EXCLUSIVE: Boardwalk Empire creator Terence Winter has teamed with Asterlight, a San Francisco-based independent production company, to develop a true crime limited series based on the 2003 book Friends of the Family: The Inside Story of the Mafia Cops Case, by former NYPD Detective Tommy Dades, former Brooklyn prosecutor Mike Vecchione and David Fisher.
The book chronicles the true story of Stephen Caracappa and Louis Eppolito, two decorated NYPD police detectives who secretly worked on behalf of the New York mafia, principally the Lucchese and Gambino crime families, while committing serious crimes including racketeering, bribery, kidnapping and murder.
The story made national headlines when it was exposed that Caracappa and Eppolito received thousands in monthly payoff money in exchange for confidential information on police informants and investigations, in addition to serving as mob assassins. The infamous duo became known as the “Mafia Cops” and were convicted in 2006 of eight contract murders, two of which they carried out themselves. They were sentenced to life in prison in 2009.
Dades will work with Winter on the as-yet untitled project. Other contributors from the original investigation will include Joseph Ponzi, former Chief Investigator for the Brooklyn District Attorney, retired DEA agent Frank Drew and former NYPD Detective Frank Pergola. Former New York Gambino crime family underboss Sammy “The Bull” Gravano will add his knowledge of the story. Asterlight is producing.
“It’s an honor to work with Terry Winter and Tommy Dades and the rest of the team to bring this crime story to life,” said Joe Poletto, founder of Asterlight. “There’s no one better than Terry to tell the story of these two corrupt cops who betrayed their badges, their department and their city — and almost got away with it. It’s an era in New York City history we can’t forget.”
“Caracappa and Eppolito disgraced their badges like no one else in NYPD history,” said Winter. “It’s a privilege to tell the story of Tommy Dades, Mike Vecchione and Joe Ponzi – the good guys who brought them to justice.”
Winter also has a untitled mob drama series in development at Showtime with Brian Grazer and Nicholas Pileggi.
Winter created and executive produced HBO’s period mob drama Boardwalk Empire. He also co-created and exec produced HBO’s rock ‘n roll drama Vinyl. Additionally, Winter was a writer/executive producer of HBO’s blockbuster mob drama The Sopranos, for which he received four Emmy Awards as well as three WGA Awards. Winter, nominated for an Oscar for his The Wolf of Wall Street screenplay, is writing a TV series for HBO Max set in the world Matt Reeves is creating for The Batman feature. Additionally, he has Tokyo Underworld crime drama in works at Chris Albrecht’s Legendary Global.