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Philip Carlo, Noted Author of the Dark Side, Passed On

RIP author Philip Carlo

Philip Carlo appeared on an episode of Mobsters about Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso, the subject of his book Gaspipe: Confessions of a Mafia Boss.

Carlo died last year, on Nov. 8, never to see the publication of his last book, The Killer Within:In the Company of Monsters, which was released on Jan. 6, 2011. (Read an interview with Carlo.)

Although he's made some whopping errors (Ice Man, for example, meaning the entire book), I still recommend his books due to a fascinating intimacy in them that flowed from his relationships with numerous New York organized crime figures. (His wife is the daughter of slain Gambino mobster Eddie Garofalo); additionally, Carlo and his family had been close friends with Casso.

Carlo's New York Times obit follows, then some additional commentary, including on Tony Danza's embarrassing outburst at the funeral.

Philip Carlo, 61; Wrote About Crime Figures

Philip Carlo, who produced novels and nonfiction accounts of serial killers and hit men before writing about his own struggles with disease, died on Nov. 8 in Manhattan. He was 61. 
The cause was a combination of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, and cancer, said his wife, Laura Garofalo-Carlo. 
A stay at Bellevue Hospital in the late 1970s inspired his first book, an unpublished novel about a murder on the wards. His second novel, ''Stolen Flower,'' about an American girl kidnapped by a child pornography ring in Pompeii, was published by Dutton in 1986. 
Mr. Carlo soon branched into nonfiction, publishing four books based on interviews with mass murderers. Titles include The Night Stalker: The Life and Crimes of Richard Ramirez, about the serial killer who terrorized Los Angeles in 1984 and 1985 and The Iceman: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer, about Richard Kuklinski, a mob hit man who claimed to have fed some of his victims to giant rats. ...

(ED.'s NOTE, 9/5/2016: The Carlo Iceman book has been widely discredited. In fact, a film adaptation starring Mickey Rourke was never filmed; instead, another film about Kuklinski starring Michael Shannon, called The Iceman, was released, albeit based on another book entirely, The Iceman: The True Story of a Cold-Blooded Killer by Anthony Bruno, which is considered much more objective and credible.)

  Carlo, his wife and actors Mickey Rourke and Chuck Zito  in New York City. 
(Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images North America)

Philip John Carlo was born in Brooklyn on April 18, 1949. He struggled with dyslexia in school before graduating from Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School in Brooklyn. Mr. Carlo told The New York Times last year that his youth in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, a Mafia enclave at the time, gave him ''a personal innate understanding'' of crime and the mettle to confront it in his writing.

Mr. Carlo spent 60 days in Rikers Island himself for misdemeanor assault after a fistfight with a deliveryman who left menus in his building despite a no-menus sign. ''It was a crazy, ridiculous incident,'' he said.

Mr. Carlo learned he had A.L.S., an incurable illness that causes paralysis, in 2005. After the diagnosis, he completed four books with the help of an assistant, including ''The Killer Within,'' a memoir about his struggle against A.L.S. ''I have a deadline,'' he said. ''My own death.''

A malignant brain tumor was discovered in October.

Mr. Carlo, whose first marriage, to Maria Cecilia Medeiros Lima, ended in divorce, married Ms. Garofalo-Carlo in 2007. Besides his wife, he is survived by his mother, Nina; his father, Dante; and a sister, Doreen Mannanice, all of Freeport, N.Y.

Tony Danza interrupted the priest during Carlo's eulogy, claiming he was talking too much about God, as reported in an article in the NY Post:

"It could have been a funeral-home scene out of a "Sopranos" episode. At the wake for crime author Philip Carlo, Tony Danza angrily interrupted the priest, claiming he was talking too much about God and not enough about the best-selling biographer of mass murderers, including Richard Kuklinski and Richard Ramirez, during his eulogy.

"A source at Thursday's wake at Peter C. La Bella Funeral Home in Bensonhurst said the priest -- "who said he was a substitute priest from a federal prison, which made some people smirk -- started to ramble on and on about religion, quoting the Bible and making mourners uncomfortable. ..."