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Deal with the Devil: The FBI's Secret Thirty-Year Relationship with a Mafia Killer Hardcover – July 2, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The use of criminals as paid informants is always a dicey proposition, and it becomes especially risky and morally ambiguous as law-enforcement officials move up the criminal food chain to try to nail organized-crime figures. Lance, a former correspondent for ABC News, illustrates this point in a meticulously researched and frightening account of the long-term relationship between the FBI and vicious Mafia thug Gregory Scarpa Sr., who liked to be called “the Killing Machine.” Helped by the often unwitting cover provided by his FBI handlers, Scarpa continued his criminal activities, including drug dealing, robbery, and multiple Mob hits. He was also a master manipulator of his Mafia colleagues, managing to avoid detection and helping to instigate factional violence among them. In return, Scarpa provided a steady stream of information to the FBI, including outlining the command structure of Mafia families. After these stunning revelations, readers must ask if the information was worth the carnage that Scarpa continued to inflict. --Jay Freeman


Deal with the Devil is a blistering account of a cunning and brutal Mafia capo. . . Packed with revelations, it offers the most penetrating look into the inner workings of the Mafia since The Valachi Papers.” (Nicholas Gage)

“[A] thrilling account. . . This scrupulously investigated tale. . . will have true crime fans on the edge of their seats (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

“A meticulously researched and frightening account of the long term relationship between the FBI and vicious Mafia thug Gregory Scarpa Sr. . . Stunning revelations.”” (Booklist)

“An exhaustive examination into the life and crimes of Mafia capo Gregory Scarpa Sr. and his questionable decades long relationship with the FBI. . . extensively researched. . .Aficionados of Mafia history and those concerned with FBI corruption will find this thorough investigation satisfying.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“The perfect mix of thorough research and gripping storytelling.” (NPR)

“An impressive piece of work. . . This is a book that has true potential to change history.” (Crimespree Magazine)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 672 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition edition (July 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061455342
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061455346
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #245,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter Lance is a five-time Emmy-winning investigative reporter now working as a screenwriter and novelist. With a Masters Degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law, Lance spent the first 15 years of his career as a print reporter and network correspondent.

He began his career as a reporter for his hometown paper, The Newport, R.I. Daily News. There, while a student at Northeastern University in Boston, he won the coveted Sevellon Brown Award from the A.P. Managing Editors Association. Lance next moved to WNET, the PBS flagship in New York, where he won his first New York area Emmy and the Ohio State Award as a producer- reporter for Channel 13's news magazine THE 51ST STATE.

Later, while working as a writer and producer for WABC-TV Lance won his second Emmy along with the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism prize for WILLOWBROOK: THE PEOPLE VS. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, an exposé on a notorious institution for the mentally challenged. He also was awarded The National Community Service Emmy for that same documentary.

While getting his law degree, Lance worked as a Trial Preparation Assistant in the office of the District Attorney for New York County. Moving to ABC News as a field producer in 1978, Lance won his fourth Emmy in 1980 for his investigation of an arson-for-profit ring in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago: "Arson and Profit."

In 1981 Lance became Investigative Correspondent for ABC News. For his very first investigative piece on 20/20 Lance won his fifth Emmy for "Unnecessary Surgery," an exposé of unnecessary surgery in an Arkansas hospital. He won two more Emmy nominations in 1982 for 20/20 investigative pieces on Formaldehyde "The Danger Within" and toxic waste: "Deadly Chemicals, Deadly Oil;" a piece that also won the National Headliner Award.

Over the next five years he covered hundreds of stories worldwide for ABC NEWS 20/20, NIGHTLINE, and WORLD NEWS TONIGHT.

He was a member of the first American crew into Indochina after the end of the Vietnam War. He chased rebel insurgents through the Plaine Des Jarres in Laos and members of the Gambino Family through the toxic wastelands of New Jersey. He tracked knife-happy surgeons in the Deep South and nuclear terrorists through the twisted streets of Antwerp. Then, in 1987, he took a break from non-fiction.
Lance came to L.A. and began working as a writer and story editor for Michael Mann on two of his acclaimed NBC series: CRIME STORY and MIAMI VICE.

