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Dennis N. Griffin

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Dennis N. Griffin began his investigative career, after being discharged from the United States Navy (1966) with Pinkerton’s investigator and retired as Director of Investigations for the New York State Department of Health.  In 1979 the Madison County, New York Department of Social Services hired him as a Senior Child Support Investigator. He was responsible for locating and conducting financial investigations of persons failing to provide legally mandated child support. In 1981 he joined the Madison County Sheriff's Department and attained the rank of sergeant. He was a shift supervisor and public information officer. During the same time period he moonlighted as a patrolman in the villages of Chittenango, Cazenovia and Canastota.

 In 1987, Dennis N. Griffin was hired by the New York State Department of Health as Director of Investigations, Wadsworth Center. The primary mission of his unit was to investigate violations of the Public Health Law relating to clinical and environmental laboratories, and health care fraud. He was responsible for hiring and training investigators, case assignments and general supervision. In addition, he personally handled the more difficult and complex investigations. Many of these cases received both local and national media attention. He retired in 1995. The author is an active member of the Police Writers Association and the Las Vegas Valley Writers Group. He attended Onondaga County Community College, Mohawk Valley Community College and the Central New York Regional Academy for Police Training

According to Dennis Griffin, “I started writing in 1996 to tell the story of what I learned while investigating the operation of a medical examiner's office. It was an eye-opening experience for me and I felt compelled to share it with others. I eventually produced a fictionalized account called The Morgue. I found to my chagrin that readers didn't believe anything in the book could actually happen, but they liked the story and my style; rough edges and all. That response caused me to write Red Gold, also based on personal experience. I now have a total of six fictions in print.

In January 2002, I decided to try my hand at non-ficton and began writing Policing Las Vegas. This book covers the history of law enforcement in Las Vegas and Clark County from 1905 thru 2004. Policing was released in April 2005.

My second non-fiction, The Battle for Las Vegas, is the story of the Vegas reign of Chicago mob enforcer Tony Spilotro. In the movie Casino, actor Joe Pesci played a character based on Spilotro.  Battle was released nationally on July 1, 2006. My third Vegas-based non-fiction, CULLOTTA - The Life of a Chicago Criminal, Las Vegas Mobster, and Government Witness was released nationally in July 2007.”

Dennis N Griffin is the author of Cullotta: The Life of a Chicago Criminal, Las Vegas Mobster and Government Witness; One-Armed Bandit; Red Gold; Killer in a Pair-a-Dice; Vegas Vixen; The Morgue; Blood Money; and, Pension.

According to the book description of Cullotta: The Life of a Chicago Criminal, Las Vegas Mobster and Government Witness, “From burglary to armed robbery and murder, infamous bad guy Frank Cullotta not only did it all, in Cullotta he admits to it -- and in graphic detail. This no-holds-barred biography chronicles the life of a career criminal who started out as a thug on the streets of Chicago and became a trusted lieutenant in Tony Spilotro's gang of organized lawbreakers in Las Vegas. Cullotta's was a world of high-profile heists, street muscle, and information -- lots of it -- about many of the FBI's most wanted. In the end, that information was his ticket out of crime, as he turned government witness and became one of a handful of mob insiders to enter the Witness Protection Program.”

Publishers Weekly said of Cullotta: The Life of a Chicago Criminal, Las Vegas Mobster and Government Witness, “Mystery and nonfiction writer Griffin covered the Vegas reign of kingpin Tony the Ant Spilotro in The Battle for Las Vegas: The Law vs. the Mob. Digging deeper into mob history, he now focuses on Spilotro's lifelong pal, career criminal Cullotta, who appeared in Martin Scorsese's 1995 film, Casino, recreating an actual murder he committed in 1979. Spilotro and Cullotta met in Chicago as teenage troublemakers, and early chapters detail the violent escapades of Cullotta's youth before he escalated to major crimes. Spilotro rose in the ranks of the mob and became the Chicago Outfit's man in Las Vegas, and Cullotta eventually joined him, running a robbery and murder crew. Together, Spilotro and Cullotta extorted illegal bookmakers and drug dealers throughout Vegas. But in the early 1980s, Cullotta became a government witness, bringing down the house. In addition to poring through newspaper archives, Griffin interviewed various sheriffs, attorneys, agents and detectives, while primarily relying on information from retired FBI agent Arnoldy and what Pileggi calls the phenomenal memory of Cullotta himself. Griffin's flat, unemotional yet potent writing makes the bloodletting, murders and mayhem chilling and unnerving throughout.”

