An incredible four-decade account of murder, power, and corruption in one of the country’s largest police departments
In 1979, the gruesome slaying of a thirteen-year-old boy riveted the suburbs of Suffolk County, New York. As the county hustled to bring the case to a dubious resolution, a wayward local teenager emerged with a convenient story to tell. For his cooperation, James Burke was rewarded with a job as a cop.
Thus began Burke’s unlikely ascent to the top of one of the country’s largest law enforcement jurisdictions. He and a crew of likeminded allies utilized vengeance, gangster tactics, and political leverage to become the most powerful and feared figures in their suburban empire. In his quest to maintain that power, Burke botched — intentionally or not — dire investigations like that of the famed Gilgo Beach serial killings and the county's MS-13 gang scourge.
Until a pilfered bag of sex toys brought it all crashing down.
Jimmy the King is the story of the rise, reign, and paranoiac fall of a corrupt cop and his regime—a crime family with badges and guaranteed pensions. Novelistic in detail and piercing in its political insight, this book will leave you questioning who modern policing serves, who it protects, and who it preys upon and abandons.
Gus Garcia-Roberts is a sports-focused investigative reporter for The Washington Post. He previously worked on investigative teams for Newsday, the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He was a member of the Newsday team that was a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for its series on hidden police misconduct on the eastern end of Long Island. He is the co-author of Blood Sport: Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis, and the Quest to End Baseball's Steroid Era. He lives in Los Angeles.