Raised on the streets of Brooklyn, New York, Philip Carlo graduated from the school of hard knocks. When Carlo was 15 years old, he witnessed a close friend shot to death by hit men from the Columbo crime family in broad daylight. Moving toward induction into a Mafia family, Carlo found himself in trouble with the law. At age 17, he was involved in a gang fight and shot in the forehead by a .22 caliber gun. It was after this life-threatening moment that Carlo decided to turn his life around.
Carlo's passion for books ultimately steered him from the criminal path. The works of Steinbeck, Hemingway and Dickens, among others, helped Carlo out of Brooklyn. At 19, he moved to Manhattan and secured a job as a real estate agent on the Upper West Side. Although successful, Carlo walked away from the business after nine years with the goal of ultimately becoming a professional writer.
His research into child abuse piqued his interest in abused children that grow into abusers or sociopaths. After corresponding with serial killers in prisons across the nation and visiting death rows in Louisiana, Texas and Florida, Carlo made a connection with Richard Ramirez, California's 'Night Stalker.' While visiting with Ramirez at San Quentin's death row, Carlo decided to write an account of the case. The Night Stalker quickly became a best seller launching Carlo's career as an author.
Ian spoke with crime expert Philip Carlo, who shared stories from his research into organized crime and discussed his latest work, Gaspipe: Confessions of a Mafia Boss.Carlo said he grew up in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, where he was a neighbor of Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso, the man who led the Lucchese crime family and is serving thirteen consecutive life sentences plus 455 years at a... More »