According to the book description Killer in Pair-A-Dice, it “is the story of a serial rapist and murderer operating in the Las Vegas Valley. Not far from the glitter of this world famous adult playground, the killer claims his victims. Driven by a deep hatred for women, he begins his reign of terror by seeking out those who remind him of someone from his past. Someone who caused him great pain. As the body count rises, the national news media pick up on the story. Pressure for a speedy apprehension is brought to bear by feminist groups and politicians. But the killer is both daring and intelligent. He leaves little in the way of clues or evidence that will lead to his being identified. His ability to attack in areas teeming with people without being seen, leads the press to dub him the Phantom.”

One reader of Killer in Pair-A-Dice said, “Author Dennis N. Griffin's new offering of Killer-In-Pair-A-Dice takes you into the world of a Serial Rapist/Murderer. The killer leaves few clues and the lead Detective Steve Garneau and his partner are under extreme pressure to bring the case to closure with the arrest of the perpetrator. The crimes are committed in some instances under the nose of the police and at times the hunted becomes the hunter. The politicians and the citizenry along with the media keep the pressure up in fear that the tourism industry maybe threatened. Griffin a former Investigator brings the dynamics of this intense case to the reader in his masterful style. Detective Garneau, a street wise, dedicated, investigator and his partner keep you on the edge of your seat. It is a gripping believable story that you can't put down. I would suggest, however, before you begin the read, lock all your doors. This story should alert all of us to the fact that we, too, could become a victim. Author Griffin, you've did it again. A Sensational Story.”

One reader of The Morgue said, “Dennis Griffin catches your mind in the first page and won't let go till the twisted end. Many nights were shortened because you can't put this book down! This story takes you through the investigation of a coroner out of control and the political chicanery and cover-up to stop the inquiry and cut short justice. A tale of blatant disregard of law and the darker side of human character when ambition, perversion, and greed are laid before some. A excellently woven tale.”

According to the book description of Blood Money, “Mandy Connors was fresh out of a New York state prison after serving three years on a drug conviction. She had two things on her mind when she hit the streets. The most important to her, was to get revenge against the man she believed was responsible for the death of her mother. Tony Lucchesi, a former medical doctor from Long Island, had been her mother's business partner in a multi-million dollar Medicaid fraud operation in the Bronx. Things were fine until the law began to close in. That was when Lucchesi decided that those who could implicate him in the scam had to be eliminated. The cops hadn't been able to tie Lucchesi to her mother's killing, or even the fraud. He walked away without being charged with any crime, his pockets bulging with Medicaid money. Tony Lucchesi had gotten away with everything, including murder. Her next most pressing matter was how to escape the wrath of the drug dealer she'd turned on in order to get a plea deal. Although the kingpin was in jail, his thugs weren't. Mandy was committed to getting justice for her mother. She just had to stay alive long enough to do it.”

One reader of Red Gold said, “Dennis N Griffin, Author, brings DOH Investigator John Grantinto another complex investigation, this time a multi-million dollar Medicaid fraud scheme that keeps your face into the pages of this masterpiece. You cannot put the book down and if you do it is soon inyour hands again. Griffin's knowledge is vast. So is Grant's. Into the City of Culture, crime and sin, Grant tackles the task of uncovering the clever web initiated by an unhonorable physician who is seething and cunning in his deception, using a smart stylish woman as a contact person that entices people from medical laboratories in a series of felonious and misdemeanor crimes. It is these laboratories that all of us as citizens are aware of and it is these labs that determine our blood disorders and disease, so important to our health. Does this former physician care? NO! He doesn't. It is a murder that rings the gong! And, it is Investigator John Grant that take-up the call to protect the Medicaid System from being riddled, and he does this in Mr. Griffin's exceptional work; "RED GOLD. "Read it, you'll be enlightened. I enjoyed this book very much and also Mr. Griffin's "The Morgue." They both deal with our service systems. Keep up the Great work Mr. Griffin and you, too, Investigator John Grant.”

