The Notorious Libby Holman

By Jon Bradshaw Vanity Fair March, 1985 When Libby Holman arrived in Manhattan in 1924, it was a bold and brassy town, devoted to the pleasure of pleasing itself. Prohibition—“the Great Foolishness,” as the gossip columnist Lucius Beebe called it—was in effect, but it...

Death of a Playmate

By Teresa Carpenter The Village Voice November 5, 1980 It is shortly past four in the afternoon and Hugh Hefner glides wordlessly into the library of his Playboy Mansion West. He is wearing pajamas and looking somber in green silk. The incongruous spectacle of a...

The Strange Death of Danny Casolaro

By Ron Rosenbaum Vanity Fair December 1991 One of the first stories I heard about Danny Casolaro’s funeral was the five blondes at the grave site. Five stunners ranging in age from twenty to forty, all dressed in black, all weeping copiously. I was feeling pretty bad...

The Death of a Reporter Who Knew Too Much

By Jon Bradshaw New York September 6, 1976 Don Bolles wanted to be the best reporter in Arizona. That was all he wanted. It had always been enough for him. By all accounts he was an old-fashioned man, steeped in such Calvinist beliefs as industry, thrift, and piety....

The Story of T

By Nicholas Pileggi The New York Times Magazine March 29, 1970 “A street guy like T is a different kind of person. Everything for a guy like that, for, a member, is different. They’re in that private world of their own and that’s all they want to know. They’re in it...

A Place to Heal

By Marilyn Johnson Life June, 1995 Justin Simpson is six years old and playing with a long plastic bat when two strangers pull up to the curb in front of his grandparents’ house. He scowls. Who are these guys? It’s the photographer and his assistant. They get out of...

The Cop Who Came in From the Heat

By Nicholas Pileggi New York Magazine August 26, 1985 Shortly before nine in the morning last March 5, Detective Richard “Bo” Dietl walked into the shield room at Police Headquarters and turned his gold badge over to a young policewoman. She casually tossed it into a...

The Devil in Long Island

By Ron Rosenbaum The New York Times Magazine August 22, 1993 “He wondered every once in a while what life would be like without a second story and how it was people managed to get along in ranch-style or split-level houses without running amok once a year or so.” ...

The Last Angry Woman

By Tom Junod Life April 1991 “Are you safe?” is what she always asks the children. It is what she asks the exhausted little boy who has just driven nonstop with his mother from New Hampshire to Atlanta in a rattling VW bus; what she asks the hotel-bound boy whose last...

The Making of “The Godfather”—Sort of a Home Movie

By Nicholas Pileggi The New York Times Magazine August 15, 1971 As was his custom before the drive home from work with his son, the old man walked across the narrow, tenement‐lined street in Manhattan’s Little Italy to buy some fresh fruit. The grocer, who had known...

The Corpse as Big as the Ritz

By Ron Rosenbaum Esquire August 1973 Sergeant Forrest Hinderliter of the Gila Bend (Arizona) Police had been up since two in the morning with a dead body and a shaky story. He’d found the body—a black man with a bullet hole in his back—lying on the floor in Apartment...

Kiss ’n’ Kill

By Judith Rossner The Movies November 1983 Pornography, erotica, fantasies of beautiful women are probably as old as excess energy and leisure time. It was Hugh Hefner’s inspiration to bring them, on a large scale and slickly packaged, into the middle-class living...