The true story of eight men and the largest jewel heist in history!
The Pierre Hotel Affair by Daniel Simone
My thanks go out to my contacts at Pegasus Books, Iris Blasi, Katie McGuire, and Maia Larson, for my copy of this book! Rock on!
In early 1972, Samuel Nalo and Robert Comfort, an associate of the Lucchese Crime Family, Christie 'the Tic' Furnari, and other members of their gang carried out a robbery that has become a legend! The target was the Pierre Hotel and $3 million in cash and jewels. Previously, the pair had been involved in the theft of $1 million in jewelry and cash from the Sherry Netherland Hotel, and major robberies/burglaries at other hotels including the Regency Hotel, the Drake Hotel, the Carlyle Hotel and the St. Regis. Nalo was a master planner and seemed to be the gang’s leader, but Comfort was also a major organizer.
In all, eight men joined together to make the assault on the riches held in the hotel’s safety deposit boxes: the afore mentioned Nalo, Comfort, and Fumari, along with Fumari associate Robert Germaine, Ali Ben, Al Green, and Nick Sacco. Germaine dressed as a chauffeur and stayed outside as the lookout. Entering the hotel dressed to the nines in tuxedos and using the name “Doctor Foster and party,” the gang quickly rounded up hotel employees.
After robbing the vault, the thieves gave each hotel employee a small amount of cash and fled into the night. This was the moment the plan began to fall apart…
The planning and execution of this robbery and the breakdown of the gang as they turned on each other makes for some exciting reading. If I had one complaint about the book, it is that it goes into perhaps too much detail. I feel that perhaps forty pages could have been shaved off of the 402-page length. It’s not boring, per se, but it could be tightened somewhat. This is just one man’s opinion, you understand.
All in all, it was a satisfying read, and I will likely revisit the book at a later date! The book really brings out the characters, and that is perhaps better than the details of the crime!
I give the book four stars!
Quoth the Raven…