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Murder Machine (Onyx True Crime) Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 1993


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Murder Machine (Onyx True Crime) + Five Families: The Rise, Decline, and Resurgence of America's Most Powerful Mafia Empires + Surviving the Mob: A Street Soldier's Life in the Gambino Crime Family
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Product Details

  • Series: Onyx True Crime
  • Mass Market Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Onyx (July 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451403878
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451403872
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Mustain and Capeci, reporters for the New York Daily News , here present a feature expose of Roy DeMeo, leader of a pack of especially gruesome hit men known as the Murder Machine. DeMeo's crew was so "scary," according to an FBI agent quoted here, that even then-Mafia don John Gotti was wary of them. By the FBI's estimate, the Murder Machine killed at least 200 people before it was dismantled during the 1980s in what proved to be the longest federal serial murder investigation in history. Mustain and Capeci's main informant about the case was Dominick Montiglio, nephew of a top aide in the Gambino family. DeMeo, in his turn, was killed by a volley of shots fired at close range; his body, stuffed into the trunk of his Cadillac, was found in Brooklyn in January 1983, a week after this devoted father failed to show up for his daughter's birthday party. No one was ever convicted of the murder. In a masterpiece of crime reporting, the authors re-create the DeMeo underworld in gripping detail. Photos not seen by PW .
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

A modern-day "Murder, Incorporated," the vicious Gambino crime family crew led by Roy DeMeo committed upward of 200 murders. Most victims were fellow criminals, but contrary to the supposed Mafia code, many were hapless civilians. So brutal and pathological were DeMeo's cohorts that even crime boss John Gotti reportedly feared them. The crew was convicted (DeMeo was murdered) in part by the testimony of Dominick Montiglio, a primary source for this book. Montiglio, a former Green Beret who became a mobster through the influence of his Mafia uncle, presents first-hand evidence of mob treachery and depravity. The authors , who wrote about Gotti in Mob Star (Franklin Watts, 1988) , tell a vivid, chilling tale that should dispel any remaining romantic myths about Mafia life. Highly recommended for crime collections. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 4/15/91.
- Gregor Preston, Univ. of California Lib., Davis
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

This story is told in an absorbing narrative.
Leserv
This is the story of capo Roy DeMeo and his murderous Brooklyn crew.
Anthony Bruno
I had a very hard time putting this book down once I started!
Bahstonian

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 55 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 6, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I used to live 3 blocks away from a bar called the Gemini Lounge in the Flatlands section of Brooklyn. Little did I know that scenes of such ghastly brutality were taking place there such as body dismemberment, drug and child pornography dealing, etc. If truth is stranger then fiction, then real life horror stories are far worse then any fiction authors imagination. Roy DeMeo - one of the most brutal, (who had a "relationship" with the equally revolting Irish mobsters called the "Westies") conscienceless killers you will ever meet (hopefully only in print)- assembled a group of cretins from the Flatlands/Canarsie neighborhoods he frequented that is so frightening in that we know we must have passed such "ordinary" looking people many times on the street not having a clue as to their deadly business. It frightens me that a simple argument over a parking spot, or being the proverbial innocent bystander - can lead to such quick, brutal death. On a personal note, I once briefly met one of DeMeo's crew a thug named Joey Testa who is a major player in the book, and I am not surprosed to have read about him being a sadistic killer. This is really a book that is hard to put down and a perfect antidote (along with "Wiseguys" called "Goodfellas"in the movie) to those like Puzo who glamorize the mob. This book is a good companion book to T.J. English' book "The Westies" and you will recognize many of the hoods in both books.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Leserv on July 21, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
As a New York journalist, I had a passing acquaintance with the sinister reputation of the DeMeo Crew of Canarsie. Once I started Murder Machine, I couldn't put it down. It literally cost me sleep, both because I stayed up late reading and because I stayed up later cringing at this true story of uncontrolled murder and unimaginable butchery. This story is told in an absorbing narrative. The characters are introduced and fleshed out with layers of extraordinary detail, the result of insightful reporting. The Soporanos is a nice fairy tale, but this is the mob as it lives and breathes in real life. Read it and be afraid, very afraid. If you only can read one book about the mob in America, read this one.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Linda Linguvic HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 26, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a true story of the Brooklyn DeMeo gang who specialized in murder during the 1970s and 80s and how they were finally brought to justice. Some of the information came from Dominick Montiglio, a witness who testified against the mob. However, much of it is written from his point of view and somehow managed to deny his direct involvement with any of the murders, therefore making me wonder about every aspect of book's accuracy. It details his heroism in Vietnam, his marriage and family life, and includes photos of him as a two-year old at his birthday party as well as his 1965 high school graduation.
There are no photos of course of the shocking and brutal murders which are described in gruesome detail throughout the book. The realism was what was so horrible, and opened my eyes to something that was going on right in my city which I was totally unaware of. I still shudder when I think of it.
For the time I was reading the book, it was like a bright floodlight was shed on a part of New York City history which illuminated the criminal mob underbelly of the times. Its clear writing style pulled no punches. The book was meant to shock and it delivered on this promise and is certainly not for everybody. But for all those willing to explore this world from the safety your armchair, I certainly recommend it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dave on August 21, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Despite some reviews here that state that Dominick Montiglio was never a Green Beret, never a war hero, maybe never even in combat, I still give this book credence. While Montiglio was a source for this book, it's clear to the reader that he was not truly involved in the Demeo crew but really more of a servant to Nino Gaggi his uncle. So there is no way Montiglio could have known all these horrifying details about many of these murders. Capeci and Mustain would have to have had other sources that they learned about these murders from. The book definitely focuses too much attention on Montiglio, he was basically a down-and-out deadbeat cokehead.

I wouldn't go as far as to say that this book is a complete fabrication. Too much law enforcement has found out too much information about the Demeo crew for someone to think that the information about these murders was fabricated. As for the Dominick Montiglio war hero stuff, well it's a minor part of the book at best so take it with a grain of salt. The real point of this book is that the Mafia is not the Sopranos or The Godfather. It's these people. People who have zero intelligence or practical function on this planet, but who kill innocent people in gruesome ways just so their crimes can continue. This is a very good read.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Bernard Chapin on November 13, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Murder Machine is a book written in the brazen tradition of Wiseguys and the Westies. It provides readers with a snapshot of street life, magnifies it, and follows it up with a sea of rich description. The DeMeo Crew had to be the most vicious gang of killers in the history of the mob, and, despite being loosely associated with the Gambino Family, there wasn't much organized about their criminal nature. An arrest, an insult, a wrongly phrased statement, the mistake of being in the wrong place at the wrong time could result in one getting whacked by the likes of Harvey "Chris" Rosenberg, the Gemini twins, or Roy DeMeo himself. Books like these are important because if one refuses to study foul, corrupt men then they willfully choose not to know the truth about human nature. The dealings and interactions of this gang, as described by turncoat Dominick Montiglio, are juxtaposed with those of the Castellano pre-Gotti Gambino Family in these pages and the ensuing portrait of the mobsters is both revealing and entertaining. Indeed, the tale is so fast paced and action packed that you'll be surprised you finish it as quickly as you do.
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