An incredible four-decade account of murder, power, and corruption in one of the country’s largest police departments.
In 1979, the gruesome slaying of a 13-year-old boy riveted the suburbs of Suffolk County, New York. For the ambitious young prosecutor in charge, the dubious case against four local teenagers threatened to unravel, until the emergence of a wayward local teenager with a convenient story to tell. For testifying against his buddies, Jimmy Burke was rewarded with a job as a cop.
Thus began Burke’s unlikely ascent to the top of one of the country’s largest law enforcement jurisdictions. He and a crew of likeminded allies – including a corruption prosecutor whose expertise made him excellent at corruption, a heavy-drinking lieutenant called Ratman, and a team of highly-paid detectives he called his “palace guards”— utilized vengeance, gangster tactics and political leverage to become the most powerful and feared figures in their suburban empire.
Until a pilfered bag of sex toys brought it all crashing down.
Jimmy the King is the meticulously researched, richly told and cinematic story of the outrageous rise and paranoiac fall of the vindictive don of a most American cabal. This was a crime family with badges and guaranteed pensions, along with the power to subpoena, wiretap and arrest, its top members more concerned with their years-long coverup than stamping out killing fields sprouting in their jurisdiction. Novelistic in detail and piercing in its political insight, Jimmy the King will leave you questioning who modern policing serves, who it protects, and who it preys upon and abandons.