Ex-Prisoner Remembers James Gandolfini’s Support in His Case

Ex-Prisoner Remembers James Gandolfini's Support in His Case

Actor James Gandolfini who is famously known for his mob boss role in the Sopranos has died on Tuesday; he will always be remembered for his consummate acting chops. Marty Tankleff from Long Island, New York who was wrongfully convicted; however, the “Sopranos” star left an entirely different kind of legacy.

Many years after Marty Tankleff, who was a teenager at the time, was convicted of killing his parents in 1988, James Gandolfini who became a quiet supporter of Marty Tankleff, as he fought for over twenty years to overturn the double-murder charge, according to the New York Daily News (www.nydailynews.com) reports.

“Jim was loyal, it was not like he did it for the publicity,” said Tankleff, who is now forty-one years of age.

Gandolfini heard of the case through a former NYPD (New York Police Department) detective, Jay Salpeter, while researching a role for the 2006 movie “Lonely Hearts.” James Gandolfini met Marty Tankleff soon afterward, driving many hours to upstate New York to meet him at Great Meadow Correctional Facility.

At Great Meadow Correctional Facility, Gandolfini spent several hours speaking with Tankleff and showed up to support him in a Brooklyn, New York courtroom a couple months later. While Gandolfini declined to do media interviews, Lonnie Soury, the Public Relation executive who led the campaign to free Mary Tankleff, told the media that James Gandolfini’s presence delivered an unspoken and powerful message.

During December 2007, Marty Tankleff’s sentence was overturned by an appeals court. According to several news reports, Mr. Tankleff is now a paralegal working toward his law degree.

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