Former Davis resident Tanya Chalupa returns to town with her latest book, “A Rookie Cop Vs. The West Coast Mafia.” A book-signing is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 18, at The Avid Reader, 617 Second St.
Chalupa co-authored the nonfiction work with William G. Palmini Jr. The book shows how the Mafia in the West fell, using the case of former Sausalito Detective Bill Palmini.
The account begins as Palmini — then the youngest detective in Marin County — develops an association with organized crime operatives following a series of local crimes. The rookie cop reels in a mastermind thief and hit man, William Floyd Ettleman, who is also closely aligned with Colorado boss Scotty Spinuzzi.
Palmini gained Ettleman’s trust and together they exposed a leak from the San Diego District Attorney’s Office to the fearsome San Diego mob boss, Frank “The Bomp” Bompensiero, thought to be the basis for “The Sopranos” character “Big Pussy.”
The book also is filled with never-before-told accounts of Las Vegas scams and Spinuzzi’s attempt to take over Las Vegas casinos with the Kansas City family and California mobsters.
Palmini is chief of the Department of Public Safety at Hastings College of Law in San Francisco. Chalupa now lives in the Washington, D.C., area.