Killer In Pair-A-Dice
Dennis N. Griffin  More Info

Red Gold
Dennis N. Griffin  More Info

Turning Point: The Battle for Las Vegas
Dennis N. Griffin  More Info

One-Armed Bandit
Dennis N. Griffin  More Info

The Battle for Las Vegas
Dennis N. Griffin  More Info

Dennis N. Griffin & Frank Cullotta  More Info

The Morgue
Dennis N. Griffin  More Info

Takeover: Policing Las Vegas
Dennis N. Griffin  More Info

Vegas Vixen
Dennis N. Griffin  More Info

Dennis N. Griffin  More Info

Blood Money
Dennis N. Griffin  More Info

According to the book description of Vegas Vixen, “Las Vegas in the 1960s...corrupt politicians, mobsters, and crooked cops competed for turf and power, and Christina Patterson, Sin City’s top madam, knew how to play the game. Beautiful, yet smart and savvy, admired by clients and associates alike— she held the secrets of the most influential people in Vegas. On Christmas Eve 2002, Detective Steve Garneau is called to an exclusive Las Vegas neighborhood. A 67-year-old woman is sprawled on her living room floor, shot to death. Garneau surveys the scene — no indication of robbery or sexual assault, no break-in. With the lack of clues, Garneau suspects a professional killer, but there is no question about the victim’s identity— Christina Patterson. Unable to spot a present-day motive for the murder, Garneau must research Patterson’s working days. He finds that in some cases there was little difference between those who broke the law and the badge-carriers charged with enforcing it.”

According to the book description of One-Armed Bandit, “Four people, brutally murdered during the robbery of a Las Vegas convenience store. As the police investigation of the killings moves forward, the cops begin to suspect that robbery may not have been the motive at all. It appears more and more likely that the killer was really after one of the victims and the heist was only a diversion. But which one was the real target? Was it the young clerk? How about the Hispanic man who worked at the airport? Or maybe it was the tough guy who was employed as a bouncer at a drug-infested club. Then again, could it be the young woman from New York State who spent her nights playing video poker? Detectives Steve Garneau and Terry Bolton follow the clues they hope will answer their questions and lead them to the identity of the killer dubbed the One-Armed Bandit.”

One reader of One-Armed Bandit said, it “ is a suspense filled mystery. From cover to cover, it holds a reader's interest. Exactly what was behind the killing of four seemingly innocent convenience store customers? They all went in to make purchases and the surveillance tape shows a one-armed thief gunned them down. But, was robbery the motive? Or was there an invisible thread that tied Julio Cortez, Candy Kauffman, Steve Knight and Jimmy Eagan together; other than their deaths? The murders were so heinous the coroner's investigator said, "It's the worst one I've been to, and I've seen a lot of them over the years." And exactly who is the man with one arm? He certainly had super skills to off four people without being stopped. We can speculate throughout the novel, but Detective Steve Garneau and his female partner, Terry Bolton must determine exactly what transpired. You'll be surprised as it enfolds. The author, Dennis Griffin, has investigative tactics down to a science. This book is begging for a sequel. How about it, Dennis? Are you going to treat us to another? This reader hopes so!”

According to the book description of Pension, “Ted Bronson is a Vietnam combat veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. He and his wife Michelle are private investigators specializing in financial investigations. They have been looking into allegations that there is corruption in the handling of public employee pension funds in California. Ted isn’t sure the charges have any merit, but decides to run the scenario by a friend who is a financial whiz. When he arrives at the man’s office he finds the police on the scene and his friend dead, an apparent suicide. Ted is questioned and provides vague answers, not wanting to expose the real reason for the meeting. Everything changes a few hours later, however, when his friend’s death is reclassified as a murder. The Bronsons are drawn ever deeper into the investigation. It is a journey from which there is no return, and one that may very well destroy them both.”

Dennis Royer (author of Stranger) said of Pension, “Private investigator Ted Bronson and his wife Michelle stumble onto a series of murders that point to criminal activity at the upper echelon of the corporate world. When Ted and Michelle agree to assist the Dallas police department and FBI in a joint investigation, their marriage suddenly begins to disintegrate. Battling post traumatic stress from the Viet Nam conflict, Ted struggles to determine if his marital problems are a result of his mental illness, or if handsome FBI agent David Gorman is to blame. Pension is a psychological thriller packed with richly defined characters caught in a web of deceit and treachery. Author Dennis Griffin captures the reader's imagination with an all too believable story given current events surrounding real-world corporate scandals.”

About the Madison County Sheriff's Office

Madison County was formed on March 21, 1806. The land was a break off from Chenango County and was named "Madison County" in honor of the president, James Madison.  Today, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office is organized into three divisions – Civil, Criminal and Corrections.


The Criminal Division of the Madison County Sheriff's Office is directed by a Captain. The Captain is supported by two Lieutenants, and five Sergeants, three Investigators, and sixteen full time Deputy Sheriffs.  The Criminal Division also utilizes the services of numerous part time deputies, some of which are full time police officers from other local police departments.




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