The Big Heist is a Canadian-American TV movie which first aired in 2001, on the A&E Television Networks.


Based on the 1986 book The Heist: How a Gang Stole $8,000,000 at Kennedy Airport and Lived to Regret It the film tells the story about the 1978 Lufthansa Heist.


Historical context

Although the movie correctly depicts the Lufthansa Heist, showing Jimmy Burke as the leader of a crew linked to Paulie Vario, the crew wasn't part of the Gambino Crime Family as depicted, but rather was a large part of the Lucchese Crime Family, and the robbery brought a large quantity of funding for Tony Corallo.

Although Burke did have connections with John Gotti, Gotti was never involved with the Lufthansa Heist nor did he want to be a part of it. According to a rumour, on an FBI wire tap from the 1980s years after the original heist, Gotti was heard to say to underboss and his capo Aniello Dellacroce:

"I didn't want any part of that shit that Burke and those other fucks pulled. Only micks would do something crazy like this. Micks are fucking crazy; end of fucking statement".

It was also alleged by Hill, in Hill's book The Lufthansa Heist that John Gotti personally killed Tommy DeSimone, a member of the actual stick-up crew.

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