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Jimmy the King: Murder, Vice, and the Reign of a Dirty Cop

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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 thirteen-year-old boy riveted the suburbs of Suffolk County, New York. As the county hustled to bring the case to a dubious resolution, a wayward local teenager emerged with a convenient story to tell. For his cooperation, 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 thirteen-year-old boy riveted the suburbs of Suffolk County, New York. As the county hustled to bring the case to a dubious resolution, a wayward local teenager emerged with a convenient story to tell. For his cooperation, 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 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 story of the rise, reign, and paranoiac fall of a corrupt cop and his regime—a crime family with badges and guaranteed pensions. Novelistic in detail and piercing in its political insight, this book will leave you questioning who modern policing serves, who it protects, and who it preys upon and abandons. 


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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 thirteen-year-old boy riveted the suburbs of Suffolk County, New York. As the county hustled to bring the case to a dubious resolution, a wayward local teenager emerged with a convenient story to tell. For his cooperation, 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 thirteen-year-old boy riveted the suburbs of Suffolk County, New York. As the county hustled to bring the case to a dubious resolution, a wayward local teenager emerged with a convenient story to tell. For his cooperation, 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 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 story of the rise, reign, and paranoiac fall of a corrupt cop and his regime—a crime family with badges and guaranteed pensions. Novelistic in detail and piercing in its political insight, this book will leave you questioning who modern policing serves, who it protects, and who it preys upon and abandons. 

30 review for Jimmy the King: Murder, Vice, and the Reign of a Dirty Cop

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kerri Ann

    This is a good read if you’re interested in stories of police and government corruption. Or, if you’re from Long Island and want all the sordid details of the insanity that occurred in law enforcement over several decades. The timeline jumping sometimes made the book hard to follow, and I have to wonder how a former Newsday reporter doesn’t know that all of this occurred ON Long Island, not in. I thought the author could be sexist when describing women, and his writing at times was a weird and c This is a good read if you’re interested in stories of police and government corruption. Or, if you’re from Long Island and want all the sordid details of the insanity that occurred in law enforcement over several decades. The timeline jumping sometimes made the book hard to follow, and I have to wonder how a former Newsday reporter doesn’t know that all of this occurred ON Long Island, not in. I thought the author could be sexist when describing women, and his writing at times was a weird and clumsy attempt at the gangster bravado and language he accused his subjects of using. Overall, though, it was well researched and reported, but I can’t help but think that this was really Tania Lopez’s story to tell.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Haley Neer

    The extensive research effort that went into this is evident, but the structure was confusing and the material was dense

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    Jimmy The King is an in-depth look into the disgraced career of Jimmy Burke, the former Chief of the Suffolk County Police Department in Long Island, NY, and his unholy alliance with then Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota. The book also details the widespread corruption and incompetence within the homicide division of that police department, and the DA’s office complicity in their actions, which ultimately led to prison sentences for both Burke and Spota. Extensively researched and cull Jimmy The King is an in-depth look into the disgraced career of Jimmy Burke, the former Chief of the Suffolk County Police Department in Long Island, NY, and his unholy alliance with then Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota. The book also details the widespread corruption and incompetence within the homicide division of that police department, and the DA’s office complicity in their actions, which ultimately led to prison sentences for both Burke and Spota. Extensively researched and culled together from court transcripts, interviews and press articles, it’s a scathing look at power unchecked, and the devastating impact on the lives of people on both sides of the law. While it’s a powerful story, the author jumps timelines and subjects so often it interrupts the flow of the book, and can be disconcerting to the reader. Overall, it’s a harrowing and disturbing narrative of law enforcement run amok.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Stevie

    Impossible to rate. Interesting subject matter but poorly written and researched. Also could have done without the authors two cents on what scumbags he thinks everyone is- it distracted from the story and made him seem uneducated. Do the research and let the facts speak for themselves.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Stark

    Fascinating! What a whirlwind of history on LI!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Autumn Child

    A little confusing , I would have to read it 3-6 times to remember all the characters and info. Crazy story though

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tate Quinton

  8. 4 out of 5

    Linda Prihoda

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

  10. 5 out of 5

    Justin Doolittle

  11. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Ford

  12. 4 out of 5

    David Patterson

  13. 4 out of 5

    Fred L Doscher

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey Snell

  15. 5 out of 5

    Elon Green

  16. 4 out of 5

    Brian Catlett

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bas

  18. 4 out of 5

    Weezeo65

  19. 4 out of 5

    Andre N. Biondo

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

  21. 4 out of 5

    James W Quinn

  22. 4 out of 5

    Anne

  23. 4 out of 5

    Haley Groth

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alifair Tulley

  25. 4 out of 5

    Siobhan Gorski

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mark Enoch

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mickey Donovan

  28. 4 out of 5

    ann mcelhinney

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amelia Kantrovitz

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