13.6.12

After years spent dodging bullets and avoiding sleeping with the fishes, Henry Hill - the real-life mafia turncoat immortalized in the film Goodfellas - dies naturally aged 69

    Mobster: Henry Hill died yesterday, just a day after his 69th birthday, after a long battle with an undisclosed conditionHe was an infamous mafia turncoat who spent the last three decades in hiding, but the man immortalised by Ray Liotta in the film Goodfellas has died a natural death.
    Henry Hill died yesterday, just a day after his 69th birthday, after his 'heart gave out'.
    Having spent the last 30 years hoping that his gangster past would not catch up with him, it is perhaps ironic that Hill finally died naturally as opposed to at the hands of one of the mob men he angered when he 'ratted' on them in 1980.
    Hill's criminal achievements reached their peak when he and his mob scooped what was then a record loot of $5million in a heist at the Lufthansa cargo bay at JKF airport.
    Hill hit public attention after the publication of his book about his life story called Wiseguy written by crime reporter Nicholas Pileggi which later became the hit Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas.
    Born on June 11, 1943, in the tough Brownsville area of New York, Hill was the fifth of seven children and the first son to his Sicilian mother Carmella and his father also called Henry.
    His is sister Lucille Chrisafulle described him as a likeable boy, but one who showed early signs of developing into a mafia man.

    She said: 'When he was young he was cute, he was a lot of fun, by the time he was eight or nine years old he was like a little gangster already.'
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    Happy criminal: Mugshot taken from police records after Henry hill was arrested in 1965
    Happy criminal: Mugshot taken from police records after Henry hill was arrested in 1965
    In trouble: A police mugshot of Henry Hill following his arrest in New York
    In trouble: A police mugshot of Henry Hill following his arrest in New York
    Against his father's wishes Hill got in with the mafia crowd at the age of 11 when he started hanging around with Paul Vario from the infamous Lucchese mob family.
    Lured by power and money and a flamboyant lifestyle Henry gradually got more entrenched with the family and while his only half Sicilian genes - his father was Irish - meant he could never be a fully-fledged member of the family, he was able to be an associate.
    Henry Hill, the gangster who inspired Goodfellas, has died
    Henry Hill, the gangster who inspired Goodfellas, has died
    Starting life: Henry Hill aged 11, left, and as a teenager, right, after getting in with notorious mobster Paul Vario

    Background: Henry's father, left, also called Henry and his mother, Carmella, right, who was half Sicilian
    Background: Henry's father, left, also called Henry and his mother, Carmella, right, who was half Sicilian
    His close relationship with Vario meant he earned good money.
    He dropped out of school in 1957 and began running errands for Vario. When the Rebel Cab Company opened on Glenmore Avenue Hill he was notoriously assigned to set alight to their taxis to take out Vario's direct competition.
    Hill later said after carrying out the arson that he heard one explosion after another, but was running so fast he never had a chance look back.
    Heist at JFK airport
    lufthansa cargo bay
    Rich pickings: Left, the front page headline in the New York Post the day news broke that $5million had been stolen from the Lufthansa Cargo bay at New York's Kennedy airport on December 11, 1978
    His first arrest came when he was 16 years old after he used a stolen credit card to steal snow tires and it was his refusal to talk that earned him the respect of fellow gangster Jimmy Burke.
    He maintained his connections with the Vario family during his three year stint in the army between 1960 and 1963 and in 1967 he stole $420,000 from a security safe belonging to Air France with Thomas DeSimone.

    TEN FAMOUS QUOTES FROM THE MARTIN SCORSESE'S GOODFELLAS

    'We always called each other good fellas. Like you'd said to, uh, somebody 'You're gonna like this guy. He's all right. He's a good fella' -
    'As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster' - Henry Hill
    'When they found Carbone in the meat truck, he was frozen so stiff it took them three days to thaw him out for the autopsy' - Henry Hill

    'Thirty-two hundred dollars for a lifetime. It wasn’t even enough to pay for the coffin' - Henry Hill

    'Jimmy was the kind of guy that rooted for bad guys in the movies'- Henry Hill
    'You're a pistol, you're really funny. You're really funny'- Henry Hill

    'Paulie may have moved slow, but it was only because Paulie didn't have to move for anybody' - Henry Hill

    'Anything I wanted was a phone call away. Free cars. The keys to a dozen hideout flats all over the city' - Henry Hill
    'Sure, mom, I settle down with a nice girl every night, then I'm free the next morning' - Tommy DeVito
    'I'm an average nobody... get to live the rest of my life like a schnook' - Henry Hill
    Hill famously discovered that the security guard responsible for the safe had a weakness for women, so he and Simone got him drunk, took him to a motel where a prostitute was waiting and while his trousers were down they stole the key to the safe and copied it.
    On June 11, 1970, Hill threw a party at Robert's Lounge (owned by Jimmy Burke) for William 'Billy Batts' Devino.
    Burke had decided he wanted Devino dead and DeSimone later carried out the murder in a hotel suite. Hill helped to conceal the body in a mattress, placing it in the trunk of a car.
    On the way to bury Devino the pair heard a banging from the trunk and realized Devino was still alive.
    DeSimone opened the trunk and smashed Devino with the shovel and Burke beat him with a tire iron. When they were sure he was dead, they drove on.
    They buried Devino in a shallow grave because the ground was frozen and they covered him with lime, before driving him back to New York.
    Three months later, when the land was about to be developed into a housing project, Hill and DeSimone dug up Devino, tossed the decomposed remains into the back of Hill's brand-new Pontiac Catalina convertible and dumped them in a New Jersey Junkyard (owned by Clyde Brooks).
    According to Hill however, the car smelled so terrible he later had to scrap it.
    In 1972 he was charged with extortion and both he and Burke served six years of their ten year sentence.
    The high life: Ray Liotta who played Henry Hill in the film about his life and Lorraine Bracco who played Hill's wife Karen
    The high life: Ray Liotta who played Henry Hill in the film about his life and Lorraine Bracco who played Hill's wife Karen

