Possible Human Remains Unearthed at Former Home of "Goodfellas" Mobster

Investigators have been digging at the former home of Jimmy Burke

By Shimon Prokupecz
|  Friday, Aug 23, 2013  |  Updated 9:30 AM PDT
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FBI, NYPD Search Queens Home in Mob Probe

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FBI, NYPD Search Queens Home in Mob Probe

Law enforcement sources say the body of a murder victim might be inside an Ozone Park home owned by the family of a deceased mobster. Greg Cergol reports.
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Possible human remains have been found by FBI and NYPD organized crime investigators digging at the home of a former mobster who inspired Robert DeNiro's character in the movie "Goodfellas."

Law enforcement officials told NBC 4 New York Wednesday that the potential bones were found buried in the ground, along with other evidence now being sent for testing. 

Jimmy Burke, the late Lucchese family crime associate, allegedly masterminded a nearly $6 million robbery at Kennedy Airport in 1978 — one of the largest cash thefts in American history, known as the Lufthansa heist.

The Burke family still owns the home, now rented to an elderly couple. Investigators began digging at the home on Monday.

Burke specialized in hijacking, but according to law enforcement officials, he also was linked to crimes including loan sharking, extortion, gambling and drug trafficking.

The mobster was arrested in 1982 for a parole violation — associating with a known felon — and was sentenced to 12 years in prison for his part in a point-shaving scandal involving the Boston College basketball team. While in prison, he was indicted for the murder of a drug dealer whose body was found hogtied in a freezer truck in Brooklyn. He was sentenced to 20 years to life for second-degree murder.

He died behind bars in 1996, at age 64, almost two decades after the airport robbery. The cash from the heist was never found and for lack of evidence, Burke was never prosecuted for the theft or for the bloodletting that followed: several of the alleged participants were murdered.

Burke's wife continued to live in the house for some years after his death.

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