Nifty New York Post exclusive over the weekend from Bill Sanderson.
Via fellow author Daniel Simone, he was able to wrangle an interview with Nick “The Cat” Sacco, the last living member of a group that very lucratively robbed New York’s Pierre Hotel on Jan. 2, 1972. Sacco has been in the Witness Protection Program for the past 40 years, for matters unrelated to the hotel robbery.
The 76-year-old ex-criminal is working with Simone on a forthcoming book titled The Great Pierre Hotel Robbery. Based on the details in the article, it’s going to be a rousing read, from how the Lucchese family set up the heist (and disposed of all the evidence, afterwards), to how the ringleaders did their newspaper research at the New York Public Library, to anecdotes like this one:
While [Sammy] Nalo and another robber pried open the vault’s safe-deposit boxes, a Brazilian hotel guest on an upper floor called the front desk and complained that he had been waiting 15 minutes for the elevator. [Bobby] Comfort told the man the elevator operator was indisposed – he didn’t say the operator was one of his hostages.
Two robbers went off to get the Brazilian and took him hostage. They asked who else was in his suite. He said that he was on his honeymoon, and that his wife was asleep in one room and his mother-in-law in the other. They became hostages, too.
In the lobby alcove, another guest taken hostage recognized the Brazilian man. She was his mistress. He had secretly brought her along on his honeymoon and had called the elevator so he could go to her room for a tryst.
Sacco wanted to take the wife’s diamond ring, but his fellow robbers stopped him with the admonishment that they were only there for the safe-deposit boxes. The loot taken amounted to an astonishing $28 million, even though dozens of boxes were left unopened.
Simone’s most recent book, co-authored with Henry Hill, is about the Dec. 11 1978 Lufthansa heist at Kennedy Airport. Sanderson meanwhile has a cool tome of his own coming out later this year about media coverage of the JFK and Lee Harvey Oswald assassinations. The book is titled Bulletins From Dallas.
Photo via: thepierreny.com