Hill, formerly of the Lucchese crime family in New York, rose through the ranks of organised crime from 1957 to 1980. The most notable crime committed by Hill and his associates was the Lufthansa heist at John F. Kennedy International Airport in December 1978, scoring a then-record $5+ million haul.
After an arrest for narcotics-trafficking in 1980, Hill became convinced that his life was in danger (understandable, given the mafias attitude towards drug addicts) and turned FBI informant to guarantee witness protection.
In 1986, crime reporter Nicholas Pileggi penned the non-fiction book Wiseguy, based on Hill's life, which Pileggi and Martin Scorsese eventually adapted into Goodfellas. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards (and only won one) and went on to become regarded as one of the best movies ever made (rightfully so). Ray Liotta portrayed Hill in the movie, his defining role.
Later, in 1987, Hill's repeated infractions while under witness protection lead to him being kicked out of the program. Liotta, who met Hill for an Entertainment Weekly shoot, urged him to seek help for his substance abuse problem. Hill went into rehab two days later.
I would never condone a criminal lifestyle but without Hill's, we would not have Goodfellas today.
Thank you for breaking the law, sir.