“Donna Gentile was a working prostitute in the City of San Diego, California. As a former SDPD officer and Vice Detective myself, I am all too familiar with the sex-for-money business in my home town. I am also very familiar with how The San Diego Police Department had a habit of throwing fine officers under the bus for simply not being what we used to call “fair-haired boys”.
Such was the case with the author, Larry Avrech. This gritty tale of how the San Diego Police Department conducted and egregiously mishandled Internal Affairs investigations revolves around the victim of a gruesome homicide that had many in the department pointing fingers at each other.
Gentile had a way of dragging officers into her world in an effort to benefit herself. She had a habit of attaching herself to several officers and supervisors, participating in off-duty activities that normally would be cause for termination of those officers involved. She gamed the system to the max. Avrech had the misfortune of crossing paths with her. When he became aware of serious breaches of policy, ethics and just plain common sense — all of which are germane to being an honorable police officer — he made the mistake of assuming the department would back him as he pointed out the more serious of these offenses. Instead, he was hounded, threatened and ultimately terminated for his efforts; guilty only of not being a “fair-haired boy”.
Avrech subsequently became a successful private investigator, as did many former officers — myself included — who had treadmarks on our backs, and ultimately linked several serial murders together helping close several cases including that of Donna Gentile.
“Who Killed Donna Gentile?” is a well-written and excellently documented procedural that provides an honest look into the world of a police department operating at times on the wrong side of common decency. I highly recommend it.”
Joe Coyle Former SDPD officer and Vice Detective retired sergeant, National City Police DepartmentRead More Testimonials
I look at the cover and it makes me think Donna has been waiting for the truth to come out and her murderer exposed. With this book, it looks like she’s about to get her wish.
Jeffery K. Bambara FLRead More Testimonials
The last great police corruption book, Serpico. This is the west coast version. The death of a street worker leads to corruption, coverup and the attempt to ruin a good officer’s life. A great read and yes, the truth San Diego doesn’t want you the taxpayer to know. The author, Larry Avrech is the wrongfully accused officer. In the style of Joseph Wambaugh, Larry takes you back into time and into each tense situation.
Ron Carpenter Retired Air Traffic ControllerRead More Testimonials
When I first met Larry Avrech in the summer of 1985, he had been fired from SDPD due in part to testimony of a prostitute. When her body was discovered in East San Diego County, media speculation projected him as a suspect in her death, even when other prostitutes’ bodies were dropped in East San Diego County. Avrech steadfastly maintained his innocence, while losing his job and his wife. As the cloud of suspicion hung over his head, Avrech quietly went to work to exonerate himself while exposing police corruption in sunny San Diego’s police department. This book is Avrech’s vindication.
J. Stryker Meyer Police Reporter/Editor/AuthoRead More Testimonials