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Movie Detail Monday: ‘Goodfellas’ and the Crooked Cop Cameo

Goodfellas Louis Eppolito
Goodfellas Louis Eppolito

Enough has been written about “Goodfellas” both on this site and across the internet that I don’t have to spill a bunch of ink telling people how great the movie is to people who already know it’s among the greatest movies ever made. So I’ll narrow the narrative down for this Movie Detail Monday post and focus on just one character: Fat Andy.

You may not be familiar with the character of Fat Andy and for good reason–he only makes a brief appearance during the (other) famous “Goodfellas” long take in which director Martin Scorsese introduces the audience to the gangster crew.

You also may not be familiar with the actor who plays Fat Andy, also for good reason–he isn’t an actor at all but instead a real-life cop named Louis Eppolito.

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Now, if the name Louis Eppolito happens to ring a bell, that’s because Eppolito and his former partner, Stephen Caracappa, have a rather infamous nickname: the “Mafia Cops.”

In 2006, ex-NYPD detectives Eppolito and Caracappa were convicted of taking payoffs from acting Lucchese crime boss Anthony “Gaspipe” Casso to carry out numerous murders. The crooked cops allegedly carried out a total of eight homicides, including one tragic case in which an innocent Nicholas Guido was killed on Christmas Day in 1986 in what turned out to be a case of mistaken identity.

The year 1986 is exceptionally notable since “Goodfellas” was released in 1990, meaning Eppolito was ACTIVELY involved in murdering people at the time of his cameo in the film. We always applaud Scorsese for the incredible authenticity featured throughout his films, but this scenario is simply beyond the pale.

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For his part, Eppolito died in federal prison in 2019 while serving a life sentence for his crimes.