The 251-page memoir “Mafia Cop” sits at the center of the most macabre and bizarre racketeering trial to unfold in years, says the New York Times. Its author, Louis J. Eppolito, a retired New York detective, is the chief defendant in the case. He stands accused, along with former partner Stephen Caracappa, of committing drug crimes in Las Vegas after taking part in at least eight Brooklyn murders for the mob. Rarely since 1912, when Lt. Charles Becker was tried for the killing of gambler Beansie Rosenthal, have there been such shocking allegations against New York City police officers.
Last April, a month after Eppolito, 57, and Caracappa, 64, were arrested in Las Vegas, Variety reported that three film studios were vying for the rights to “Mafia Cop.” In the trial, the chief witness in its Brooklyn phase was revealed to be an arthritic marijuana dealer with a talent for “diversionary driving” and interests in African diamonds and stolen leisure suits. The chief witness in the trial’s Las Vegas phase was a disgraced, pomaded C.P.A. with a taste for gambling and bruschetta who the Times calls “a sort of Studs Terkel of Las Vegas crime.” The book contains the seeds of Eppolito’s defense – that he is not a killer but a writer, a man who “makes things up, creates,” his attorney said.