Real-life Goodfella arrested

24 January 2014

Reports suggest he will live the rest of his life like a schnook.

One of the real-life criminals involved in the $6m Lufthansa heist - memorably depicted in Martin Scorsese's classic mob movie Goodfellas - has been arrested, 35 years after the crime took place.

Elderly mafioso Vincent Asaro, 78, was arrested this week, after corroborating witnesses implicated him in the daring airport robbery.

The infamous heist, which took place at JFK airport in 1978, was the biggest cash robbery in US history. However, despite efforts by a number of law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, the case remained unsolved for nearly four decades, and only one person - an "inside man" working at the airport - was ever convicted in connection with the crime.

Most of those involved are thought to have been murdered in attempt to cover up any traces to the robbery. Many of the gruesome assassinations were immortalised in one of Scorsese’s more famous montages, to the sound of Eric Clapton’s ‘Layla’.

The heist's mastermind is understood to be James "Jimmy the Gent" Burke, who inspired the character played by Robert De Niro. Burke died in 1996, in prison for unrelated convictions.

Henry Hill, played in the film by Ray Liotta, had a part in planning the heist, but became an informant for the FBI and spent the rest of his life in police protection. He died in 2012.

"We never got our right money, what we were supposed to get,” Asaro told an informant. “Jimmy kept everything."

Most of the money from the heist has never been recovered.

[Source: New York Times]