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The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Having been exposed to Peter Lance’s investigation of corruption in the Santa Barbara Police Department, I can second that reviewer’s sentiment wholeheartedly.

Only in Deal With the Devil, he’d been raking the muck on the FBI for nearly 12 years post 9/11 and this, his latest epic, is a page-turning indictment of the FBI’s shameful organized crime track record dating back to the early 1960s. With meticulous research based on more than 20,000 pages of trial transcripts, interviews and heretofore secret FBI memos, Lance documents the Bureau’s decades-long corrupt relationship with one of the most vicious members of the Mafia in history: Gregory Scarpa Sr. aka “The Killing Machine,” “The Mad Hatter” and “The Grim Reaper,” one of America’s most prolific serial killers ever.

Deal With the Devil is an investigative history that reads at times like a John Grisham thriller and at other times like a legal brief. This book is a “must read” for any criminal defense attorney: It reveals the willingness of senior FBI officials and federal prosecutors to ignore Brady material and to utilize secondhand and thirdhand hearsay testimony from bottom-feeding Mafia soldiers to send defendants away for multiple life terms, even after these informants had served in Scarpa’s murderous crew at the same time he was acting with the clear advise and consent of Bureau officials in New York and D.C.

Lance makes some extraordinary revelations: Two years before Joseph Valachi (credited as the first Mafia turncoat) testified before a Senate committee in 1963, Scarpa gave Hoover the entire Mafia playbook — including the hierarchy of La Cosa Nostra, the secret induction rites, and the leadership of all five families. During his years as an informant, the FBI facilitated insurance rewards and paid Scarpa fees that equaled more than $1,000,000 (in 2013 dollars). From 1980 to 1992 Scarpa Sr. committed or ordered 26 murders while he was serving as a “T.E.” (Top Echelon informant) for his last “control” agent, including the violent rubout of his own brother Sal in 1987 and the driveby slaying of his nephew Gus Farace, which triggered a 500-agent manhunt.

Scarpa, who ran multi-million dollar drug, gambling, and auto theft operations, also stole millions in bullion, jewelry, stocks and bonds. While three separate Justice Department Organized Crime Strike Forces (in