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The startling and sensational true story of the most famous unsolved heist in American history: the theft of $28 million in jewels from the Pierre Hotel.
Bobby Comfort and Sammy “the Arab” Nalo were highly skilled jewel thieves who specialized in robbing luxury Manhattan hotels. (They once robbed Sophia Loren’s suite, relieving the Italian actress of over $1 million in gems.) With the blessing of the Lucchese crime family, their next plot targeted the posh Pierre Hotel—host to kings and queens, presidents and aldermen, and the wealthiest of the wealthy.
Attired in tuxedoes and driven in a limousine, this band of thieves arrived at the Pierre and with perfect timing, they seized the security guards and, in systematically choreographed moves, they swiftly took the night staff—and several unfortunate guests who happened to be roaming around the lobby—as hostages.
The deposit boxes inside the vault chamber are plundered and, after the intruders have held the Pierre under siege for almost two hours, the gentlemanly thieves depart in their limousine with a haul of $28 million. But then matters begin to deteriorate. Comfort, Nalo, and their partners begin to double and triple cross one another—two absconding to Europe with the bulk of the booty while three are murdered by their former associates.
The authorities immediately suspect Comfort and Nalo of masterminding the Pierre ambush and arrest them, but these veteran criminals keep their mouths shut. To ensure that they are not prosecuted, the Lucchese Family funnels a $500,000 bribe to the presiding judge to quash the charges—and to this day The Pierre Hotel caper remains unsolved.
A suspenseful narrative of Mafia intrigue, police corruption, and personal betrayal—which concludes with a poignant love affair—this is the true story of the most famous hotel robbery in American history.
“If you loved the television series Mad Men, hanker for a time when jewel thieves were referred to as “gentlemen,” and wish all business lunches revolved around three or more martinis, then it’s likely you’ll find something to like in this outrageous true life tale.” — New York Journal of Books
“Written in a sensational and lurid style, reminding me of an early Mickey Spillane crime thriller, the book recounts the detailed planning of the robbery, the robbery itself and the bloody aftermath. A tale of mendacity, greed and violence.” — Washington Times
“Daniel Simone has done it again with his latest outstanding tale. This literary work had all of the ingredients of a major blockbuster. The perfect book, about the perfect crime!” — Hamptons TV
“Simone tells this engrossing tale directly, and he is one helluva writer. Like many of the most compelling true crime tales, the distinction between cops and robbers is blurry at best. Fine reading.” — Booklist [praise for 'The Lufthansa Heist']
“Reads like fiction.” — Publishers Weekly
“The Lufthansa Heist is an amazing, in-depth look at one of the most notorious heists in American history.” — The Queens Gazette [praise for 'The Lufthansa Heist']