Written by the bestselling author of The Ice Man, The Butcher is a gripping and disturbing fly-on-the-wall account of the US Drug Enforcement Administration's four-year hunt to bring down Tommy 'Karate' Pitera, a drug-dealing, murderous capo in the Bonanno crime family. Born in 1954 and raised in Gravesend, Brooklyn, Pitera was a thin boy who was ...
Written by the bestselling author of The Ice Man, The Butcher is a gripping and disturbing fly-on-the-wall account of the US Drug Enforcement Administration's four-year hunt to bring down Tommy 'Karate' Pitera, a drug-dealing, murderous capo in the Bonanno crime family. Born in 1954 and raised in Gravesend, Brooklyn, Pitera was a thin boy who was bullied as a result of his feminine voice. As a teenager, he became obsessed with martial arts and with a religious fervour began studying karate to protect himself. After winning a tournament, he travelled to Japan, where he trained for three years under one of the country's foremost martial arts experts. When he returned home in 1974, Pitera was a very different man. Quiet and introspective, sullen and aloof, he had developed his body into a fighting machine. He began associating with gangsters from the Bonanno family and was soon dealing drugs on a huge scale, while simultaneously embarking on a killing spree that spanned almost two decades. In 1992, Pitera was sentenced to life in prison for murdering six people and supporting a massive drug-dealing operation, yet this covered only a fraction of the crimes he committed. Pitera is thought to have murdered more than 60 people, cutting many of his victims into pieces before burying them on Staten Island. Exhaustively researched and written with the cooperation of the DEA agents who hunted Pitera down, The Butcher is the perfect good-versus-evil story and will send shivers down the spine of even the most hardened true-crime reader.
Publishers Weekly, 2009-12-21 Carlo once again delves into the world of the Mafia to bring to light a disturbing portrait of one of the most ruthless killers in criminal history and the series of events that eventually lead to his arrest. Tommy "Karate" Pitera rose from humble beginnings to become the Mafia's top hit man. For over a decade, he settled professional and personal scores, savagely murdering and dismembering some 60 victims. Hill does a fine job in his reading, imbuing long passages of statistics and exposition with just enough emotion to keep the listener interested. His Mafioso accents fit perfectly with the characters, especially his rendition of Pitera's well-noted high-pitched speaking voice, which brings an additional chill to the character and his crimes. A fine listen for any true crime fan. A Morrow hardcover (Reviews, Sept. 28). (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2009-09-28 A veteran chronicler of the mafiosi, Carlo (The Ice Man) turns his attention to Tommy "Karate" Pitera, a brutal capo in the Bonanno crime family who allegedly killed 60 people. Carlo traces the rise of Pitera, born in 1954 into a modest Brooklyn family, to an honored place with the Bonannos, whose reputation for widespread drug peddling and bloody rubouts struck fear in their rivals. After spending two years in Japan, Pitera returned home with mastery in martial arts, efficiency in killing and a love for drama, often dressing as a rabbi, a woman or in other wacky disguises to score a hit. The other fascinating character of this gangster saga is Jim Hunt, a tough DEA officer, who assembles a dragnet of smart methods, snitches and turncoats, and snares Pitera and his crew after several savage murders. Carlo's scalding depiction of this mob mad man is enhanced by 16 unpublished photos not seen by PW, but apparently so gruesome Carlo feels compelled to warn readers in an author's note. (Nov.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
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