Why did you wait 30 years to write this book?
I started to write this book at least 3 times. The reason I stopped each
time was because it was a clear indictment of the NYPD, an organization that I love. You know, some people say that they would
take a bullet for something they love, but how many actually have? You see where I'm going with this.
are at least two generations of police officers who have come on the job since the incident and they, along with all of the
organizations, have continually asked what happened on that day. I finally decided to go for it when Phil Cardillo's wife
Joy asked me if there would ever be justice for her husband. Together with my co-author and friend Rob Cea, we decided to
set the record straight. Not for us, but for Joy and the rest of the Cardillo family.
In your opinion, how does the NYPD of today compare with the NYPD of 1972?
The police are better educated, better trained, have better equipment, and most importantly
have the support of the people of New York City. Unfortunately, this was not the case during my tenure. In fact, the most
popular word for us at the time was 'pigs'.
Why do you think this case still remains at the forefront for so many cops?
Because they refuse to forget what happened, or didn't happen, for Patrolman Cardillo.
Nowadays, when a cop dies in the line of duty, a common phrase is 'let us not remember how he died but how he lived his
life'. Unfortunately, Phil was never given that honor.
Why are cops so quick to refer to each other as being part of a brotherhood?
One word: Camaraderie - Our responsibility to the public, the daily dangers we face knowing
that we only have each other to count on, and the love we have for the job. I have heard people say that there are no atheists
in foxholes. Well, in Korea, I was in a foxhole and I was not relying on God to get me back to my family, but instead the
solider right next to me. Same thing with cops.
What is the relationship today of Harlem's Mosque #7 to the NYPD?
There is mutual respect for each other and a better understanding on both sides.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything about the way you conducted your investigation into the death
of Phil Cardillo?
Yes. I should have totally ignored the standing orders and went back
to the Mosque when I got the case. That is where I needed to be despite what any superior officer told me. The answers to
all the questions that plague the Cardillo family to this day rested within the walls of Mosque #7.
What do you want the reader to come away with after reading Circle of Six?
Awareness. I would hope that after reading this book, the audience understands that even in
the greatest city in the world, in the greatest country in the world, corruption exists and this DID happen to Phil and continues
to happen to his family. The way in which this case was handled and hampered can never happen again. Whether someone steals
a purse in the smallest town in Utah or there is a plot to bomb a skyscraper in a city like New York, only an unhampered investigation
will lead to justice. Phil will never be forgotten.
Do you plan on writing any other books in the future?
Yes. I have already started. The book takes place in the same era. It's a mishmash of cases
that occurred in the Times Square area before the current administration cleaned it up. At the forefront of the working titles
is 'The Deuce'.
Have there been any film offers?
Well, I don't know if you would consider them offers or just serious discussions. Either
way, nothing has been signed and nothing is binding. At this point, I'm not at liberty to give any more details.