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Stephen Baldwin in "One Tough Cop"

'One Tough Cop'

Movie tells tale of NYC's 'most heinous crime'

Web posted on: Wednesday, October 21, 1998 3:28:57 PM EDT

From Correspondent Cynthia Tornquist

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Ed Koch, the former mayor of New York, called it the "most heinous crime in the history of New York City." The 1981 rape and mutilation of a Catholic nun sent shock waves across the country. And it angered street cop Bo Dietl, so he did something about it -- he solved the crime.

Dietl, who is the most-decorated police officer in the city's history, described it this way: "We went on the streets and did what we had to do. What they did to that nun when they beat her up, raped and sodomized her, carved 27 crosses into her -- that really affected us," he said.

Theatrical preview for "One Tough Cop"
Windows Media: 28k or 56k
Real: 28k or 56k

Clip: "Bo gets even"
Video clip: 1.7Mb QuickTime

Now, his story is the subject of "One Tough Cop," a film currently in theaters based on the book of the same name. It was produced by Martin Bregman, whose credits include the acclaimed Al Pacino vehicles "Dog Day Afternoon" and "Serpico."

'I'm the guy for this part'

Dietl signed on the project as executive producer and gave his approval to the casting of the film's star, Stephen Baldwin.

"I whispered in his ear, 'I'm the guy for this part. And if you can't see that, you're an idiot,'" said Baldwin.

Dietl liked that attitude: "I looked at him like I wanted to crumble him up but I had a lot of admiration (that) he had the (nerve) to talk to me that way."

Baldwin, whose co-stars include Chris Penn and Gina Gershon, gained about 30 pounds for the role -- mostly muscle. He also worked on his Queens accent.

"He sounds like me. I just tell him, 'Don't get too used to being me,'" Dietl said.


'I was an in-your-face type of guy'

In 1985, Dietl retired from the police force. He has since used his investigative skills to start a $10 million-a-year private security company.

"When I left, I didn't know what I was going to do. I was depressed. But good fortune has come my way, and I've been very lucky," the ex-cop said.

"One Tough ‚op" is not a totally accurate portrayal, Dietl said. For example, the film implies that he has ties to organized crime, but Dietl said that's not true.

But he admits this much is true: Bo Dietl really was one tough cop:

"I was an in-your-face type of guy, and a lot of people didn't like it," he says.

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