Trials: The Prosecutor as Underdog

Lifting 135 Ibs. of concrete blocks from the bottom of Jamaica Bay, the bloated body of a Mafia assassin named Ernie ("The Hawk") Rupolo floated ashore one morning in 1964 in New York City's Queens County. Rupolo's murder clearly looked like the gangland variety, which usually defies solution. This time, though, the killers had not displayed their customary efficiency in disposing of the corpse. Moreover, Queens County Assistant District Attorney James C. Mosley was convinced that they had made other errors too. In 1967, he brought a Long Island Mafia lieutenant, John...

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