a conversation with Albert Demeo      


Bold Type: When you think of your father now, which descriptive words come to mind?

AD: I would describe my father as complex and deep.

BT: Roy DeMeo certainly took care of those close to him. Would you say he was a good man or is that too broad a question?

AD: My father always took care of those closest to him. He was especially good to his family.

BT: Have you often thought about how he'd feel about the man you've become?

AD: He wanted his family to survive and thrive. I think he would be proud that I made it through the rough times.

BT: It sometimes seemed that you father was trying to discourage you from going into his line of work while at the same time telling you how to operate in his world (i.e. two in the head, always look at the shoes). Was there a part of him that wanted to see you follow in his footsteps?

AD: This question is asked a lot of me. I think early on, he may have wanted me to be involved in some way. But later on, when he realized it was a dead end, he absolutely positively did not discus this as an option for me.

BT: Many of us have grown-up watching gangster films and idolizing the characters. How do you feel about the enormous popularity of programs like the Sopranos or movies like Goodfellas? Are they at all accurate?

AD: I feel these shows and movies are popular with people because these men make and live by their own rules and many people like to fantasize about this. I feel the Sopranos is very accurate because it portrays all aspects of that life. It is so accurate sometimes that I have to shut it off because it opens up old wounds and hits so close to home.

BT: In your book you speak of several cases in which law enforcement was very cruel to you and your family after your father's death. How do you feel about American law enforcement now?

AD: At that time it was obvious that the powers that be used these trials as a stepping stone to higher office and they didn't care how they accomplished that end. I don't have any dislike for American law enforcement. I love my country and consider myself a patriotic American.

BT: While trying to arrange your father's burial, you had many bad dealings with the Catholic Church yet there is a dedication in your book that reads, "To my father, may he find redemption." Have you remained a religious man? Are you a Catholic?

AD: I am religious in that I believe in a higher power. I don't think you have to go to a particular place to get in contact with God. I think my dealings back then with the hypocrisy that was the Catholic Church pales by comparison to what has come out in recent years.

BT: Both the mob and the police had harassed you for quite a while. Do you now feel safe from both of them?

AD: That was a turbulent time, the mob felt I had information that could help them and the government felt the same way. I never had any information that could help either. If I did I would have chose not to help either. Yes, I do feel safe from both of them.

BT: Has writing this book been therapeutic for you?

AD: Writing this book was like one long therapy session. It was extremely cathartic in that I don't worry about what people will write or say anymore because it's all out there. I feel now that I have power over what is said.

BT: Ideally, how would you like for people to feel about your father after they've read your book?

AD: That's a very hard question, because I believe you must walk a mile in a man's shoes before you can judge him. By this I mean that the world my father lived in is very hard to explain. So I don't expect people to understand. Even in writing the book I knew that the only point I could get across was that he was a good father and he took care of his family by knowingly going to his death rather than dragging his family down with him. In other areas people can judge him however they want, I can't change that.

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    Photo courtesy of Albert Demeo