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Crime memoir 'Five Finger Discount' to be adapted into documentary

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Helene Stapinski’s best selling memoir Five Finger Discount: A Crooked Family History has been optioned to become a feature documentary by producer Charles Hobson’s Vanguard Documentaries. The company plans to pitch the project to TV broadcast networks.

Stapinski’s book recounts the criminal history of her Jersey City-based family starting roughly 40 years ago, including the grandfather who tried to kill her immediate family when she was five years old, her cousin who was arrested on 57 counts of burglary, and the aunt who became involved with the notoriously crooked local government.

“For many years, I have ogled this wonderful story,” Hobson said in a statement. “It will really snap, crackle, and pop when brought to a new life as a brutally visual film.” The doc will also cover the corruption permeating Jersey City itself, beginning with its infamous 30-year mayor Frank Hague.

“I trust Vanguard will help breathe new vitality into the many characters through interviews, photos and archival footage,” Stapinski notes in the statement “A documentary seems like the natural next step for Five-Finger.”