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Jimmy 'The Gent' Burke
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Outlaw
    (July 5, 1931-April 13, 1996)
    Irish American gangster
    Member of the Lucchese crime family
    Masterminded America's biggest heist
    Stole eight million dollars in goods and cash from Lufthansa Air Cargo Terminal at Kennedy Airport in Queens (December 11, 1978)
    Was arrested after being turned in by mobster (turned informant) Henry Hill (1980)
    Was the basis for Jimmy 'The Gent' Conway in the film 'Good Fellas'
    He was never officially convicted of the Lufthansa heist and none of the cash was ever recovered.
    He was described as being 'a man with fists like hammers' and 'a temper to match a raging bull.'
    He carried out his biggest heist within 2 months of an early conditional release for extortion.
    He first entered prison at 18 for forgery.
    He was a habitual criminal by twenty-two.
    He genuinely loved to steal and became a specialist in hijacking.
    By 1978 he had built up a record of thirty arrests, ten convictions and five prison terms.
    He masterminded $5 million in goods and cash stolen in his first 10 months running the Queens airport district for the Lucchese crime family.
    Following the heist thirteen people connected to the crime were murdered or disappeared.
    He was was nicknamed 'Jimmy the Gent' for his habit of giving the drivers of trucks he hijacked a $50 bill as a panacea for their inconvenience.
    He sold Dante Barzottini, the business manager of Frank Sinatra over $50,000 in airline tickets.
    He died of cancer in prison.
    He was betrayed by his best friend.
    He was delighted to be portrayed by Robert De Niro in the film 'Good Fellas.'
    He was a big tipper.
    He was described as being 'classy' and 'polite.'
    He grew up in a bad neighborhood with little future outside of crime.

Credit: Fandango


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