Uncovering the darker, and cooler, side of history. - Scott M. Deitche

Hitmen: The Mafia, Drugs, and the East Harlem Purple Gang

A book cover with the title of hit men.

From the author of the star reviewed Garden State Gangland comes an in-depth exposé on East Harlem’s notorious Purple Gang whose murderous exploits became a media obsession and Mafia lynchpin.

In the late 1970s, a string of seemingly unconnected murders had Harlem police and federal authorities at their wits’ end until they realized several commonalities. The victims were all either Mafia members or potential witnesses of Mafia activity, and they’d all been shot from .22 pistols traced back to a single private sale in Florida. From these details, the FBI and police were able to build a profile of a rogue sect of Mafia hitmen known as the East Harlem Purple Gang.