Wiseguy | Study Guide

Nicholas Pileggi

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Course Hero. "Wiseguy Study Guide." Course Hero. 23 June 2017. Web. 18 Nov. 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Wiseguy/>.

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Course Hero. "Wiseguy Study Guide." June 23, 2017. Accessed November 18, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Wiseguy/.


Course Hero, "Wiseguy Study Guide," June 23, 2017, accessed November 18, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Wiseguy/.

Wiseguy | Chapter 8 | Summary



In 1967 Kennedy Airport releases its first accounting of cargo thefts: $2.2 million in the previous 10 months. Despite myriad FBI, airline security, and police roaming the facility on an hourly basis, 45 major robberies were committed in that time. Hill also pulls off a $480,000 cash heist from a locked and guarded security room at the Air France cargo building after a tip. Hill has Bobby McMahon, the cargo foreman at Air France, butter up the security guard in an attempt to get the key to the room. They concoct an elaborate plan to distract him with a girl so they can make a copy of the key. Once they have the key, Hill and Tommy pretend to return a suitcase to the cargo, but instead use it to stuff bags of cash into.


Pileggi pinpoints the moment things start to shift for the wiseguys who run the organized crime at the airport—the first release that accounts for the millions of dollars in cargo thefts that have been tallied up for the previous year. Until this point the wiseguys haven't had a spotlight shone on them or much attention paid to their thefts, since the airport relied on insurance to cover the losses. But now there seems to be a burgeoning concern 45 robberies could have been committed despite an increase in security and police presence. Hill and his crew continue to grow bolder regardless, as evidenced by their large Air France heist. Pileggi allows Hill to describe the heist in his own words, which in turn allows the reader to realize even in its recounting, long after Hill has been arrested, convicted, and forced to give up his wiseguy life, he still takes pride in and revels in what he was able to get away with at the time. Pileggi uses Hill's narratives to show how little remorse Hill has for the crimes he has committed, and his wistfulness for his former life comes through the telling of his stories.

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