Jerry Schmetterer, author of The Coffey Files, Crooked Brooklyn, Behind the Murder Curtain and other true crime books, passed away at his Manhattan home Monday, May 24, 2021, after a battle with cancer. His wife of forty-five years Emily and their son David were at his side. He was seventy-seven.
Schmetterer was an award-winning print and broadcast journalist and past-president of the New York Press Club (1984). He worked for twenty-three years with the New York Daily News, serving in reporter, bureau chief, assistant city editor and metropolitan editor roles. He also served as managing editor for the CNN news network and for WPIX-TV in New York. He was spokesman for the Kings County, New York, District Attorney's Office for twelve years.
In his days with the Daily News,, Schmetterer covered crime boss Joseph Colombo's protests against federal law enforcement, the Son of Sam case, the New York Guardian Angels group, the murder of John Lennon and many other important news items.
|Daily News, March 23, 1971.|
|Daily News, May 1982|
The New York Press Club tweeted on Tuesday morning, May 25: "The @NYPressClub mourns the passing of longtime member, past president and current trustee Jerry Schmetterer. Jerry was a journalist, author and former spokesman for the #Brooklyn DA's office. He was a good man who knew how to tell a good story. Our condolences to Jerry's family."
A New York Daily News obituary by Larry McShane was published early Tuesday afternoon. The Daily News stated that Bronx-born Schmetterer reported on the French Connection case and the 1993 terror attack on the World Trade Center and other matters.
Ex-journalist and public relations counselor Edward Hershey posted on Schmetterer's Facebook profile late Monday night: "Deepest condolences to Jerry Schmetterer's family and friends. He was one of the very good guys."
Schmetterer and Jay Bildstein coauthored The King of Clubs: The Story of Scores, the Famed Topless Club and the Lurid Life Behind the Glitter, released in 1996 (Barricade Books). The book explored the challenges of Bildstein's climb to success in the sex industry despite government restrictions and the hazards of the AIDS era.
'He was a good man
who knew how to tell a good story.'
The Coffey Files: One Cop's War Against the Mob, coauthored by Schmetterer and Joseph Coffey (1938-2015), former head of the NYPD organized-crime squad, was released in 1992 (St. Martin Press). The book recounted the highlights of Coffey's exciting career, which included arresting John Gotti, interviewing Son of Sam killer David Berkowitz and assisting on the Commission Case.
The 2009 release (iUniverse), E-Man: Life in the NYPD Emergency Service Unit, coauthored by Schmetterer and retired detective Al Sheppard, recalled events in Sheppard's career on the special unit called in when police officers were in need of help.Crooked Brooklyn: Taking Down Corrupt Judges, Dirty Politicians, Killers and Body Snatchers, released in 2015 (Thomas Dunne Books), Schmetterer worked with Michael Vecchione, former chief of the Brooklyn DA's Rackets Division, to present Vecchione's career battling organized crime and corruption.
In 2018 (Post Hill Press), Schmetterer teamed once again with Vecchione, and Special Agent Bruce Sackman, to author Behind the Murder Curtain, which revealed Sackman's efforts to expose and put behind bars "medical serial killers" - trusted doctors and nurses who murdered their patients.