This infamous gangster left the 'Goodfellas' life to join the 82d Airborne
“Goodfellas” would have been a totally different movie if Ray Liotta’s character had taken time out to join the Army and get himself straight.
But the real-life mobster Henry Hill — which Liotta played in the film — actually did just that.
According to Nicholas Pileggi’s book “Wiseguy,” (which was later adapted to the movie “Goodfellas”), Hill joined the Army to avoid scrutiny after a Senate investigation was launched to look into union ties to organized crime. In all, about 5,000 names were released by the report — including members of the Lucchese crime family that Hill worked for.
So Hill enlisted to go dark and take a step back from the crime family he served.
Sort of gives a whole new meaning to the term “E-4 Mafia,” right?
The young mobster spent three years as an enlisted soldier. He maintained his criminal contacts and hustled in the military the same way he hustled on the streets of New York. He sold tax-free cigarettes, loan sharked his fellow troops, and sold the extra food he picked up while on KP, according to Pileggi.
Hill spent two months in jail for stealing a sheriff’s car and getting into a bar fight with some Marines. But by the time he was released from the stockade, his enlistment was up. So he returned to what he called “the life,” and ended up getting so far in, he could never get out.
Not without ratting on his friends, that is.
From there, he went on to restart his wiseguy career. He specialized in arson, but was also known for intimidation, stealing cars and holding up cargo trucks as they left JFK airport in New York.
After getting busted for narcotics trafficking (which was forbidden by the Lucchese family – it carried a death sentence), Hill eventually turned on the family and became a material witness for the government. He is famous for sharing his story with Associated Press reporter Pileggi.
Director Martin Scorsese made Pileggi’s book into the legendary movie “Goodfellas,” starring Ray Liotta, Robert DeNiro, and Joe Pesci.
Henry Hill died on June 12, 2012, of heart problems related to smoking. He still had a $1 million bounty on his head.
Why marijuana's potential benefits for vets outweigh the risks
Marijuana may get more use as a treatment for PTSD and other medical issues as more than 90 percent of veterans support marjuana use and development.
7 holiday classics you should send to deployed troops
The next time you visit a department store that sells DVDs, toss these films into your cart and send them to your favorite troop serving overseas.
A Boeing 757 was hacked and the Department of Homeland Security is concerned
In 2016 the Department of Homeland Security hacked a 757 remotely, using only objects that would normally pass through security without an issue.
Why Ranger Up needs to be under your tree this Christmas
The Holidays, like a hyped-up drill sergeant, are upon you. Don't you wish you had a 12-day guide to the best vet-made gifts around? Ho! Ho! Hoorah!
How dead civilians were listed as 'ISIS fighters' in Iraq
A year and a half long investigation by the New York Times revealed that the US had reported civilian casualties in combat as enemy combatant casualties.
The Marines are training an F-35 squadron to fight in nuclear war
The Marines are training on how to fight through a nuclear war and under the strains of nuclear, biological, chemical, and radiological hazards.
Why a drunk traffic fatality was the last straw for US troops in Japan
Early in the morning, a Marine drove while impaired, ran a red light, and drove into oncoming traffic. He struck another truck, killing its driver.
History's 7 outstanding military leaders, according to Napoleon
Napoleon Bonaparte, considered one of the most memorable military leaders of all time, held these 7 military predecessors in great esteem.
6 ways Austin Powers is way more operator than you
In 1997, Britain's biggest playboy and best special agent Austin Powers rocked movie-goers with his bad teeth, groovy personality, and judo chop.