In 1989 Lance became the co-executive producer and "show runner" on the fourth season of WISEGUY for CBS and in 1993 he co-created MISSING PERSONS, for ABC. In recent years, he has served as a writer and consulting producer on such series as JAG (NBC) and THE SENTINEL (UPN).

In 1997 Lance's first novel FIRST DEGREE BURN became a national best seller, ranking No. 24 on The Ingram A-List The Top 50 Requested Titles in Mystery- Detective Fiction. The film-noir mystery features FDNY Fire Marshal Eddie Burke.

Later Lance adapted VEIL: THE SECRET WARS OF THE CIA, Bob Woodward's best-seller on William Casey for HBO. For Showtime he wrote TERROR.NET, the story of Bradley Smith, the courageous Diplomatic Security agent responsible for helping to apprehend the world's most notorious terrorists.

In the year 2000 Lance returned to investigative reporting with his best-selling non-fiction investigative biography: THE STINGRAY: Lethal Tactics of The Sole Survivor.

Following the 9/11 attacks Lance began investigating the origins of the FBI's original probe of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Ahmed Yousef. After visiting Yousef's former bomb factory in the Philippines, he came away with 100's of pages of classified documents proving that Yousef had set the 9/11 plot into motion as early as 1994.

Lance then went back and examined the FBI's original efforts to stop Yousef in 1992 as he built the first WTC device. The result is his acclaimed investigative book from Harper Collins 1000 YEARS FOR REVENGE.

Lance followed that book with COVER UP in 2004. In it he established evidence that federal officials entered into an "ends/means" decision in 1996 that buried a treasure trove of al Qaeda-related intelligence in order to preserve a series of Mafia-related cases in the Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).

Lance presented probative evidence in the book that a senior Organized Crime Supervisory Special Agent in the FBI's New York Office (NYO) may have been in a corrupt relationship with a Colombo Family killer. It was the FBI's desire to prevent this potential scandal from tanking the mob cases, that led, Lance determined, to the al Qaeda evidence suppression.

A year after COVER UP's publication the Brooklyn D.A. commenced a grant jury investigation inspired, in part, by Lance's revelations about the Supervisory Special Agent: R. Lindley DeVecchio. On March 30th, 2006 DeVecchio was indicted on four counts of second degree murder stemming from that D.A.'s investigation.

In TRIPLE CROSS, the final book in Lance's 9/11 investigative trilogy, he provides stunning evidence that senior FBI and Justice Dept. officials may have obstructed justice in their failure to monitor Ali A Mohamed, Osama bin Laden's principal spy inside the United. States.

In April, 2010 Lance was appointed Research Scholar at the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Lance's profile of former FBI undercover asset Emad Salem, "The Spy Who Came In For The Heat," was the lead non-fiction article in PLAYBOY's September, 2010 issue. "The Private War of Anthony Shaffer," Lance's investigation surrounding the Pentagon's censorship of "Operation Dark Heart," was the lead nonfiction piece in PLAYBOY's January, 2011 issue.

On April 4th, 2013 a new Kindle edition of Lance's first novel "First Degree Burn" was published on The trade paperback will be available on April 10th.

His fourth book for HarperCollins, DEAL WITH THE DEVIL, the epic story of the FBI's 30 year relationship with a Mafia killer was published on July 2nd 2013. In January, 2015 Lance wrote the foreword to the new memoir by John Gotti Jr., "Shadow of My Father."

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Amazon-klant on July 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Award-winning journalist Peter Lance's Deal with the Devil: The FBI's Secret Thirty-Year Relationship with a Mafia Killer is a page-turning account of how the FBI sold its soul and endangered the lives of innocent citizens in order to send a couple dozen mobsters to prison.

