Today I'm posting the excerpt from our book THIEF! where Slick talks about MM being taken out by the mob. In the excerpt, Slick is at the Hawthorne Racetrack in Chicago. He bumps into Mousie, a mob hit man:
“Hey, how ya doin’?” I said, silently checking out the guy he [Mousie] was with. It was Mugsy Tortorella. Even other mob guys feared Mugsy because he’d do absolutely anything for a buck. Mugsy was tight with an old friend of mine [Leroy Smolen] who introduced us when I lived in Chicago. We exchanged greetings, then Mugsy wandered off to place a bet.
“Yeah, he worked with a couple of friends of mine,” I answered.
“Did those friends know that Mugsy thought Marilyn Monroe’s ass was the best he’s ever seen?”
Now, any ordinary outsider would have said to himself, “Where did that remark come from?” But I knew how mob guys talked. Mousie was testing me, but he had to do it in a roundabout way. He couldn’t come right out and ask, “Do you know Mugsy was the guy who killed Marilyn Monroe and put dope up her ass to make it look like she died of an overdose? No. Mousie and I both would have been hit—him for talking and me for knowing too much. So, Mousie used this indirect way of finding out how much I knew. I’d heard about Marilyn being taken out by the mob from some extremely reliable sources, but I never let on to anyone. Okay, there was only one way to play this if I wanted to live a few more years.
“Gee, I never heard that one.” I managed to sound like maybe Mousie was making a joke and I didn’t get the punch line.
He glanced at me with those watery eyes that seemed to take in my every thought. Apparently he was satisfied I didn’t know anything because he let the subject drop. I was itching to ask a ton of questions like, was the FBI in on it? …and were they afraid she was getting too close to JFK? ...but I just nodded. The less you said to these Outfit guys the better. And the fact that I didn’t pump them, made them trust me and want to open up about stuff. I first noticed this with Sammy the Rock. The more I kept my mouth shut, the more he talked. I guess it’s a natural instinct with people who know a lot of stuff they can’t talk about in public. They get the urge to show what a big guy they are. My one real slipup had been when I asked Dominic’s goons what was in the bag they were wrestling aboard the Knot Guilty. I had to be more careful.
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