CULLOTTA: The Life of a Chicago Criminal, Las Vegas Mobster, and Government Witness
Author: Dennis N. Griffin and Frank Cullotta
Publisher: Huntington Press
Reviewed by: Cheryl C. Malandrinos
Intense, graphic, and action-packed, CULLOTTA by Dennis N. Griffin is a must read for all fans of true crime.
In this no-holds barred biography of Chicago criminal and Las Vegas Mobster Frank Cullotta, Dennis Griffin delivers a powerful and detailed account of Cullotta’s life. From his early days when he meets the man who would become known as Tony the Ant Spilotro, through his many years as a Chicago criminal and Las Vegas Mobster, and the events that led to Cullota’s decision to become a government witness, CULLOTTA brings the reader into the inner core of The Outfit and the life of organized crime through the eyes of a man whose life was connected to and revolved around many of the important Outfit players.
CULLOTTA is a first for me because I’ve never read any true crime books, nevermind a comprehensive biography of someone with ties to organized crime. I approached CULLOTTA with a fair amount of trepidation. Could I enjoy a book I assumed would discuss in detail the activities of mobsters and career criminals? I couldn’t even sit through one of the Godfather movies. But after reading the foreword by screenwriter Nicholas Pileggi, who consulted with Frank Cullotta for the Martin Scorsese film, Casino, I had to know more about a man who could talk about murdering Jerry Lisner with about as much emotion as he would have if he were ordering his meal from a fast food joint.
The amount of research Dennis Griffin did for this biography and all the interviews he performed, in addition to, Frank Cullotta’s contributions to the project made CULLOTTA the excellent book it is. I’m ready to go out and purchase Griffin’s other books on crime and law enforcement in Las Vegas so I can know more about the other players involved.
CULLOTTA delivers a chilling and exciting glimpse into the life of Frank Cullotta. And despite all of the crimes that Frank committed over the years, the reader finds herself rooting for Frank’s life on the straight and narrow to succeed.