The Insider: the FBI's Undercover Wiseguy Goes Public

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9780671703356: The Insider: the FBI's Undercover Wiseguy Goes Public
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An account of the most successful free-lance undercover FBI operative describes how former cop and ex-con Billy Breen helped solve the crime of the century: the murder of Federal District Judge John H. Wood. National ad/promo.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Knockout indictment of FBI incompetence at nailing mobsters even when the criminals are handed up fried on a plate; by the author of Undercover: The Secret Lives of an FBI Agent (1988), etc. Goddard makes his case by telling the life of one Billy Breen, an ex-cop who did seven years for bank robbery, armed robbery, and bookmaking and then turned undercover informer for the FBI. In 1985, Rudolph Giuliani, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, brought indictments against eight hoods from five local families, plus seven other ``civilians'' not part of the families. Had Giuliani followed the advice of chief informant Breen, Goddard says, all the defendants in likelihood would have been convicted; instead, only the lesser fry were, while the four top hoods walked. And this is only one example of how Goddard/Breen show bureaucratic greed outfoxing itself time and again as FBI teams at the local or state level fail to overcome internal rivalries and work together on an interstate or national level. Breen--who suffered an enduring trauma during WW II when he was caught in a flow of rotting flesh from a roomful of drowned seamen--became a cop in Somerville, Mass., only to witness the entire police force not only on the take but committing burglaries and robberies. He refused to go along, became a pariah, eventually had to take the fall for a gang or watch the gang kill his wife and three kids. In prison, the ex-cop was the target for every psycho around, but he gained an in with gangs. Once free, Breen spent the next 25 years ``outside the law'' as a gang member secretly making the FBI aware of cocaine and marijuana shipments and other crimes--though the FBI is shown here as bungling left and right and slipping on its own banana peels. Exciting and withering. Spectacular dialogue. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

Billy Breen served in the Navy toward the end of WW II, was given a psychiatric disability pension after being traumatized by an encounter with waterlogged corpses and spent several years regaining his sanity. He joined the Somerville, Mass., police department in 1956, only to find it almost totally corrupt. Working undercover for the state police, he infiltrated a Boston mob and was convicted with them of armed robbery; he served seven years in prison rather than reveal his links to law enforcement. He then became an FBI informant. Though never an employee of the bureau, for 25 years he supplied information in such cases as U.S. Attorney Rudolph Giuliani's crusade against the New York City Mafia, the investigation of federal judge John Wood's murder in San Antonio, Tex., and numerous drug busts. Goddard ( Undercover ) provides a detailed account of Breen's complicated interactions with cops and criminals and reports his idiosyncratic view of the FBI as home to both the best and the worst law enforcement agents in the country.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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