Daniel Simone (born in New York City) is an American author who specializes in writing about sensational crimes in collaboration with one of the perpetrators or investigators of the actual event. He wrote two non-fiction books, The Lufthansa Heist, published by Lyons Press, and The Pierre Hotel Affair, published by Pegasus. He also authored The Retrial of Charles Manson, a manuscript that was adapted to a documentary series titled, Charles Manson: The Final Word.
Daniel Simone co-wrote The Lufthansa Heist with Henry Hill. Hill was one of the organizers of the infamous 1978 Lufthansa robbery at Kennedy Airport. Hill's life and criminal career is portrayed in Martin Scorsese's film Goodfellas. Simone also had the collaboration of the two FBI agents who led the investigation of the robbery. These two investigators declared their testimonials to Hill and Simone's account in the book's Foreword and Afterward, which were written by them. Additionally, Simone relied on numerous other sources such as the former US Attorney in charge of the Lufthansa case, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey officials, a former NYPD detective, and an ex Long Island Nassau County Assistant District Attorney. Simone interviewed several alleged Mafia gangsters who came forth with their knowledge related to the plotting of the Lufthansa robbery. Court records, too, were helpful to the author during the production of the manuscript. Refer to the Author's Notes and Sources in The Lufthansa Heist by Daniel Simone &Henry Hill.
In this book, Daniel Simone also describes a full account of the 1978 infamous Boston College Basketball Point Shaving Scheme engineered by Henry Hill. The fixing of the Boston Eagles games stands as one of the most widely known sports scandals in American History. Hill recruited three Eagles players to manipulate the scoring so that it would end over or under the point spread odds set by the Las Vegas bookmakers. Also refer to pages 76–86 in The Lufthansa Heist by Daniel Simone & Henry Hill.
The Lufthansa Heist is a dramatic rendition of the robbery, unveiling facts and comprehensive details that Henry Hill had not publicized in the past.
The book is written in the style of a novel with full character development and dialogues.
In early 2015, Simone and a collaborator, Heidi Jordan Ley, completed a manuscript about the Charles Manson murder convictions titled, The Retrial of Charles Manson. This is the first book, according to the author, endorsed and corroborated by Manson. Simone and his collaborator re-investigate and discredit the Helter Skelter theory put forth by Manson's prosecutor, Vincent Bugliosi, as the motivation of the Sharon Tate and her friends' murders. Furthermore, this version of the Charles Manson affair outlines Bugliosi's arrest for fabrication of evidence and perjury during the Manson trial. Among those charges he was also indicted for leaking non-public court documents to a reporter. Simone also discloses Bugliosi's other criminal misdeeds of personal nature and unrelated to the Manson prosecution, revelations that he, Simone, supports with substantial documentation.
The rights to the manuscript for a documentary series were acquired by Pyramid Productions. The documentary series titled Charles Manson: The Final Words, based on the manuscript by Daniel Simone and Heidi Ley, premiered on the REELZ Channel on December 6, 2017.
Simone recently completed a book, titled The Pierre Hotel Affair. It is published by Pegasus. This project is about the 1972 famed Pierre Hotel Robbery when eight armed robbers, with extraordinary politeness and civility, placed the entire complex under siege, captured its employees and anyone who happened to have been in the lobby area, and ransacked the guests' safe deposit boxes, escaping with $28,000,000 in jewels, cash, and bearer bonds. (Refer to The Man Who Robbed the Pierre by Ira Berkow). The sole surviving perpetrator, Nick 'the Cat' Sacco, who is currently in the Federal Witness Protection Program for an unrelated crime, has collaborating with Simone in developing the book, revealing never-before-told facts and revelations. This project has been optioned for film rights by Emmy award winner, Cayman Grant, and her company, Steel Titan Productions. (See also April 19, 2016 issue Page 12 of New York Post). (See additional citation in May 5, 2016 Page 34 issue of Dan's Papers).
Many of the victims, who refused to cooperate with the authorities, were of high-society stock. The Pierre Hotel, located in mid-Manhattan, is rated as one of the most luxurious in the world, hosting celebrities, affluent personages, and high ranking statesmen.
Furthermore, The Pierre Hotel Affair sets forth and reconstructs how fourteen months prior to the caper, two of the gunmen, Robert Comfort "Bobby Comfort " and Sammy 'the Arab' Nalo, held captive and robbed Italian actress Sophia Loren. Comfort and Nalo relieved her of approximately $520,000 in jewelry. (Refer to New York Magazine April 30, 1973 issue page 46).
In the end, much to the frustration of the investigators, the stolen items from the Loren and the Pierre robberies were never recovered.
Simone has published approximately 130 feature stories in several print publications. In 2009, he created Between the Lines, a monthly column published in LI Pulse magazine, a print publication with a certified circulation of 100,000. In the Between the Lines series, Simone presents his interviews with celebrity authors and his reviews of their latest titles.
A reviewer coined Simone's writing technique, The Simoneon Writing Mode. He specializes in the narrative non-fiction genre, a stylistic fashion of crafting a true story in the form of a novel, coloring the theme with character dialogues, and vivid scenes dramatized with action and suspense. These elements enliven a story, heightening the intrigue and entertainment of the readers. Simone wrote The Lufthansa Heist in the narrative non-fiction concept, which was created by Truman Capote when he penned his magnum Opus, In Cold Blood. Capote originally categorized this genre as Fictionalized Journalism, though over the years the literary contingent officially termed it Narrative Non-Fiction. A sample of other titles written in this genre are: Argo, Seabiscuit, Apollo 13, Goodfellas, and The Perfect Storm, which is based on the 1997 book with the same title by Sebastian Junger.
Simone is also a ghostwriter. A ghostwriter typically writes a literary piece but is not credited as its author, thus contractually obligated to remain the secret writer of the work. In 2007, Simone has written the autobiographies of two A-List female actors.
From time to time, Simone has been on television programs discussing his current literary projects or as a highlight commentator in documentaries of renowned crimes and reputed gangsters. In 2012, Simone appeared in a documentary series produced and broadcast by the Biography Channel, titled Mobsters, wherein he contributed particulars about the felonious life of Jimmy 'the Gent' Burke and his masterminding of the Lufthansa robbery. In 2015, he was cast in an indie film, titled The Blue Line. He played the part of a professional gambler, Al Visconti, who was secretly gambling on behalf of the New York Lucchese Crime Family. On May 21, 2017, the REELZ Channel launched a documentary series titled, The Shocking Truth, and Daniel Simone appeared in the first episode titled, Goodfellas. (Refer to REELZ TV Schedule) He is often interviewed on nationally syndicated radio talk shows, discussing a variety of topics surrounding famous capers, Mafia personalities, and their impact on society. He also delves into the questionable effectiveness of the judicial system pertaining to Mafia associates. On February 21, 2016 and May 28, 2017, Mr. Simone has been a guest on journalist George Knapp's syndicated Coast to Coast radio show.
In his earlier years, Simone received a degree in Aerospace and Aerodynamics engineering from Farmingdale State University in Long Island, N.Y.
In 1972, Simone was employed at Grumman Aerospace Industries and contributed to the assembly of the later versions of the Apollo lunar modules that landed on the moon surface. He operated an Electron Beam Welding machine, which was then an innovative method of fusing two metals with dissimilar properties. This system uses a beam of high-velocity electrons to weld alloys of high strength and melting points, such as titanium and molybdenum, materials that comprised the framework of the lunar modules.
In 1994, Simone developed commercial land in Fort Myers, Florida. One such endeavor was an efficiency motel.