Friday, October 12, 2012


By Sonny Patini [pen name]
A true story about 50’s and 60’s New York, gambling, drugs, the mafia, the witness protection program, prison and friendship.

Preface 2

1 The City 3

2 The Life 51

3 Doin’ Time 80

4 The Set-Up 88

5 The Mob 96

6 Flippin’ 98

7 The Tennessee Waltz 104

8 Death of a Partner 107

9 The Beginning of the End 128

10 The Boston Mob 137

11 The Columbo Family 153

12 New Jersey’s Lucchese Family 167

13 New Sentence, New Name 172

14 Back to the Apple 182

15 Part of the Solution 183

16 Somewhere Beyond the “See” 187

 Afterword 193


This book is dedicated to my sister and all the selfless volunteers of animal rescue.


I shot the heroin into a vein in my leg, having burnt out the veins in the rest of my body long ago. In a Pilates-like move, I lifted my leg over my head while moving from the chair to the floor, somehow thinking that would be the "express" to the place heroin goes to get you high. Looking across the sparse, cheap hotel room, I focused on the window and thought that might be my best exit - my only exit!  The mob was after me, the feds were after me, the NYPD were after me, my left arm was paralyzed and I was going bald.

Earlier that day I was in the Staten Island public health hospital being guarded by U.S. marshals around the clock. Once I realized I shared the bathroom with the patient in the next room, I went to the hall phone, escorted by the marshal, called a cab service and told them to meet me in front of the hospital in fifteen minutes. Next, I took some clothes into the shower under my robe, turned on the water, got dressed, jimmied the lock, excused myself from the shocked patient in the next room and walked down the fire stairs into the waiting cab.

It was 1977. The reason I was in the hospital with a paralyzed left arm was because I asked my wife to bring me some heroin for my 30th birthday on her weekly visit to where I was being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Manhattan. She brought it; I shot it and woke up some time later, lying on top of my left arm with the needle still in my leg. I didn't even have time for the "Pilates Express" position. I got up and started slapping my arm, which I thought was asleep and would awaken soon. After slapping the shit out of my arm for an hour and looking like I went a few rounds with Mike Tyson, I figured something was wrong.

Being the larcenous bastard I am, I quickly thought of a way to turn the O.D. (overdose) into a P.D. (payday). Having just gotten a job running an engravograph machine, I realized they didn't make me sign the mandatory safety sheet acknowledging I had read the safety rules. I got my friend, told him I'd give him ten percent to say he saw the machine lid fall on my arm. Then, I walked over to the machine and slammed down the lid so hard the loud crash woke up the sleeping, half-drunk hack who was on duty. My friend told me the subsequent performance of me writhing in "pain" on the floor, reminded him of the young teenagers break-dancing in Times Square, the only thing I didn't do was spin on my head.

My friend started yelling, "The lid fell on his arm; the lid fell on his arm!" When the hack came over and asked what happened, I said, 'You weren’t sleeping were you? You saw what happened, the lid fell on my arm. Call the P.A. (physician's assistant)!" For whatever reason, he said he did see it and later on he put it in writing.


Sonny Patini [pen name] can be contacted at

We plan to serialize much of the book at this blog, hoping to generate interest

in the book and in its author. It has been printed in a paperback version [including photos] by

Mountain Lion Productions, copyright 2012.

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