Gerald Kelly is a retired NYPD detective.
During his career he worked both narcotics and the Special Investigating Unit. Gerald Kelly's
“Honor for Sale,” is a somewhat fictionalized account of the theft of 500 pounds of narcotics from the New York
Police Department’s seized evidence. The theft included 112 pounds of heroin that had been seized
in conjunction with the French Connection case.
Weekly said of Honor for Sale, “Altering characters, details and dates, Kelly, a former police
officer, offers a partially fictionalized account, spanning the years 1969-1976, of the theft of 500 pounds of narcotics from
the NYPD's Property Clerk's office. The stolen drugs had a street value of $82 million and included 112 pounds of
pure heroin seized during the famed "French Connection" case. Kelly, who acknowledges that "some scenes and
dialogue are invented," writes with admirable energy, and his potent dialogue crackles with street authenticity. Kelly
was 23 when he joined the NYPD's Narcotics Bureau in 1967. He graduated to the Bureau's elite SIU (Special Investigating
Unit) two years later and was a highly decorated detective by the time he left the force in 1978. With numerous name changes,
Kelly's tale focuses on SIU detective "Joseph Graziano," who replaced suitcases of drugs with flour during various
visits to the Property Room over three years. As investigations of corrupt SIU detectives got under way in 1972, Graziano
died under suspicious circumstances. At the time, his death was labeled a suicide, but Kelly asserts he was murdered. A few
months later, thousands of breeding red flour beetles revealed the suitcase switches, and the subsequent grand jury indictments
of former SIU detectives brought headlines. The events related here were previously described in Gregory Wallance's 1981
Papa's Game, which opens with Wallance announcing: "The people are real. No names have been changed." Kelly
doesn't display enough dramatic flair to make his book fly on narrative alone, and by cloaking the truth, he robs his
book, interesting as it is in parts, of its authority.”
About the New York Police
first law-enforcement officer began to patrol the trails and paths of New York City when it was known as New Amsterdam, and
was a Dutch settlement and fort in the year 1625. This lawman was known as a "Schout – fiscal" (sheriff –
attorney) and was charged with keeping the peace, settling minor disputes, and warning colonists if fires broke out at night.
The first Schout was a man named Johann Lampo.
Rattle Watch was a group of colonists during the Dutch era (1609 - 1664) who patrolled from sunset until dawn. They carried
weapons, lanterns and wooden rattles (that are similar to the ratchet noisemakers used during New Year celebrations). The
rattles made a very loud, distinctive sound and were used to warn farmers and colonists of threatening situations. Upon hearing
this sound, the colonists would rally to defend themselves or form bucket-brigades to put out fires. The rattles were used
because whistles had not yet been invented. The Rattle Watchmen also are believed to have carried lanterns that had green
glass inserts. This was to help identify them while they were on patrol at night (as there were no streetlights at that time).
When they returned to their Watch House from patrol, they hung their lantern on a hook by the front door to show that the
Watchman was present in the Watch House. Today, green lights are still hung outside the entrances of Police Precincts as a
symbol that the "Watch" is present and vigilant.
When the High Constable of New York City, Jacob Hays retired from service in 1844, permission was granted by the
Governor of the state to the Mayor of the City to create a Police Department. A force of approximately 800 men under the first
Chief of Police, George W. Matsell, began to patrol the City in July of 1845. They wore badges that had an eight-pointed star
(representing the first 8 paid members of the old Watch during Dutch times). The badges had the seal of the City in their
center and were made of stamped copper.