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Take Down

Essay by   •  March 13, 2011  •  2,557 Words (11 Pages)  •  1,072 Views

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From Publishers Weekly

In 1992, New York City detective Cowan was investigating a truck bombing at a Brooklyn garbage transfer station when the "mobbed-up" thugs responsible for the crime showed up to further intimidate Sal Benedetto, the facility's owner. Thinking fast, Benedetto introduced Cowan as his "Cousin Danny," thereby averting disaster-and allowing Cowen entry into a landmark investigation in which he went undercover as Danny Benedetto to expose the Mafia's billion-dollar monopoly of the city waste removal business. By the time the grand jury indictments were handed down, Cowan had spent years on the case, helped put away dozens of mobsters and incurred lasting emotional trauma from the strain of leading a double life. Recalling it here in vivid, riveting detail, Cowan (aided by journalist Century) reconstructs a time when he was deeper undercover in the garbage "cartel" than any city cop had ever been, with the close calls to prove it. Whether he's boosting a wiseguy's car to plant a bug, navigating confrontations with goons wielding two-by-fours and baseball bats or suffering through a Mafia Christmas party with a malfunctioning radio transmitter burning into his leg, Cowan's exploits play on the page like scenes from a well-mounted mob movie. The Hollywood producer with the rights to his story won't have to spend a penny juicing it up: this is a well-told, gripping tale of a heroic investigation.

Take 'em Down in NYC

Apr 03 '03

Author's Product Rating

FPRIVATE "TYPE=PICT;ALT=Product Rating: 4.0"

Pros

Gives a look into the Mafia Underworld

Cons

Gives a look into the Mafia Underworld

The Bottom Line

Good book, good read, good story. I liked it, isn't that all that counts?

Full Review NIIIICCEE, I'm the first person to review this book. So you have nothing but me to base your judgment on...Don't know if I can handle the pressure. Well, (deep breath) here goes.

Ahhh the Mafia. The organization that denies it even exists. An organization filled with bad guys you Hate to Love. The thugs of the underworld that you Love to Hate.

While reading The New York Times online one afternoon (so I was bored at work) I stumbled across a new book release. The title Takedown, The Fall of the last Mafia Empire It caught my attention, I thought I might like to read it, so I put in on my Christmas list and waited patiently for Santa to bring me my new book.

Takedown is a Non-Fiction book written by Rick Cowan and Douglas Century.

Rick (or Ricky as he is known to his fellow police buddies, and me...since we're best buds..o.k just kiddin' but it sounded good? right??) Cowan is a nineteen-year veteran of NYPD where he is still employed as a detective first-grade in the Organized Crime Investigations Division. His role in the story that fill the pages of this book earned him a promotion from, then police commissioner of New York City, William Bratton Himself.

Douglas Century has authored various pieces in several national magazines and has written the book Street kingdom: Five years inside the Franklin Avenue posse in addition to Takedown. He is also a contributing author for the New York Times. (hummm... no wonder that book review was so persuasive, "I got hooked and tooked!").

So what's this book about?

This book is Rick's account of a seven year investigation of what the New York Police Department named "Operation Wasteland".

Why operation wasteland?

Because it has to do with the Mafia's Monopolization of the Waste removal industry in New York City.

In other words...garbage.

This was said by Rockefeller himself to have been the most "perfect" monopoly in American history. That's right folks, the people who were "Carters" or "Carting" away the garbage of such big names as The New York Stock Exchange, The United Nations, Madison Square Garden, and Bloomingdale's (just to drop a few big names) were none other than members all five of New York's Crime families: Genovese, Gambino, Lucchese, Colombo, Bonanno.

So the Mafia ran the garbage truck's? What's the big deal?

Well it would not have been a big deal if not for one simple thing. There are laws set on the amount a company can charge customers per square foot of compacted garbage. The members of the five families made million's upon million's of dollars boosting these prices. In some cases as much as five times the set rate. Like anyone would complain? This arrangement dates back four decades. So this was the norm for most of the newbies on the block. They took it for what it was.

The members of the five families agreed on set boundaries of who "owned" the rights to certain area's of the city.

But of course greed always comes in to play and somebody always wants more. Someone decides they want someone else's piece of the pie and that's when you hear about some of the Mob related fights, beatings, bombing or even the deaths that were involved in relation to carter's fighting over territory. They wanted that trash man! It meant big bucks.

And... what a perfect way to dispose of a body. If the Mafia owns the garbage companies they could just simply inform truck number 32 of a certain package in a certain dumpster and have it neatly disposed of...not a clue would remain once the rats and seagulls got to it.

The Mafia OWNED New York City.

Well...so to speak, but think about it. Lets say the entire City of New York became fed up with paying the unbelievable prices being charged for their trash removal. The Mob could shut the trash removal down, and with in a matter of days New York City would be among some of the filthiest slums in the world. Pretty sneaky huh? Pretty freakin' good idea too. Too bad it's illegal.

The Mob kept the trash flowing out, while Wall Street

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