The Lufthansa Heist, which occurred in 1978 at New York City’s John F. Kennedy Airport, is a fascinating and daring heist. It has fascinated both true-crime buffs and average people as one of the most renowned heists ever. About $5 million in cash and about $1 million in jewelry were taken in a raid on the Lufthansa cargo facility orchestrated by members of the Lucchese crime family.
Because of its complexity, links to organized crime, and dramatic aftermath, the Lufthansa Heist would make a great book topic. With military precision, the robbery was carried out, with key employees manipulating security systems, turning off alarms, and eliminating any witnesses. While it was expertly carried out, the perpetrators quickly became enmeshed in a web of betrayal and violence, with many victims meeting mysterious and often violent ends.
The Lufthansa Heist is also emblematic of the 1970s as the heyday of organized crime in New York City. The brazenness of the robbery and its ties to criminal organizations brought to light the difficulties law enforcement has in their fight against organized crime.
A detailed account of the Lufthansa Heist’s preparation, execution, and detection can be found in a book on the subject. The lives of the people involved, the competition among the criminal underground, and the dogged pursuit of justice by law enforcement are all explored. Drama, suspense, and a cast of individuals that reveal New York City’s seedier side during a watershed era make for an exciting read.