S701: The Real Donnie Brasco


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Johnny Depp played Donnie Brasco in the Academy Award-nominated film. But the real-life story of Donnie Brasco is even more fascinating. Joe Pistone, an FBI agent, went deep undercover as Brasco and spent six years inside the Bonanno and Columbo crime families.

The movie, if you remember, starts with Joe Pistone immediately infiltrating with the mob. In today's episode, we will talk about everything that happened before the movie even begins.

What was Donnie Brasco's backstory? Where did he come from, and how did he earn money? The FBI needed to figure out every single detail about this fictional character before Joe Pistone ever made the first contact with the mafia. They decided that Donnie Brasco was going to be a jewel thief. That required Pistone to learn how gemology, how to break into safes, and how to disable alarms.

In this episode, you will hear from Joe Pistone himself. You'll even get to listen to a real wiretap recording between Donnie Brasco and his associate Lefty Ruggiero.

If you want more, check out the new podcast "Deep Cover-The Real Donnie Brasco," Joe Pistone shares the true stories of his time with the mob to his friend and host actor Leo Rossi.

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