Porrello is a veteran police officer who is currently the Chief of Police of the Lyndhurst Police Department.
His “first book grew out of his research into the murder of his grandfather and several uncles, who were Prohibition-era
mob leaders. The result became The Rise and Fall of the Cleveland Mafia - Corn Sugar and Blood (Barricade Books, 1995). Rick
followed that book with his second book, To Kill the Irishman - the War that Crippled the Mafia (Next Hat Press, 1998), which
is the story of notorious mob foe Danny Greene. To Kill the Irishman has been optioned for a motion picture. An accomplished
jazz drummer, Rick spend almost three years traveling internationally with the legendary entertainer Sammy Davis, Jr. He continues
to perform in Ohio, where he lives with his wife and two children.”
Porrello is the author of To Kill the Irishman: The War that Crippled the Mafia; The Rise and Fall of the Cleveland
Mafia: Corn Sugar and Blood; and, Superthief: A Master Burglar, the Mafia, and the Biggest Bank Heist in U.S. History.
to the book description of To Kill the Irishman: The War that Crippled the Mafia, “The Irishman
was fearless and cunning - loved by his neighbors and hated by his business competitors - the members of the Cleveland Mafia.
Fiercely proud of his Irish heritage, he was a Celtic warrior at heart, obsessed with the color green - green car, green jackets,
green ink pens. Through the 1970s, the ruggedly handsome Danny Greene (that's right, Danny Greene), had been boldly encroaching
on mob territory. Their threats didn't worry him.
I'm Irish Catholic, I've got the best guardian angel there is. Besides, it's the man upstairs who pulls the strings."
Danny was a proud Catholic. He was also a killer. Danny got his start in racketeering as president of the
local International Association of Longshoremen. He could have been a highly successful businessman, but it wasn't the
life for him. After a shocking expose by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, he was ousted from the docks and fined $10,000 for embezzling
union funds. Danny had been forcing longshoremen to unload filthy grain boats and "donate" their paychecks to a
union hall "renovation fund." The hall had already been renovated - painted green when Danny took office.
Danny worked for as an enforcer for local mobsters including Alex "Shondor" Birns, well-known Jewish racketeer.
After a dispute over a $60,000 Greene refused to repay, Birns had a bomb planted in his car. It was the first in a series
of botched attempts on the brash Irishman's life. Danny found the bomb. "Luck of the Irish,"
he would often say. "I'll return this to the old bastard who sent it to me," Greene promised.
enough, a few weeks later Birns was blown out the roof of his car, in two pieces. It was an excellent hit and Danny was proud.
Danny's big mistake was the 1976 murder of Leo "Lips" Moceri, the respected and feared new
underboss of the Cleveland Mafia, and the bombing of enforcer Eugene "The Animal" Ciasullo. Aging mob boss James
Licavoli ordered his henchman to "get rid of the Irishman," but the inexperienced soldiers had no luck. The attempts
by the self-proclaimed tough guys were almost comical. Then west coast wise guy Jimmy 'the Weasel" Fratianno recommended
a hired killer from Erie.
the end, Danny went out the way he predicted. "When you live by the bomb, you die by the bomb." The Irishman was
dead. But the Mafia's celebration was cut short. There was much sloppy work, a few observant witnesses (one of whom was
a sketch artist!) and extraordinary investigations by federal, state and local officials. The aftermath of Greene's assassination
brought about a mob murder plot against Cleveland Mayor Dennis Kucinich and charges against Mahoning County Sheriff James
Traficant for accepting Mafia bribe money. Traficant was acquitted and is now a United States Congressman.
As a direct result of Danny's murder,
Jimmy "Weasel" Fratianno defected and co-authored The Last Mafioso and Vengeance is Mine. His courtroom testimony
and that of Angelo Lonardo, called "the highest ranking mobster ever to testify for the government" helped put away
mob bosses Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno of New York's Genovese Mafia family, Anthony "Tony Ducks" Corallo
of the Luchesse clan and Carmine Persico of the Colombo family. Federal investigators trace these major mob convictions right
back to the murder of Greene. Danny would have been proud.”
reader of To Kill the Irishman: The War that Crippled the Mafia said, “Rick Porello
has succeeded in giving a very clear account of the rise of a mob figure, and the ultimate demise of both him and his adversaries,
ultimately weakening La Cosa Nostra nationwide. It does not surprise me that this book might lead to a movie, since it perfectly
lays out a compelling true story script.”
to the book description of Superthief: A Master Burglar, the Mafia, and the Biggest Bank Heist in U.S.
