The Butcher: Anatomy of a Mafia Psychopath

The Butcher: Anatomy of a Mafia Psychopath


By (author) Philip Carlo

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Paperback $9.31
  • Publisher: Mainstream Publishing
  • Format: Paperback | 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 153mm x 234mm x 24mm | 453g
  • Publication date: 4 June 2009
  • Publication City/Country: Edinburgh
  • ISBN 10: 1845965078
  • ISBN 13: 9781845965075
  • Illustrations note: 1 x 8pp colour
  • Sales rank: 122,836

Product description

Written by the bestselling author of The Ice Man, The Butcher is a gripping and disturbing fly-on-the-wall account of the US Drug Enforcement Administration's four-year hunt to bring down Tommy 'Karate' Pitera, a drug-dealing, murderous capo in the Bonanno crime family. Born in 1954 and raised in Gravesend, Brooklyn, Pitera was a thin boy who was bullied as a result of his feminine voice. As a teenager, he became obsessed with martial arts and with a religious fervour began studying karate to protect himself. After winning a tournament, he travelled to Japan, where he trained for three years under one of the country's foremost martial arts experts. When he returned home in 1974, Pitera was a very different man. Quiet and introspective, sullen and aloof, he had developed his body into a fighting machine. He began associating with gangsters from the Bonanno family and was soon dealing drugs on a huge scale, while simultaneously embarking on a killing spree that spanned almost two decades. In 1992, Pitera was sentenced to life in prison for murdering six people and supporting a massive drug-dealing operation, yet this covered only a fraction of the crimes he committed. Pitera is thought to have murdered more than 60 people, cutting many of his victims into pieces before burying them on Staten Island. Exhaustively researched and written with the cooperation of the DEA agents who hunted Pitera down, The Butcher is the perfect good-versus-evil story and will send shivers down the spine of even the most hardened true-crime reader.

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Author information

Philip Carlo was the bestselling author of The Ice Man, The Night Stalker, Gaspipe and The Killer Within. He lived in New York until his death in November 2010.

Review quote

"Mafia master Carlo is the unrivalled king of true crime writing. He examines Pitera's psyche with forensic scrutiny but stops short of glamorising his subject. Grisly and grusome, Scorcese should definitely buy up the movie rights" News of the World "Engrossing and chilling ... a fast-moving and morbidly fascinating story" Booklist