A genuine New York hero, Douglas Levien has just died. He was an NYPD detective who lived undercover for many eyars in order to bring down as many members of New York’s Mafia families as he could. See the video which focusses on one of those families, the Lucchese crime family.
A Brooklynite all his life he became an expert on organised crime and used his well developed street smarts and natural likeability to help bust open a variety of Mafia related crimes and Mafia/Police corruption scandals.
Undercover work is always fraught with the fear of exposure and requires officers to have the acting skills of a Hollywood superstar and the iintelligence of a chess Grandmaster in order to stay one step ahead of the mob.
Levien was an integral part of a 1972 sting operation that netted 100 convictions of crooks belonging to the five major NYC crime families, an operation which included the very first use of a strategically placed bug to gather relevant evidence.
Another case of his was the ‘Mafia cops’ case which resulted in the conviction of two NYPD cops who had become Mafia pawns. The New York Times has givden him a great sendoff with a detailed obituary honoring his brave deeds and it is clear he suffered as a result of the dangerous work he did but persisted. A true New York hero.