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Henry Hill Jr. (11 June 1943-12 June 2012) was an Irish-Italian mob associate of the Lucchese Crime Family from 1955-1980 who later went into the witness protection and testified against his former fellow mobsters after his arrest in 1980.


Henry Hill was born on June 11, 1943 in Brooklyn, New York to an Irish father and Sicilian mother. He was 1 of 9 children and would spend much of his childhood staring across the street at a cabstand used as a front for the Lucchese Crime Family, admiring mobsters such as Paul Vario, he would watch the mobster step out of their fancy Cadillacs in their shiny jewelry and tailored suits, he found the lifestyle intoxicating and made up his mind he wanted to be one of them. In 1955, Hill got a part time job at the cab stand, running errands and parking the mobster's cars. During this time, Hill showed little interest in school, due to the fact he had several learning disabilities that hindered his performance, this would cause Hill to not attend school, sometimes for months on end. Hill's father would beat him for not attending school, this would continue several more times before the letters from his school talking of his truancy stopped coming to Hill's house and instead began getting delivered to the cabstand.

Work for the Vario Crew[]

In 1956, Hill was serving drinks and sandwiches at a card game when he met Jimmy Burke, a well known associate in the family. Shortly afterwards, Hill began helping Burke sell stolen cigarettes around New York. For this, Hill was arrested that year, though he was cleared of all charges. Over time, Burke and Hill became good friends and in the 1950's Hill met Tommy Desimone through Jimmy. It was around this time, Hill realized he didn't want to be a part of the mafia anymore and began trying to figure out a way to get out. In an attempt to distance himself from the mafia he enlisted in the military, being assigned to the U.S Army's 82nd Airborne Division before returning to New York in 1963. Hill returned to work with Vario Crew, hijacking trucks, and running a stolen car ring.

Major work for the Lucchese Family[]

In 1965, Hill met Karen Freidman during a double date with Desimone. Though they at first did not get along well they eventually fell in love and got married in North Carolina in 1966. It was this time she became more aware of his criminal lifestyle.

On April 7, 1967, Hill and Desimone, acting on a tipoff about a major score at the JFK Airport, Hill and Desimone, stole $420,000 from a terminal owned by Air France, this later became known as the Air France Robbery. Hill used his money from the robbery to open a club in New York called the Suite Lounge. Hill bought the Suite to distance himself again from the mafia but it quickly became another popular club with mobsters.

On June 11, 1970, Desimone murdered Billy Batts, a made man in the Gambino Crime Family with Jimmy and Henry helping to dispose of the body in Connecticut. Shortly after the death of Batts, Hill became involved with drug dealing, distributing, Marijuana, Cocaine, and Heroin. Hill and Burke were arrested in Florida and both received 10 year prison sentences. Hill was released in 1978 and again expanded his cocaine operations with the help of his girlfriend, Sandy, able to get Desimone and Burke involved.


In 1978, members of the Vario Crew carried out the biggest heist in American history, the Lufthansa Heist. The heist was a success but Burke had most of the heist crew killed after they began being unwise with their money. In 1979, Desimone was taken to an unknown location under the pretenses he would be made but he disappeared and hasn't been seen since and it is speculated that he was killed in retribution for the murder of Billy Batts and for having an affair with Henry Hill's wife, Karen.

By 1980, Hill was heavily addicted to cocaine and was becoming increasingly paranoid that he would be arrested or killed by Burke for using drugs. As he was preparing to go to a cocaine deal in Pittsburgh he was arrested and was given the option of the Witness Protection Program or prison. Realizing he would be killed if he chose prison, Hill turned into a federal informant and was placed in the Witness Protection Program. Hill testified against his former crew members which lead to many arrests of former friends of Hill such as Burke and Vario.

In 1990, Hill and his family were living far away from New York, that year his wife filed for divorce and it was finalized in 2002. After several criminal offences, Hill was kicked out of the Witness Protection Program in the 2000's.


Hill died on June 12, 2012 of heart disease.