watching the detectives

· Edgewise, Paleoblogs, White-Collar Crime

Tony Soprano shoulda thought of it: hiring a couple of NYPD detectives as mob assassins. But it was “Tony” Casso who thought of it first. In today’s installment of an entertaining and wryly horrific series, Alan Feuer at the NYT brings us the courtroom finale to the trial of Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa, found guilty of 70 counts by a New York jury.
That’s a lota counts. Well, they were mob assassins for twenty years. Both detectives were, in fact, retiredby the time they were arrested “at the coat check of a Nevada restaurant” a little more than a year ago. The cast of witnesses was appropriately Soprano-like: an “arthritic marijuana dealer” who was Capo Casso’s go-between, a sixth-grade drop-out who buried one victim, a Connecticut accountant who was “turned” and secretly recorded the defendents at a strip club called The Crazy Horse Too. A smallish (5′ 4″) witness was called “a gnome” by the defense lawyer who, in a 15-minute summation in support of his client, claimed

on the night before a murder that Mr. Caracappa has been charged with, he worked 16 hours guarding a man who had just shot Rabbi Meir Kahane, implying that Mr. Caracappa had been too tired to kill anyone.

Oh, and Detective Eppolito acted on the side. He was in “Goodfellas.”