At one point during testimony, Judge Burton Roberts interrupted Surretsky asking: “if you (Surretsky) felt it would do you some good, you’d lie to the jury, wouldn’t you?’

Surretsky replied, ‘I’m thinking about it your honor.’

Judge: ‘You bilked your partner, Desterdik, out of $258,000 and killed him. You hit people over the head with baseball bats …….. and made films with sexual motifs and homosexual acts. You appeared in one film urinating on a young lady.

‘Now, I ask you, sir, ….. would you lie to the jury?’

Bobby_Surretsky 2001

‘Possibly.” Surretsky replied. 

Bobby Surretsky, an adult bookstore owner, hustler,

and petty punk from his early childhood, is a legend in the rouge’s galley of NYC crime.

Recently deceased (Dec. 2011), Surretsky, to the end, ran scams on people  as witnessed by the post on the internet under his name. “He’s a crook” read the complaints of people hoodwinked by him. Proud of his accomplishments, calling himself “Slugger”, Surretsky was in the process of publishing a self aggrandizing book of his life in crime before he died.

Some life it was!

I pick up his story in my book, along with Eddie Mishkin, Eddy “Dolls” and other key players in the porn culture of crime and outlaw activities in the Seventies in NYC. Bobby Surretsky’s involvement in murders, double crosses and shady deals reads like an unbelievable fictional tale – except it is true crime at its grittiest, most bizarre and more gruesome than imaginable.

NYPD forensic photo of murder victim Robert Newmark

Surretsky was involved in several murders during the 70’s; one plot was carried out by some of his confederates. The murder case stumped police for years – essentially going cold. That is until Bobby started bragged to the two cops about his involvement in the murder of an aspirant NY assemblyman. Two vice detectives, who tricked him into thinking they were in his pocket, used as a ruse their friendship to prosicute him on obscenity charges. They got more than they bargained for by solving the cold case murder. The killing of aspirant NY assemblyman Robert Newmark involved so many feckless people, one wonders how it went undetected for so long. A cadre of conspirators involving Surretsky, Eddy Dolls, and half a dozen other people, stump the laws of logic. The conspiracy went on for a couple of years before Newmark was finally slain. It did happen, but not at all the way it was planned.  The fact the admitted triggerman walked free is an indictment of the so- called justice system.

In the last of his days on earth, Surretsky referred to himself as “David of Christ”, not because of any remorse or spiritual beliefs, but because he considered religion, like porn, to be a very good business.

A dangerous journey through the heady years of the 1970’s when porn was illegal and a loadstone for gangsters and profiteers attracted by the easy cash from popular 8- mm smut loops.

 Possibly one of the most influential sociological changes since the industrial revolution, the advent of   watching hardcore sex films in public places, stripped away much of the quasi-moral vestiges of the ninetieth century Victorian era. It was a time when mores, morals and modesty changed inexorably. Porn was not the only sociological shift; it was happening in the arts, politics and society in general. Whether pornography was a catalyst or a by-product of this change is difficult to cleave, but for certain it played a big part in challenges for first amendment rights.    

Literally at fox hole, basement level, I witness the paradigm shift from titillation to penetration in motion pictures. I paralleled the legal adjustments, while making films, and watched as the public demanded the ability to watch what they wanted. It was an important slice of American culture, witnessing  implications of the past and the impact to the future. 

Available @

~ by Larry Revene on December 27, 2012.

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