Deal with the Devil is Lance's fourth book in a long-running and in-depth look into terrorist activity in the United States. While researching his previous books Cover Up: What the Government Is Still Hiding About the War on Terror, 1000 Years for Revenge: International Terrorism and the FBI--The Untold Story, and Triple Cross: How Bin Laden's Chief Security Adviser Penetrated the CIA, the FBI, and the Green Berets Lance stumbled upon the FBI's twisted relationship with mafia informant Gregory Scarpa Sr.

Digging deeper and deeper he decided that story needed to be told in full detail with all its mind-blowing corruption, ineptitude, and bloody gore. The hardcover edition of Deal with the Devil spans 672 pages filed with photos and scans of important documents. Set for release on July 2 the book will put the FBI under sharp scrutiny from the public as it adds to the fire that is already blazing with the trial of Whitey Bulger.

The relationship between Greg Scarpa Sr. and the FBI has similarities to the one between Bulger and the Feds. In both instances FBI agents were allegedly corrupted and manipulated resulting in the deaths of gangsters and innocent citizens alike. But in his book Lance presents us facts that show that the FBI's relationship with Scarpa Sr. also caused distraction in the Bureau that paved the way for terrorist attacks to occur that could have been prevented if the FBI hadn't been so fixated on destroying the Mafia.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By LAB on October 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Once again Peter Lance writes in great detail, through FBI memos and hours upon hours of interviews, an alluring story of how Greg Scarpa Sr. was able to manipulate whom ever he wanted for well over 3 decades for more his gain than the FBI's.

The information gathered shows how our Government and Scarpa were able to use each other to suit both their needs regardless the collateral loss of life or those in prison today including his own blood.

The Scarpa and DeVecchio relationship has many twists and turns.

When did this relationship really start and who benefited more are huge questions.

One of the best true crime stories out there.

Well Done Mr Lance!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Charlie S. on November 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This book is the best researched book I have read about the New York mob and the relationship between an FBI agent and cold blooded mob killer. The detail in which Mr. Lance leads us through the relationship of FBI Supv. Agent Lin DeVecchio and Greg Scarpa is backed by interviews, FBI reports, and transcripts. One can only hope that this book will open up a new investigation and bring justice to those who became victims because of the failure in the criminal justice system.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By tony smith on July 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After reading Lances 'Triple Cross' I was hoping he would one day come up with a more in depth book on the Scarpas.....Doesn't disappoint. Who would believe that the Scarpas have done a better job ,since 1964, of keeping us safe from terrorists (KKK, Terry Nichols and Al Queada) than the US Government.What a great story Greg Junior could tell if he had his day in court.....Good job on this book Mr Lance.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. R. de Szigethy on October 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover
There's an old adage that all an investigative reporter needs is a good sense of smell. "Deal with the Devil," the latest true-crime installment by celebrated author Peter Lance is a good case in point. The central figure in this book is Greg Scarpa, Sr., a Mafia hitman who stopped counting his murder victims after reaching 50 such homicides in a career of Evil that spanned the 1950s through the 1990s. Scarpa was devoid of any redeeming quality, engaging in every illegal activity of the American Mafia, including dealing drugs to kids. Scarpa ordered his son Greg Jr. to hold down a young woman, Mary Bari, whom Scarpa brutally murdered in the belief that she MIGHT "rat" on a fellow member of New York's Colombo Mafia Family. He would later order his young son Joey to murder his best friend, in the mistaken belief that that young man had turned "rat" on Joey.

Scarpa surpassed Al Capone, Albert Anastasia, "Crazy Joe" Gallo, John Gotti, Sammy Gravano, and even Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso in the quantity and variety of his brutal crimes. And yet, Scarpa managed most of his adult life to stay out jail. This fact simply does not pass the "smell test," and Lance details the reason behind Scarpa's success; since the early 1960s, Scarpa secretly - and hypocritically - worked as a "rat," providing information, much of it false, dubious, or self-serving, to the FBI. In exchange, Scarpa received protection from prosecution, "blood money," courtesy of the unsuspecting American taxpayer, and more.
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