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

  • Stay tuned for THIEF! book signings, media interviews and other THIEF! events
  • Media Reviews posted periodically
  • Mobwriter comments on true crime events and books

THIEF! character, Vince Eli

Monday, June 23, 2014

June 2014
Strategic Media Books, LLC

New Book Investigates Mysteries Surrounding Gangster Legend Charles "Lucky" Luciano

Charles “Lucky” Luciano is one of the most researched, discussed and dissected American mobsters of all time. His name has become synonymous with New York City’s high drama gangland days of prohibition bootlegging, the formation of the infamous five families, and controversy over his alleged ‘Last Testament’.

Yet, there exist many fascinating and lurid tales and theories regarding Lucky’s rise and fall from the mob’s top spot.  Now in his new book, Lucky Luciano: Mysterious Tales of a Gangland Legend, journalist Christian Cipollini, for first time ever, focuses exclusively on some of the mysteries major surrounding Charles "Lucky" Luciano, one of the biggest organized crime figures in history.

Some of these stories are known, but still incite debate, such as the origins of his nickname and menacing facial scars. Other legends are not so well known to the general public. Luciano's involvement with the shadowy Seven Group and Murder Incorporated. Did he ever actually ever murder anyone? Then there are incidents such as the alleged carving of his initials into a witness’s thighs and the wild theories that abound following his death in 1962. These are just a few of the unusual tales that surfaced over and beyond Lucky Luciano’s lifetime.

With information culled from rare news articles, government documents and numerous books written on the subject, this book will give readers a chance to discover Luciano in a way that engages the mystery of his pop culture status, while encouraging further debate over the facts and fallacies that exist about his true role in the history of the American Mafia structure.

"Christian Cipollini has become an authority on the dark, criminal underworld that thrives in the shadows of the cities in the United States. His understanding of how that side of society "works" is unrivaled and his writings show that quite clearly. Having battled violent crime in big city streets for nearly 30 years, I can say with authority that Christian tells the story right. His works are a must read for anyone who wants to see the dark side of our culture."
Pete Forcelli, Former NYPD, Bronx Homicide Task Force

“Christian Cipollini is one of those authors that deserve more recognition. I was considered by the FBI as an expert in Italian organized crime and I recognize someone that knows and well researched his writings.”
Ronald Fino, former FBI Undercover Operative and author of The Triangle Exit.

"The sorts of characters he writes about couldn't spell "Cipollini" but it's a name that'll be on the reading lists of true crime aficionados for years into the future.”
Arthur Nash, author of New York City Gangland

About the Author
Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Christian Cipollini has been a freelance writer and journalist in the realms of entertainment, human interest and true crime history for over a decade. A graduate of Seton Hill University, he holds a BA in Corporate Communications. He is the author of Diary of a Motor City Hit Man: The Chester Wheeler Campbell Story (Strategic Media Books, 2013). As a contributor to diverse types of publications, his works have appeared in the Tribune-Review,, Urban Ink Magazine and Mob Candy magazine.

Cipollini has also appeared as a guest 'expert' on episodes of Biography Channel Series "Gangsters: America's Most Evil,” The History Channel Series "Hunt for History." & Consulted on National Geographic Channel’s critically-acclaimed series “DRUGS, INC.” 

For further information about the publisher:
For interviews or to request copy of the book e-mail: or phone: 803-366-5440

Saturday, June 7, 2014

New Book Chronicles Gang Life, Violence, Poverty and Race Relations in San Antonio, Texas
Strategic Media Books is pleased to announce the publication of The White Boy Confessions,  the powerful autobiography of San Antonio native Marcus Valdespino. White Boy Confessions deals with gang life and violence in San Antonio and such controversial subjects as race relations, poverty, and interracial crime . The first twenty-nine years of Valdespino’s life  were compelling and tragic. Valdespino witnessed his father’s drug dealing to high profile people and he, unfortunately, followed in his footsteps. Valdespino’s story shows the worst of humanity and is chilling in its depiction of sex and violence and heartfelt, poignant and sad in its betrayal of the rite of passage of a young person growing up in this world.  

The White Boys Confessions is also extremely powerful in its social and political commentary. There are several layers of the story contained within it that are both frightening and humorous. As white boy operated primarily in an African American environment, Valdespino had to prove his worth beyond a reasonable doubt. Yet, he went from a know nothing white kid of the streets in 1989 to second in command to a drug dealer in charge of a crack cocaine empire. The FEDS were after him and his crew from 1998 to 2000. There were many shoot outs, home invasions, beat downs, violent rapes, police raids, graphic explicit sex, human trafficking and even a murder.

Today, all of Valdespino’s friends are in the penitentiary, dead or their whereabouts are unknown. Yet, by some miracle he went unscathed and experienced no penitentiary time.. All of Valdespino’s story—the bad and the ugly-- is in The White Boy Confessions, a story of not just survival but also redemption.

Marcus Valdespino speaks with the authority of an insider about San Antonio's gangster underworld, tempered by the hard-earned wisdom of someone who barely escaped it with his life. - Paul Hodgins, cultural critic, Orange County Register

About the Author
Marcus Valdespino is a native of San Antonio, Texas, and a former sports radio personality on 760 KTKR-The Ticket, covering the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Cowboys, as well as the national sports scene.  He has interviewed dozens of professional athletes and sports figures, including former NFL quarterback and sports analyst Boomer Esiason, Olympian Michael Johnson, Dallas Cowboys former General Manager Tex Schramm, the Cowboys’ current owner and General Manager Jerry Jones, and four-time NBA Champion coach Gregg Popovich, among others.

For further information about the publisher:
For interviews or to request copy of the book e-mail: or phone: 803-366-5440


Charles Manson: r. 40 years later
Crime Beat: Issues, Controversies and
Personalities from the darkside
on Artist First Radio Network
June 12 — Gerald Posner, author of Mengele: The Complete Story. See
June 19 — Jeff Guinn, author of Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson. See

On the air since January 28, 2011, Crime Beat is a weekly hour-long radio program that airs every Thursday at 8 p.m. EST.  Crime Beat presents fascinating topics that bring listeners closer to the dynamic underbelly of the world of crime. Guests have included ex-mobsters, undercover law enforcement agents, sports officials, informants, prisoners, drug dealers and investigative journalists, who have provided insights and fresh information about the world’s most fascinating subject: crime.

Crime Beat is currently averaging 160,000 listeners plus, from over 120 countries world-wide each week, and the figure is growing. All shows are archived for 24-7 listening. Crime Beat is hosted by award-winning crime writer and documentary producer Ron Chepesiuk ( and broadcast journalist and freelance writer Will Hryb.

Ronald Herd I1, the popular Internet radio host and regular listener of Crime Beat, said: "Crime Beat sounds like an organized crime greatest hits collection...I am loving it!" Tom Hart of Atlanta, Georgia, writes: “I am a BIG fan of your show and enjoy the variety of guests you have on your show. “Keep up the good work.”  Carolyn Yarema of Toronto, Canada writes, "fabulous program guys' ... my husband Chi Chi and I never miss the show."

Crime Beat airs weekly every Thursday at 8 P.M. EST on the Artist First World Radio Network at To contact the Crime Beat radio program for interviews, e-mail or call 803-366-5440.