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William Oldham

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William Oldham, the co-author of Brotherhoods: The True Story of Two Cops Who Murdered for the Mafia, is a decorated twenty-year veteran of the New York Police Department and a retired investigator for the U.S. Department of Justice.  According to Nicholas Pileggi, the author Wiseguy, “The Brotherhoods is a great story brilliantly told. And no better story teller than William Oldham, the misfit detective who not only exposes the arrangement between a Mafia boss and the pair of New York City detectives who killed for him, but the bitter, egotistical battle for credit that breaks out between the handful of lawmen who expose it.”

Publisher’s Weekly said of Brotherhoods: The True Story of Two Cops Who Murdered for the Mafia, “The trial of Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa, two retired cops who were convicted of assisting the mafia during their long careers with the NYPD-in everything from providing information to murder-riveted New York and much of the U.S. earlier this year. Here, investigative journalist Lawson has captured the story of their downfall with the input of Oldham, the detective who caught them. Chronicling Oldham's seven-year investigation, and looking into the lives of two of the most crooked cops in the city's history, this book will fascinate true crime and mafia buffs, but is certainly vivid and compelling enough to capture a wide audience. Colorful mafia characters are a big draw, and Eppolito's strange, conflicted journey as the son of both a gangster and a cop is particularly intriguing. Because Eppolito and Caracappa remain stubbornly unknowable, however, the clearest character to emerge is Oldham himself. While the switch between a third-person account and Oldham's first person commentary could have been jarring, the detective's lengthy, articulate insights actually make the book; on his decision to move to New York twenty years ago, he explains, "I didn't want to be famous or rich. I wanted to put people in jail. The attraction for me was the crime. ...Crime was everywhere, but in New York City it was for real." Oldham's personal insight, and his keen ability to express it, makes Lawson's skillful, populist account truly riveting.”

One reader of Brotherhoods: The True Story of Two Cops Who Murdered for the Mafia said, “Having followed the trial and watched the two cops speak on the news and on 60 Minutes asserting their innocence, it was incredible to read what these psychopathic killers actually did over the last twenty years using their cover as NYPD detectives. As a New York resident it was astounding to learn what was going on the streets just blocks away..murders, kidnapping, drug wars..all the more unbelievable because the events actually happened. The book gives us details and insights into both worlds; the fraternity of the NYPD, and the degenerating culture of the Mafia. It is a big, sprawling, gritty story- one of those books that has you running home from work to crack into it and see what happens next.”

Brotherhoods: The True Story of Two Cops Who Murdered for the Mafia
Guy Lawson  More Info

From the History of the New York Police Department 

Mr. Elliot used his powers for very little purpose except the annoyance of patriotically inclined persons. The next document in order bears the date of June 18, 1778. It is an order issued by Charles Rooke, an Aide-de-Camp, who opens by speaking of he great service which the City Watch "established soon after his Majesty's Troops took possession of New York," had done in preserving the "Safety and good Order of the City.' "The cheerfulness and Alacrity with which this duty has been performed,' he says, " does Honour to the Inhabitants. The General," he says, "recommends a steady Perseverance in this essential public service. That it may be the less burdensome to the good Citizens, he shall grant as few exemptions as possible." He orders that the inferior officers, artificers, and laborers employed in the King's service are to take a share in the City Watch when their duties will permit it.

The following document is wroth quoting, as developing the military use of the Police: The Commandant hereby appoints Jeronymus Alstyne and John Armory, Directors of the City Watch, under the order of the Police. The Police are to order such nightly watch and make such disposition of them as the security of the City may require. The former regulations of the Commandant are to continue in force and the neglects of duty are to be punished according to those regulations, which the Police are to see duly executed. The fines arising from such neglects are to be paid to Mr. Smith, Treasurer of the City funds, and applied to pay such expenses as this establishment may incur.

But the knell of England's power in America had already rung. Disaster had met her forces in the field. The result of the war was easily foreseen. The energies of the New York garrison were now directed mainly to persecuting the patriot residents, so many thousands of whom died in the extemporized prisons in city and harbor. The Watchmen were allowed from 1780, one shilling a night additional to their pay for services during the months of January, February, and March. But slight progress was made in the system of policing the city under British rule. The chapter of English rule in New York closes here.


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