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Basis for Movie ‘GoodFellas,’ Henry Hill, Dies
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The former mobster turned FBI informant, Henry Hill, has passed away at the age of 69 in a Los Angeles hospital. Hill was the basis for the book ‘Wise Guy’ by Nicholas Pileggi and the movie ‘Goodfellas.’ Hill was played by actor Ray Liotta in the movie, which was released in 1990 and was a project of Martin Scorsese. Hill died on Tuesday of a heart attack that he suffered towards the end of May.

“He had a heart attack around the 27th of May, and he went into the hospital and it was really touch-and-go for a long time,” said Hill’s longtime girlfriend, Lisa Caserta.


Hill was born in Brooklyn in 1943 and became involved with the mafia by the age of 12. Hill was arrested for the first time by the age of 16. When he was 35 he took part in the 1978 Lufthansa heist at Kennedy Airport. At the time, it was the most expensive robbery in the history of the United States. Hill and his conspirators in the heist made over $5 million from the heist. Following the heist and a drug arrest, Hill flipped and became an FBI informant. He wound up testifying against many of his former gangster pals. He and his wife Karen were entered into the Witness Protection Program.

“I get to live the rest of my life like a shnook,” Hill said towards the end of the book.

Hill battled drug, alcohol and legal problems most of his life after ‘Goodfellas’ came out in theaters. Hill was arrested in 2009 in Missouri for drunken disturbance.

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“He tried so hard to redeem himself,” Caserta said. “He felt bad about that.”

Hill always said that he never murdered anyone and also said that Pileggi and Scorsese hit the nail on the head with the details of his life inside the mafia.

“He always said it was 99.9 percent accurate.”



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