Responding to Ann W. O'Neill's story in today's (6/20/97) paper about the Bugsy Siegel murder:
Back in 1974, I lived in the Oak Park neighborhood of Agoura Hills and knew Eddie Cannizzaro. He was, indeed, known as the "cat man," because every evening at six, he would go to a particular corner and feed all the felines in the area. He was also known to have been "connected," but he claimed that he was a mere bookkeeper.
My first book had just been published, which made me somewhat of a neighborhood celebrity.
One day, Eddie stopped by my house and asked if I would like to write a book with him about his experiences in the Mob. Initially, I wasn't very interested because, after the success of The Godfather two years earlier, there had been dozens of books/movies about the Mafia, and I felt that the subject had, for the time being, been pretty well played out.
"What if the book contained some sensational revelations?" Eddie asked.
"That I'm the guy who pulled the trigger on Bugsy Siegel."
After I'd recovered from my surprise, Eddie proceeded to sketch out the details of the assassination.
"Do you really want to do this?" I asked him.
"Because there's no statute of limitations on murder."
"Maybe I'd better think that over," he said, heading for the door. Then, he turned back to me and said, "You're not going to say anything about this, are you?"
I assured him that my lips were sealed and he left. We never spoke of the subject again. Neither did he...until he was on his deathbed.