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Gangster Squad

Covert Cops, the Mob, and the Battle for Los Angeles

Paul Lieberman; Read by Robert Petkoff

Macmillan Audio

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A harrowing, edge-of-your-seat narrative of murder and secrets, revenge and heroism in the City of Angels—the real events behind the blockbuster Warner Brothers film starring Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.

 

GANGSTER SQUAD chronicles the true story of the secretive police unit that waged an anything-goes war to drive Mickey Cohen and other hoodlums from Los Angeles after WWII. In 1946, the LAPD launched the Gangster Squad with eight men who met covertly on street corners and slept with Tommy guns under their beds. But for two cops, all that mattered was nailing the strutting gangster Mickey Cohen. Sgt. Jack O’Mara was a square-jawed church usher, Sgt. Jerry Wooters a cynical maverick. About all they had in common was their obsession. So O’Mara set a trap to prove Mickey was a killer. And Wooters formed an alliance with Mickey’s budding rival, Jack “The Enforcer” Whalen. Two cops -- two hoodlums.  Their fates collided in the closing days of the 1950s, when late one night “The Enforcer” confronted Mickey and his crew. The aftermath would shake both LA’s mob and police department, and signal the end of a defining era in the city’s history.

In 2008, award-winning journalist Paul Lieberman’s seven-part Los Angeles Times series “Tales from the Gangster Squad” was optioned by Warner Bros. He spent over a decade tracking down surviving members of the real police unit as well as families and associates of the mobsters they pursued.  GANGSTER SQUAD is a tour-de-force narrative reminiscient of LA Confidential.    

 

BOOK EXCERPTS

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CHAPTER 1

The Dusty Road Con

 
Fred Whalen learned to scam along the Mississippi, the river that divides America, at pool halls and revivals. He was born in 1898 in Alton, Illinois, just upriver from St. Louis, and by the time he was a teenager he had figured out the traveling evangelists who set up shop in tents, barns, and occasionally, even, in real churches. He saw the people writhing in divine ecstasy out in their congregations and sensed immediately what was up: they were phonies, plants, shills for the preachers. Little Freddie was barely able to see over the pews but
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Praise for Gangster Squad

“Robert Petkoff’s young, assertive tone propels these real-life stories, and he has a knack for characterizing the blunt-talking cops as well as the streetwise gangsters” – AudioFile Magazine

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Paul Lieberman; Read by Robert Petkoff

  • PAUL LIEBERMAN spent more than a quarter century as a writer and editor at the Los Angeles Times and Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  He has won dozens of journalism honors, including the Robert F. Kennedy Awards Grand Prize.

  • Paul Lieberman
  • Robert Petkoff
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    Available Formats and Book Details

    Gangster Squad

    Covert Cops, the Mob, and the Battle for Los Angeles

    Paul Lieberman; Read by Robert Petkoff

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    FROM THE PUBLISHER

    Macmillan Audio

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