Mob Lawyer: Including the Inside Account of Who Killed Jimmy Hoffa and JFK

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9780684195681: Mob Lawyer: Including the Inside Account of Who Killed Jimmy Hoffa and JFK
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Presents an inside account of the deaths of Jimmy Hoffa and JFK and the FBI plot to murder Castro, by a mob-affiliated attorney who spent fifteen years as one of Hoffa's personal lawyers.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

A riveting memoir of life inside the murderous world of Mafia chieftain Santo Trafficante and Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa, by their personal lawyer (and longtime New York Times reporter Raab)--filled with chilling, credible revelations of mob involvement in the murders of President Kennedy and Hoffa. Ragano started practice as the prot‚g‚ of a prominent Tampa criminal defense attorney, Pat Whittaker. Soon, he ingratiated himself with Trafficante, Whittaker's principal client, then became Trafficante's full-time lawyer, defending the mob boss and his associates in occasional criminal cases, tweaking the Florida authorities, and passing time in the Mafioso's Havana gambling clubs. Arrested by Castro's men in 1959, Trafficante was saved from almost certain execution by the lawyer's intervention, and by 1961, Trafficante had brought Ragano into contact with Jimmy Hoffa, hoping that Ragano's influence would induce Hoffa to make loans to the mob from the Teamsters' pension funds. In 1963, Hoffa, hard pressed by Bobby Kennedy's ``Get Hoffa'' squad, asked Ragano to tell Trafficante and New Orleans boss Carlos Marcello to kill John Kennedy. Ragano relayed the message, and, after the union boss's five-year prison term for jury tampering, he tried in vain to persuade Hoffa not to reenter union activities until Hoffa's 1975 disappearance. Ragano writes that in a 1987 conversation, Trafficante confirmed to Ragano that he was privy to CIA contracts to kill Castro, that he and Marcello had conspired to kill Kennedy, and that mobsters at the behest of Hoffa's successor, Ed Fitzsimmons, murdered Hoffa. Ragano's prominence as a lawyer ended with convictions for tax evasion, disbarment, a brief reinstatement as an attorney, and another conviction for tax violations. Ragano is presently serving a one-year term. An insider's impossible-to-put-down account of life within the ``Honorable Society.'' -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Ragano was attorney to Florida mobster Santo Trafficante as well as one of Jimmy Hoffa's personal lawyers. He devotes the earlier part of his book to detailing his starry-eyed admiration of Trafficante, whose activities in Florida centered around the widely accepted game of bolita. Ragano gradually became aware of Trafficante's wider mob activities and affiliations, but by then his loyalty had been secured. He tells of his boss's success with Havana casinos, Trafficante's near execution when Castro took over, and his mysterious escape back to Miami. Alternating between first-person and omniscient points of view, Ragano also writes of defending Jimmy Hoffa on fraud charges; his awareness of the conflict between Hoffa, the mob, and the Kennedys; and his unwitting role in the alleged conspiracy to assassinate JFK. He offers detailed accounts of Hoffa's last day as well as a plot to murder Castro. As Ragano drops names (e.g., the obligatory Sinatra story) and juicy tidbits of gossip, the narrative takes on a decidedly tabloid tone. The book is a quick read, and there's no denying its fascination, but one is left feeling slightly soiled and doubting Ragano's veracity on certain key points. For popular true crime collections. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/93.
- Ben Harrison, East Orange
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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