Henry Hill, the infamous mafia turncoat who spent the last three decades in hiding, died a natural death yesterday, a day after his 69th birthday. He died after fighting a long battle with an undisclosed condition.
Hill hit public attention after the publication of his book about his life story called "Wiseguy," written by crime reporter Nicholas Pileggi which later became the hit Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas.
According to TMZ, “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,” Lisa Caserta, Hill’s girlfriend said.
He became involved with the mob at age 12 and took his first arrest at age 16. In 1978, at 35, he participated in the Lufthansa heist at Kennedy Airport. It earned Hill and his conspirators over $5 million.
His co-conspirator, Jimmy Burke, killed half the people involved in the robbery for their share of the loot and to prevent them from 'ratting.' The bodies of more than 12 suspects were discovered in different locations.
After the Luftansa heist and a subsequent drug arrest, Hill became an FBI informant and testified against his former wise-guy family, and was placed in the Witness Protection Program with his wife, Karen.
In the years after the events depicted in Goodfellas, Hill would battle drug, alcohol and legal problems. He was arrested in Missouri in 2009 for drunken disturbance.
Even though he was the perpetrator of numerous transgressions, it’s always a shame to lose a life. We pray for Hill and his family.