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The Westies

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Dismemberment Though never numbering than a dozen members their reign lasted for almost twenty years until their own violent natures got the best of them precipitating a downfall that would become as infamous as their notorious ascension into the annals of crim. The Westies was the name given by the press and the police to a group of Irish mobsters working out of Hell's Kitchen from the late 60s to the late 80s Led by Jimmy Coonan this violent gang of psychopaths terrorized their small section of New York City leaving a trail of bodies behind Coonan started out by wanting revenge against gang leader Mickey Spillane not that Spillane who had pistol whipped Coonan's father The gang was responsible for an estimated 60 100 murders It's easy to give the Westies credit than they deserve For the most part they were brawn than brain inclined to kill people at the drop of a hat for no real reason They were often laughably incompetent Their repeated attempts to kill Danny Grillo are a good example of this Roy DeMeo a Gambino crime family soldier disposed of Grillo almost as an afterthought much to the Westies' embarrassment This is a fascinating though horrifying read The Westies placed no value on any human lives other than their own and the number of brutal murders in the book is mind numbing It is said that truth is stranger than fiction but it can also be much darker No fictional horror story can match this real life one simply because it is real The problem I have with this book is English's handling of Francis Mickey Featherstone one of the Westies' chief killers Featherstone is portrayed in a surprisingly sympathetic light A Vietnam vet with paranoid schizophrenia and possibly PTSD Featherstone comes across as pathetic and sad Uhm no He's not He's a violent criminal who brutally murdered several people Detective Jim Coffey who caught Featherstone said You wouldn't want to get into an argument with him over a parking space It's almost as if English thought he had to have a sympathetic character somewhere in this story and he figured Featherstone who copped a plea and testified against his fellow gangsters fit the bill

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Librarian's note There is an Alternate Cover Edition for this edition of this book hereEven among the Mob the Westies were feared Out of a partnership between two sadistic thugs James Coonan and Mickey Featherstone the gang rose out of the inferno of Hell's Kitc. I first became interested in The Westies when I saw a program called True Crime on the History Channel That particular episode was about the Westies and I was somewhat glued to my television which is very rare usually I don't even turn the thing on any But this particular episode's story was so intriguing that I felt I had to know so I bought the book The Westies was gang that had as its home New York's Hell's Kitchen home to many Irish American immigrants and also controlled by a series of Irish organized crime gangs Traditionally these gangs followed certain codes of respect and deference but as the author notes it seems that after Vietnam with the rise of a new generation the old ways sort of went out the door and violence was the rule of the day Enter young Jimmie Coonan a local boy hotheaded and dangerous with vengeful ambitions to take out the current head of the Irish mob in Hell's Kitchen Mickey Spillane not the author His idea of killing was not only to do the deed but then to do the Houdini meaning making the body disappear by dismemberment Then add Mickey Featherstone another local boy who had some serious mental issues tended to solve his problems with knee jerk violence With other people working for them they began a long reign of violence extortion murder you name it But Coonan decided that for them to get anywhere they needed to hook up with the Italian mob I won't go through the entire story but as it turns out eventually a betrayal of trust leads one member down the path to become an informer However the criminal story is not 100 per cent of this bookEnglish traces the attempts made by law enforcement agencies to take down these guys I do have to also remark on the sad state of the justice system at the time as portrayed in this novelFeatherstone does several murders and walks The details are amazing and this one another one of those books I had trouble putting down My problems with this book stem from the fact that it seems somewhat biased in favor of Mickey Featherstone who by his own admission was a cold blooded psychopath who did his share of killing I find it hard to be sympathetic towards someone like this or to excuse their previous behavior just because he may have been rehabilitated later All in all a fantastic book I'm looking forward to reading about the topic and books by this author Recommended for sure

T.J. English ò 1 READ & DOWNLOAD

Hen a decaying tenderloin slice of New York City's West Side They became the most notorious gang in the history of organized crime excelling in extortion numbers running loansharking and drug peddling Upping the ante on depravity their specialty was execution by. My previous publishing job was headuartered just east of Hell’s Kitchen in New York City a midtown neighborhood west of Times Suare running all the way to the Hudson River I often walked home from work and my route took me through this storied location It’s gentrifying slowly now but it used to be legendarily rough The Westies tells a crime story set in the area during its last gasp as a scary place During the 1970s and 1980s Hell’s Kitchen was the home of a murderous drug dealing loansharking armed robbing kidnapping and racketeering gang called the Westies its members mostly Irish American They were beyond brutal They gained strength when they joined forces with the Gambino crime family After a ton of mayhem double crossing dismembering and the Westies were finally broken up and faced justice TJ English tells the whole amazing story There’s so much terrorizing in this book I’m glad I didn’t read it during my days walking through the neighborhood Even though the gang was long gone I think I might have still been watching my back —Phil

  • Paperback
  • 416
  • The Westies
  • T.J. English
  • English
  • 07 March 2019
  • 9780312924294

About the Author: T.J. English

TJ English is an author journalist and screenwriter with an emphasis on organized crime the criminal underworld and the criminal justice system Many of his books have been New York Times bestsellers including THE SAVAGE CITY HAVANA NOCTURNE PADDY WHACKED and WHERE THE BODIES WERE BURIED In 2013 a collection of his journalism was published under the title WHITEY'S PAYBACK an anthology


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