."

Hanner, who ended up working in licensed casinos despite his long criminal record, has written his own book about the bad old days, entitled "Thief." He admits to being a participant in skimming millions from the mob-tainted Stardust casino but feels Cullotta is exaggerating his own importance.

"I would have never given him witness protection, never. He's as bad as the ones he's testifying against," Hanner continued.

"Slick" Hanner said, "The reason they [Tony and Michael Spilotro] got killed was because they were going back to Chicago to take over The Outfit. He [Tony] was telling his crew we're going back to Chicago."

George Knapp plans to interview Hanner again live once the Outfit trial gets underway.

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