A Son's Memoir of Love,
Redemption and the Mob

by James M. La Rossa Jr.

Preface

Each generation identifies with a small group of people who are said to have lived lives that exemplify the vices and virtues of that generation. If one were to choose a trial lawyer whose life reflected the unique characteristics of America’s “Wild West” of a criminal justice system in the latter half of the Twentieth Century, that person would likely be my father.

New York City of the 1960s until the turn of the 21st century was the world’s epicenter of organized and white color crime. For those decades, the most feared mafia chiefs, assassins, counterfeiters, Orthodox Jewish money launderers, defrocked politicians of every stripe, and Arab bankers arriving in the dead of night in their private jets, sought the counsel of one man: my father, Jimmy La Rossa.

Once a Kennedy-era prosecutor, Brooklyn-born Jimmy La Rossa became one of the greatest criminal trial lawyers of his day. He was the one man who knew where all of the bodies were buried and everyone knew it. It seemed incomprehensible that Jimmy would one day just disappear from New York. Forever.

After sneaking my dying father from New York Presbyterian Hospital to a waiting Medevac jet, the La Rossa Boys—as we became known—spent the next five years in a place where few would look for two diehard New Yorkers: a coastal town in the South Bay of Los Angeles, aptly named Manhattan Beach. While I cooked his favorite Italian dishes and kept him alive using the most advanced medical equipment and drugs, my father and I documented our notorious and cinematic life together as equal parts biography and memoir.

This is our story.

True North, A Son’s Memoir, will be available from Bancroft Press in hard cover in 2019.

Learn More About The Author

Sample Chapters

Sample Chapters
January 18, 2019

Introduction: A Fly on the Wall

In the beginning... Introduction A Fly On The Wall “If your eyes could speak, what would they say?” —Markus Zusak, The Book Thief There exists a recurring theme in books and…
Sample Chapters
January 18, 2019

Chapter 1 – Call Me Ishmael

CALL ME ISHMAEL “It is not down in any map; true places never are.” —Herman Melville, Moby Dick So. I have spent much of my life trying to tease out the…
Sample Chapters
January 18, 2019

Chapter 15 – The Cannabis Conundrum

CHAPTER 15 THE CANNABIS CONUNDRUM “Daddy can’t get no fine cigar But we know you’re smoking Wherever you are Daddy don’t live in that New York City No more” —…

Vignettes

Vignettes
January 18, 2019

Historical Events in True North, A Son’s Memoir

Historical Events “The event that day was still a secret to me, but if you haven’t recognized the date yet—August 9, 1974—my father wanted me to watch with my own…
Vignettes
January 18, 2019

Family/Loyalty in True North, A Son’s Memoir

En Route to Hong Kong Family/Loyalty “For almost five years, my father refused to die so that he could enjoy the dinners I would make for him. While we ate,…
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September 11, 2018

September 11: True North

September 11 in True North, A Son's Memoir In 1999, I built a new ten thousand-square-foot loft/office for MedWorks at Varick and Vandam Streets, giving me the perfect vantage point…

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