History, “Superthief is a captivating first-hand look at the life of Phil Christopher, a career criminal,
Mafia associate, and one of the most successful bank burglars in the United States. In a raw and candid accounting, Author
Rick Porrello takes readers inside Phil's brutal street world and prison life and exposes the details behind the planning
and execution of the daring and record-setting 1972 United California Bank burglary in Orange County, California. The UCB
burglary is the biggest in United States history and has been featured in documentaries on Court TV and the Discovery Channel.”
According to the book description of
The Rise and Fall of the Cleveland Mafia: Corn Sugar and Blood, “Rick Porrello writes about
the important connection with mega-mobsters Charles Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky, the Cleveland mob's move to Las Vegas,
and the first top-level national meeting of the Sicilian-American Mafia.”
reader of The Rise and Fall of the Cleveland Mafia: Corn Sugar and Blood said, “This
book was an outstanding read. I couldn't put it down. I gave it four stars simply because I felt it should have discussed
the Cleveland Syndicate further. For example what about Moishe Wexler? He owned the Theatrical Grill, a great club in its
day. As a born and raised Clevelander, It was very interesting to find out more about stories that I have heard since childhood.
I would recommend this book, and in fact I am planning on putting it on the reading list for my criminology classes at Kent
reader of Superthief: A Master Burglar, the Mafia, and the Biggest Bank Heist in U.S. History said,
“From robbing the milkman at age nine through petty thievery to union strongarming, safecracking, and the biggest bank
heist in American history, with Mafia associations, drug dealing, and murder along the way, Phil Christopher's story is
fast-paced, exciting, and ultimately tragic. As Phil himself admits from behind prison walls, "crime...does pay, but
just not for long." Filled with double-dealing, deceit, broken lives, successful crimes, plus his own colossal failures
which put Christopher behind bars for over half his life, this is one of best inside accounts of a career criminal I've
ever seen. And no one is better qualified to bring Phil's story out than author-cop Rick Porrello, who knows so well the
Cleveland underworld that spawned the Superthief.”
About the Lyndhurst
According to the Lyndhurst Police Department it “is comprised of 31 sworn Police Officers. This includes the
Chief of Police, Executive Lieutenant, Traffic Lieutenant, Detective Lieutenant, 3 Shift Lieutenants, 3 Shift Sergeants, a
School Resource Officer /Detective, 2 officers assigned to the Detective Bureau, and 18 Patrolmen. Additionally, the Department
has 6 full time Dispatchers, an Animal Control Officer, 2 full time and one part time Secretaries, 22 Auxiliary Police officers
and 4 school Crossing Guards.
The Patrol Division is responsible
for patrolling and protecting a city of 17000 people and an area of 4.3 square miles, 24 hrs per day, 7 days a week, 365 days
per year. The backbone of the Police Department is its basic patrol. These are the men and women who patrol the streets 24
hrs per day 365 days a year. They answer calls for service, assist other departments in the city, enforce the traffic laws,
maintain order, protect and serve.
As they are the first on the scene
of a serious incident, be it a traffic crash or criminal act, how well they do their job will determine how successful we
are in solving the crime or determining what violation of law was committed that caused the accident.
The visibility of the patrol division
assists the Department in suppressing criminal activity. For this reason, the Lyndhurst Police Department vehicles are the
traditional black and white paint pattern. Patrol officers spend a portion of their tour of duty on foot patrol in the business
district and schools.
The Patrol Division is comprised of
4 six-officer shifts. They patrol 4.3 square miles and protect 17000 residents. Additionally, the Department offers Bicycle
Safety talks, Crime Prevention Information, Child Photo ID Pictures, Fingerprinting of Civilians. An Auxiliary Police unit
with an authorized strength of 25 members supports the Basic Patrol. Seven of these Auxiliary Police Officers are also sworn