"Goodfellas" mobster Henry Hill dies at age 69

Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:19pm EDT

(Reuters) - Henry Hill, the mobster turned government informant portrayed in the book "Wiseguy" and later in the classic movie "Goodfellas," has died after a long illness.

Hill, 69, died at a Los Angeles hospital on Tuesday from heart failure, his fiancé Lisa Schinelli Caserta told celebrity news website TMZ.com.

"Henry was one of the most laid back chill guys ever," Caserta's son Nick wrote on his Facebook page. "It breaks my heart knowing I will never get to talk to him again."

Born on June 11, 1943 in Brooklyn, New York, Hill was an associate of New York City's Lucchese crime family from the 1960s into the 1980s.

His crimes included dealing drugs and hijacking trucks, and he was involved in the 1967 Air France robbery in which $420,000 was stolen from the airline's terminal at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Hill spent six years in prison for extortion, but continued his criminal activities while behind bars.

His most famous heist was in December 1978, months after he was released from prison, when he and others stole $5 million from Lufthansa Airlines at JFK airport.

Fearing for his life afterwards when his associates were killed, Hill became an informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Hill, his wife Karen, and their children Gregg and Gina entered the government's witness protection program, and he testified against his former crime bosses.

He and his wife were expelled from the program in the early 1990s. Hill went back to living under his own name. The couple divorced in 1989.

Hill's story was told in Nicholas Pileggi's 1986 book "Wiseguys," which was adapted by Martin Scorsese in the 1990 film "Goodfellas," starring actor Ray Liotta as Hill opposite Robert De Niro as Hill's associate Jimmy Burke.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg and Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Eric Beech)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (3)
Rogersouthern wrote:
Using the term ‘Mob’ in a News report is becoming so common that readers have no idea which Mob the character is associated with. These terms are now used to refer to almost any crime group who share the same ethnic background.When using the terms ‘Mob’, can you please ratify which Mob it is? And if it is the Italian mob, shouldn’t it be the first thing mentioned to get the readers attention? Such a shame that mob-themed stories are losing it’s appeal because of poor editing.

Jun 13, 2012 1:02pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Adam_S wrote:
RIP Henry Hill. He was a nice guy, a good fella.

Jun 13, 2012 4:42pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
patric627 wrote:
r.i.m.(rest in misery) along with all your filthy psychopath friends

Jun 13, 2012 5:29pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

Full focus