    The family: Frank Adonis who played Anthony Stabile, Liotta who played Hill and John Manca who played Nickey Eyes star in Goodfellas in 1990
    The family: Frank Adonis who played Anthony Stabile, Liotta who played Hill and John Manca who played Nickey Eyes star in Goodfellas in 1990

    In the dock: Robert De Niro, left, who played notorious mafia man James Conway in Goodfellas and Liotta as Henry Hill appear in court during the film
    In the dock: Robert De Niro, left, who played notorious mafia man James Conway in Goodfellas and Liotta as Henry Hill appear in court during the film
    Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Ray Liotta get down to business as a gangster in Goodfellas
    GOODFELLAS
    Two sides gangster life: Left, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Ray Liotta get down to business as mafia gangsters in Goodfellas and right, pesci with his mistress
    Up to no good: Joe Pesci and Ray Liotta keep a watchful eye during the film Goodfellas
    Up to no good: Joe Pesci and Ray Liotta keep a watchful eye during the film Goodfellas
    Captured on film: Ray Liotta immortalized Hill on the big screen in the adaptation of the book Goodfellas
    Captured on film: Ray Liotta immortalized Hill on the big screen in the adaptation of the book Goodfellas

    Popularised: Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci in Goodfellas. When Liotta met Hill in 2006 he encouraged him to go into rehabilitation
    Popularised: Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci in Goodfellas. When Liotta met Hill in 2006 he encouraged him to go into rehabilitation
    Accurate portrayal: Joe Pesci, left, Robert De Niro, right and Ray Liotta, centre, getting up to no good in the film Goodfellas
    Accurate portrayal: Joe Pesci, left, Robert De Niro, right and Ray Liotta, centre, getting up to no good in the film Goodfellas
    After Hill's release from prison in late 1978 he carried out the famous Lufthansa robbery, in which he and his gang stole $5million dollars from Kennedy Airport.
    FBI officers were quick to point the finger at the Robert's Lounge crew and Hill and his associates were followed 24/7.
    Jimmy Burke killed half the people involved in the robbery for their share of the loot and to prevent them from 'ratting'. The bodies of more than 12 suspects were discovered in different locations.
    Hill became paranoid that he too would be in Burke's line of fire and he began selling marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and quaaludes.
    Gangster: Looking the part Henry Hill was seduced into the mafia lifestyle by the money and power that it could offer
    Gangster: Looking the part Henry Hill was seduced into the mafia lifestyle by the money and power that it could offer
    Henry Hill, former mobster, smiles during an interview at the Essex County Jail in Newark, New Jersey. Hill, 53, whose autobiograpy was adapted by Martin Scorsese in Goodfellas, was arrested in a Newark hotel room with his girlfriend
    Later life: Henry Hill smiles during and interview at the Essex County jail in Newark, New Jersey. His autobiography was adapted by Martin Scorsese in the film Goodfellas
    He was arrested on April 27, 1980. Officers played him wire taps of other mob members threatening to kill him but he refused to talk.
    In the end Hill testified against his former associates to avoid a possible execution by his crew or going to prison for his crimes.
    The testimony led to 50 convictions, but it meant that Hill, his wife Karen, and their two children (Gregg and Gina) had to be put in the U.S. Marshals' Witness Protection Program in 1980.
    On and off screen: Actor Ray Liotta, left, met Henry Hill, the man he portrayed in Goodfellas in 2006 and is credited for persuading him to go into rehab to combat his drink and drugs problems
    On and off screen: Actor Ray Liotta, left, met Henry Hill, the man he portrayed in Goodfellas in 2006 and is credited for persuading him to go into rehab to combat his drink and drugs problems
    They also had to change their names, and move to undisclosed locations in Omaha, Nebraska; Independence, Kentucky; Redmond, Washington; and Seattle, Washington.
    Due to his numerous crimes while in witness protection, Hill and his wife, who he separated from in 1989 were expelled from the program in the early 1990s.
    In 2006 after being encouraged by actor Ray Liotta Hill entered rehabilitation to combat his drug addiction problems.
    He was arrested on a number of occasions in recent years for public drunkenness and disorderly conduct and he also worked as an Italian chefs returning to a love of cooking developed in his youth.


    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2158594/Henry-Hill-dead-Real-life-mafia-man-immortalized-film-Goodfellas-dies-69.html#ixzz1xheEgAYz

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