Ending his 10-year career as Lyndhurst Police Chief, Rick Porrello retired after serving for approx. 33 years in law enforcement. But if you think that retirement means less activity, you are wrong. Porrello is an author with plans for more books. He also dreams about drumming again soon.
His book ‘To Kill The Irishman’ was the source for the movie ‘Kill The Irishman.’ The cast included Ray Stevenson, Vincent D’Onofrio, Val Kilmer, Christopher Walken, Linda Cardellini, Fionnula Flanagan, Jason Butler Harner, Vinnie Jones, Paul Sorvino, and Marcus Thomas.
‘There’s More Bodies Out There’ is the story of Richard Edward Henkel and his team that included Edgewood police officer “Gary S. Small, who was suspected but never convicted of supplying guns to Henkel and other criminals.” On that officer, “Small lost his job as a police officer but avoided prison by taking his case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.” A quick online search will give you more materials and articles to read.
The research for Porrello’s book includes a ten month correspondence with Richard Edward Henkel himself. He is still incarcerated and now in his eighties. He will remain in a Pennsylvania prison for his part in a murder-for-insurance scheme.
Henkel once said he had killed twenty-eight people. “I thought, ‘Wow! If this is true, this guy is a major serial killer,’” Porrello said. I am just not sure that Henkel is a true serial killer. He kills when neededto cover crimes but not for thrill or pleasure or when reliving memories is not enough anymore. There’s no such urge. I just think of him as a professional murderer.
Henkel can be linked to many victims including wife JoAnna “Sasha” Scott who died in 1977 when a bomb exploded hidden in a package, Susan Dixon in 1978, and the woman to whom Porrello dedicated the book, Deborah Kelber Burge Gentile in 1979. However, as the title explains, there are many more victims. Henkel is not talking but he also not slowing down as you can read here.
In his book, Porrello describes the highs and lows in Richard Henkel’s life. It shows a cunning web of lies, plotting crimes, keeping people under your control, and when no longer needed, disposing of them. The crimes and plotting are described in more detail than the organizational aspects of the mafia. I had expected to read about that too.
The pace is good. Every part in the book starts with a list of characters. Despite those lists, it is easy to get lost in the twists and turns of Henkel’s crimes and those of his crew. There are no summaries in the book . For example, a chronological list of all his convictions, a timeline detailing when every victim died, etc. would give the reader a structure which I feel this book needs with such a vast cast of characters.
This article mentions where Porrello does most of his writing. It is in the coffee shop Versare on 12777 Chillicothe Road, Chesterland, Ohio. Look them up when you are around. You might find Porrello there working on another book.
Note: I received a promotional review copy of this book from the author. I have not seen the final version. My other book reviews are here.