Authors: Randy Jurgensen
Circle of Six
takes us back to a time of despair in New York City that we would all like to forget, but cannot, because we have to understand the mistakes of that time so we don't repeat them again.”
William J. Bratton
LAPD Chief and Former NYPD Commissioner
“This is the most realistic book since
The French Connection
. This book makes me wish I was still producing movies. The Moby Dick of police stories...makes me proud to live in New York and have brave and resolute men from NYPD ‘on the job.’”
Academy Award Winning Producer,
The French Connection
“This fantastic book puts you right there in the teeming, riotous Harlem streets, amidst the chaos, anger, fear, betrayal, violence and death. Every cop should read this. Every American should read it. You won't believe what they did.”
Retired NYPD Lieutenant and Author of
The Con Man's Daughter
© 2007 Randy Jurgensen and Robert Cea
Published by Disinformation Books
An imprint of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC
with offices at 665 Third Street, Suite 400 San Francisco, CA 94107
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a database or other retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, by any means now existing or later discovered, including without limitation mechanical, electronic, photographic or otherwise, without the express prior written permission of the publisher.
Cover photo: Jerry Mosey, courtesy of Associated Press/Wide World Photos
Library of Congress Control Number: 2007932948
Printed in USA
Jacket: anlända and Greg Stadnyk
Text: raisedBarb Graphics
Managing editor: Ralph Bernardo
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The names of some of the characters and locations in this book have been changed, as have certain physical characteristics and other descriptive details. Some of the events and characters are also composites of several individual events or persons. The publisher has not verified any of the events described in this book and no warranty or fitness is implied. The publisher shall have no liability or responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage arising from the information contained in this book or from the use thereof or reliance thereon.
This is for Phil and Joy Cardillo, and their family
For those magnificent bastards of the 2-8 Precinct
For my younger brother, Dave, my hero
For my lady, Lynn
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
– Calvin Coolidge
For all those who worked the case, for those who never forgot and for those we will always remember.
Those who worked the case: DT. Elwood Ambrose, PTL. Rudy Andre, DT. Jimmy Aurichio, DT. Cryus Bartley, PTL. Ralph Bax, DT. William Butler, DT. Nick Cirillo, DT. Joe Conboy, DCPI. Robert Daley, PTL. Sam DeMilia, DT. Marino DiChristina, DT. Lou D'Pasquale, DT. Eddie Eagan, DT. Ed Engle, DT. Eddie Evans, (PTL. Eveready), Insp. Jack Haugh, Chief Tom Fahey, (SGT. Jones), DT. Al Gates, PTL. Bart Gorman, PTL. John Grizopoulos, DT. Sonny Grosso, PTL. Jerry Harvey, PTL. Jay Hernandez, PTL. Ronnie Iamundi, DT. Willie Johnson, PTL. Ed Keegan, PTL. Ray Kelly (current Police Commissioner), PTL. William Kelvahan, PTL. Jim Kenney, SGT. Walter Kirkland, DT. John Lafferty, DT. Jerry Leon, DT. Tom Lyons, PTL. James Macieko, PTL. John McCafferty, PTL. J. D. McLaughlin, PTL. J. Metzler, Insp. Thomas Mitchelson, DT. Alfonso Morrow, PTL. John Morrow, PTL. Vito Navarra, PTL. Ivan Negron, Lt. John O'Connell, PTL. Mike O'Connell, PTL. Victor Padilla, PTL. Ray San Pedro, Capt. Ray Powers, Insp. Hamilton Robinson, PTL. Vic Ruggiero, Chief of Detectives Al Seedman, Capt. Leonard Spatz, DT. M. Waxman, DT. Richie Wrase, DT. Arthur Young, Lt. John Quinn, and FBI agents Joe “Donnie” Pistone and Al Genkinger.
District Attorneys: Robert Morgenthau, John Keenan, Robert Tannenbaum, John Van Lindt, Larry Keefer, and Jim Harmon.
Additional thanks to Chief Medical Examiner Mike Baden, Clint Blackstone, Larry Marinelli, and Foster 2X Thomas.
For those who never forgot: Jimmy Breslin, Robert Crane, Tim Hardiman, Timmy Motto, Tom Nearny, Mike Pearl, Sam Roberts, Phil Messing, Murray Weiss, Dennis Lynch, Joe Klein, Robert Daley.
For those we will always remember: Phil, Joy, and the Cardillo family, PTL. John Darcy, SGT. Greg Foster, PTL. Rocco Laurie, PTL. Joseph Piagentini, PTL. Waverly Jones, PTL. John Verecha, PTL. Thomas Curry, PTL. Nicholas Benetti, PTL. Artie Plate, SGT. Howard Stewart, DT. Frank Serpico.
