Gus Pelagatti is a practicing trial lawyer with over 47 years of experience trying civil and criminal cases including homicide. He’s a member of the Million Dollar Advocate Forum, limited to attorneys who have been recognized as achieving a standard of excellence as a trial expert. He has spent years researching the true story of the 1938 insurance scam murders, interviewing judges, lawyers, police and neighbors involved in the trials.
Gus was born and raised within blocks of the main conspirator’s tailor shop and the homes of many of the wives convicted of murdering their husbands.
His latest book is The Wicked Wives.
You can visit Gus’ website at www.guspelagatti.com.
To get your paperback copy of THE WICKED WIVES by Gus Pelagatti:http://www.amazon.com/Wicked-Wives-novel-based-story/dp/1936780631/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1315865476&sr=1-1
To purchase an e-copy of THE WICKED WIVES for your Kindle for $2.99:http://www.amazon.com/The-Wicked-Wives-novel-ebook/dp/B005784LB4/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1315865476&sr=1-1
To purchase an e-copy of THE WICKED WIVES for your Nook for $3.99:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wicked-wives-gus-pelagatti/1013204282?ean=2940013218611
Follow Gus Pelagatti on Twitter: https://twitter.com/guspelagatti
Like Gus Pelagatti on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/guspelagattiauthor
Could you please tell us a little about your book?
The book describes the 1938 poison scandals that rocked Philadelphia. Seventeen wives were arrested for poisoning their husbands to death for insurance money. In addition the poison ring consisted of a gang of men who seduced lonely wives, had them insure their husbands and then taught them the art of poisoning without being caught.
The Wicked Wives is a story made for Hollywood, combining murder, corruption, treachery, love, lust and detail as it vividly depicts Deoression-era Philadelphia.
Who or what is the inspiration behind this book?
I was born in 1938 at a time when Philadelphia citizens learned of the infamous poison murder scandals. Giorgio DiSipio, the book’s mastermind conspirator, had a tailor shop and apartment located two blocks from my family’s home in South Philadelphia.
As I grew up, I would often eavesdrop on adult conversation concerning the evil and unfaithful wicked wives. When I was old enough my mother explained the scandals to me.
As an attorney I gathered factual and legal information about the 1938 poison scandals. Thereafter I interviewed judges, lawyers, police and neighbors who had a connection to the poison trials
Who has influenced you in your career as a writer?
Harold Robbins, author of many outstanding novels including The Carpetbaggers. He led the literary sexual revolution of the sixties with his uninhibited and descriptive style. Reviewers never recognized his genius; one N.Y. times reviewer said his book, the Carpetbaggers should be posted on a bathroom wall. Yet, The Carpetbaggers turned out to be the fourth most read book in history.
What are you currently working on?
The sequel to The Wicked Wives: a novel entitled Benito’s Gold. It’s the true story of the rise and fall of Benito Mussolini, his execution alongside his mistress and the millions in gold and cash stolen from him after his death.
Do you have any advice for writers or readers?
Never give up your literary objective! Keep on plugging relentlessly!
When I was an eight year old boy I overheard adults in my South Philadelphia neighborhood discussing 17 disenchanted and unfaithful neighborhood wives who murdered their husbands for insurance money, love and lust. This was a fascinating topic for an eight year old boy eavesdropping on adult conversation. The adults were discussing the true story of Philadelphia’s infamous 1938 murder scandals. My fascination led to obsession. I knew that I had to write about these wicked wives someday.
After I became a trial lawyer in 1964, I researched the poison murder cases in the law library and obtained newspaper accounts of the scandals dating back to October, 1938. Thereafter I conducted interviews with judges, lawyers, police, witnesses, sheriff deputies and neighbors who knew the defendants.
One of the chief conspirators was a tailor who seduced, then persuaded at least twelve wives to poison their husbands for insurance. The setting for his seductions was the couch in the rear of his tailor shop, located two blocks from our family home.
A fascinating conspiracy unfolded in these murder cases. The poison gang’s colorful and hilarious characters helped to deep-six a minimum of 20 husbands. The supporting cast includes Giorgio, “The Don Juan of Passyunk Avenue. ” Aside from scheming Lillian, “the society wife”, the wives include Rose, the “Kiss of Death Widow, ” Eva “the nymphomaniac” and the “hopelessly in love, ” Joanna.
After many comical episodes, intriguing detective work and two suspense filled high profile trials, 12 wives plead or are found guilty of murdering their husbands. Two male conspirators were executed in the electric chair.
“The Wicked Wives” gleefully explores the sins of lust and greed, and the disappointments that love often brings. The characters, although they commit murder and adultery, are extremely likable, and often amusing. Writing “The Wicked Wives” was a true labor of love.