LEFT COAST WRITERS FERRY PLAZA BOOK PARTY: Bill Palmini, Author of A Rookie Cop vs. the West Coast Mafia: Breaking Up the “Best in the West” Gang
He’s back and once again flipping back the tarp on local crime! We are so jazzed to be celebrating true crime writer and Bay Area ex-detective Bill Palmini’s latest book.
In this gripping, true crime exposé, Palmini, a rookie detective, hopes to take down the West Coast Mafia by gaining the confidence of notorious mob operative William Floyd Ettleman. Set against a backdrop of social turmoil, A Rookie Cop vs. The West Coast Mafia immerses readers in the subculture of free love, drugs, robbery and murder, orchestrated by organized crime in locations like the coastal enclave of Sausalito, California.
Artists, writers, musicians, actors and hippies took refuge there. The Trident Restaurant was once a drug Mecca for Hollywood, the music industry and the New York hip. It was co-owned by the Kingston Trio and their manager, Frank Werber, a self-proclaimed drug priest. Robin Williams worked as a busboy there, the Rolling Stones were regulars and Janis Joplin had her own table. Sally Stanford, the former San Francisco Madam who later became Sausalito’s mayor, was a confidant of the famous and infamous. Ettleman’s gang of safecrackers targets the Trident.
Other mobsters like San Diego’s Frank “The Bomp” Bompensiero, on whom Sopranoscharacter “Big Pussy” is thought to have been based, become involved. Palmini, utilizing Ettleman, joins the FBI and the Federal Strike Force on Organized Crime to penetrate the crime scene in Sausalito, loaded dice scams in Las Vegas and Reno, corruption in San Diego and stolen credit cards circulating as far away as Texas. Then he begins to break up one of the most notorious gangs on the West Coast.
William G. Palmini, Jr. is Chief of the Department of Public Safety at UC Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco. He has decades of experience in police work and is a recipient of the J. Stannard Baker Award for Highway Safety from the National Sheriffs’ Association and the 2010 National Elks’ Enrique Camarena Drug Awareness Award. His fame as the original Elvis Cop still follows him. His Elvis persona in police work earned him international media coverage and an honorary Gold Record Award from the Recording Industry Association of America.