Special thanks to Chief H. Schryver, Lt. J. Motherway, Lt. Passaro, DT. Nanton, DT. Nicholas, DT. Evans, and DT. Fenton for their work in bringing down the FBI's number one most wanted, Twyman Meyers, for the killing of New York City cops.
To the Long Island Shields, special thanks to all past presidents, especially William Lombard and current President Richard Petito. Thanks to Timmy Motto and all the other organizations who keep Phil's memory alive.
To John Malandrio for the annual Blue Knights motorcycle run through New York City that ends at the gravesite of PTL. Phil Cardillo.
I wish to thank the amazing support this book has received from all of the organizations, especially the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, inside and outside of the Police Department of the City of New York. For anyone that I may have left out, my deepest and most sincere apologies.
For the superintendents of 1264 Amsterdam Ave, my mother and father, Elizabeth and Randolph Jurgensen. My brother Dave, my sister Jeannie “Beanie” who kept us together. My sisters Boo and Jude who taught me how to dance. To their spouses, Arlene, Eddie, Raphael and Ben. My sister-in-law Wendy. Sandy, Michael, Kenny, Bebe, Lauren Andrea, Paul, Danielle, Nicole, and Christine. For my godchildren Jason, Craig, Steve, Sean, Donnie, and Maxil. To Jimmy's Sandra. And for my parish, Our Lady of Pompeii. The 712 and the Detroit Tigers.
For my friends Bill Freidkin, Phillip Rosenberg, Lou DiGiaimo, Mark Lipsky, Joe “Donnie” Pistone, Larry Marinelli, Bernie Kowalski, Joe Mazzilli, Joe Cirillo, George Carlin, Bob Markell, Jim Bowser, Tom Fahey, Tony Rosini, and Winifred White Neiser.
For my oldest, dearest and most faithful friend, Jimmy Aurichio.
For my friend and mentor, Phil D'Antoni.
For Rob Cea, my friend and co-author, for your dedication to honoring the memory of Phil, I can never thank you enough.
My editor Daniel Nayeri who I thank for treating this book as if it were his own, my publisher Gary Baddeley who has been totally supportive from day one, and David Samra, Ralph Bernardo and the team at The Disinformation Company for their constant help. And to my friend, my agent, Ian Kleinert, thanks for everything.
For my children, my son Randy, his wife Jaime, and his son Ty, my son Devon and his wife Juliana, my son Jarrod and his wife Robyn and his son Trey. And to the center of my life, my daughter Lindsay.
My wife, my life Lynn.
Thank you Gary Baddeley and the rest of the folks at The Disinformation Company for going beyond their norm to publish this not-so politically correct book. Thank you all for giving us the proper amount of time to tell this story correctly.
Robert Cea also wishes to thank all of the men and woman of the NYPD, active and retired, for all their help during the process of writing this book. In particular, Timmy Motto, Manny Guella, Rudy Andre, Tony DiCristoforo, Jimmy Kenney, Richie Petito, and J. D. McLaughlin. Thank you Police Commissioner Ray Kelly for your continued interest in the homicide of Patrolman Phil Cardillo and this subsequent book. You are truly a man of your word.
Special thanks to Lisa, Nicholas, and Liv for giving me the seven months of solitude in the “carriage house.” And a special thank you to Randy Jurgensen for giving me the chance to record while he drove us both on a clear and direct path back in time. Thank you for allowing me to help tell your amazing story; finally the truth about Phil Cardillo's murder has been told. Your life is truly inspiring; you are a hero amongst so many peers—past, present and certainly the future.
By 1968 I had eleven years on the job. The job was the New York City Police Department—homicide detective. I worked two of those eleven years in uniform in East (Spanish) Harlem. I did another four years undercover working vice and buying narcotics, guns, and whatever else the streets had for sale. It was during my undercover work that I broke a case known as the Bag Murders involving two killers who zeroed in on homosexuals. Breaking this case got me the Gold Shield. As for the last five of those eleven years, I dealt with death every morning, every afternoon, and every night, whether I was awake or asleep; I was a homicide detective. All in all, I worked eighteen of my twenty years in Harlem.
I am a white male—born and raised just three city blocks from the heart of Harlem, 125th Street and Eighth Avenue. In my time, the people of this area were always at the bottom of the ladder. Whether it was the ladder of employment, living conditions, economic opportunities, schools, or city services, Harlem and its residents were always left out—no matter gender, color, or creed. Every store on 125th Street was “white outsider–owned.” The money spent and the money made in those businesses didn't come back to the community because the owners didn't live there. Most of, if not all the housing and apartment buildings were also “white owned,” not to mention insufferable. They weren't maintained—there was no heat in the winter, the little running water never crawled beyond the second floor, and fires left many apartments scarred and uninhabitable. There were times when the tenants would call the police to come and shoot the rats infesting the hallways. Children returning home from school feared the vermin. Aside from rats, deplorable living conditions, and money that seemed to only go one way—out—there were drugs.