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Henry Hill

Henry Hill Mugshot

The arrest of Henry Hill:

He was a hood from Brooklyn who's well-known because he told his life story to writer Nicholas Pileggi, who documented it in the book "Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family". That book was later was turned into the hit movie "Goodfellas", when Henry Hill was portrayed by Ray Liotta.

Henry Hill with Ray Liota

Henry was one of eight children growing up in the poor Brownsville section of East New York and admired the local wise guys hanging out in the neighborhood. He started running errands for the gang members and eventually entered the fold. But because his father was Irish, Henry could never be a "made" member, despite his mother's Sicilian heritage.

Henry's first arrest took place when he was only 16, when he tried to use a stolen credit card to buy snow tires. But he started making money in the early 1960's after a three year Army hitch. As portrayed in the movies, Henry was really laughing it up.

By April 1980, Henry was arrested for narcotics trafficking and became convinced some of his mob friends wanted to rub him out.

Henry Hill

So he became an FBI informant and testified against them, leading to 50 convictions and a spot in the witness protection program, and he was moved to various parts of the country, far from New York City.

Henry was arrested again in 1987 on a narcotics charged and he and his wife Karen divorced after 25 years.

Henry Hill with his wife, Karen

They were also tossed out of the Witness Protection Program because of his numerous crimes while he was covered by it.

Not shy about revealing his identity, he made several media appearances, including the April 2011 "Mob Week" on the AMC cable channel, in which he and other former mobsters talked about "The Godfather", "Goodfellas" and other gangster flicks.

Goodfellas movie poster

Hill was also interviewed on Howard Stern's radio show and by Charlie Rose on "60 Minutes."

On June 12, 2012, a day after turning 69, Henry Hill died in a Los Angeles hospital, of heart disease. He was cremated a day later.

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