the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Saddle River NJ, If you try to Google-map it, the house is shrouded in shrubbery and leafy Northern Red Oak.
But it’s still there, the 8,000 square-foot mansion on Fox Hedge Road in Saddle River, NJ—a potential upcoming shooting location this fall for the upcoming docuseries, The King of Con, and former home of local legend, Thomas Giacomaro.
At the turn of the century, when the Paterson-born Giacomaro was at the height of his investment con artistry and pulling in clients like celebrated novelist Mary Higgins Clark, he lived it up on Fox Hedge Road a little before he was thrown in prison for a dozen years.
“On the driveway, I lined up my Rolls Royces, Bentleys, Mercedes-Benzes, Ferraris, and a black Hummer,” he recalls today, with a sigh.
Inside, the house was bathed in $500,000 worth of twenty-four-carat gold-leaf paint on the moldings, in the wallpaper, and running up and down the spiral staircases. Even the carpet was gold.
“It was like living inside a jewelry box,” Giacomaro says, of the gilded abode, “Trump would have envied it.”
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Along with the nannies, housekeepers, and groundskeepers, the house staff included an official shoe wiper who handed visitors hospital booties to wear while he cleaned and buffed their shoes.
“The house was so big,” says perfectionist Giacomaro, “I used walkie-talkies with the staff so I could reach them immediately if I saw anything amiss.” (Kids today; do you even know what walkie-talkies are?)
The front yard boasted a putting green and in back, a 70,000-gallon swimming pool filled with NY State spring well water and industrial heaters to keep the temp at 90F so he could swim in December.
But the attraction that made most visitors mouths hang open was the backyard pond filled with twelve Japanese koi fish.
“At the time, they cost $3,000 per fish,” says Giacomaro, “which would make it about $5,110 today. I’m a numbers guy.”
Today, the one-time Genovese associate doesn’t care about any of those old expensive trappings. He’s long out of prison and putting together the docuseries and a scripted series based on his memoir, The King of Con: How a Smooth-Talking Jersey Boy Made and Lost Billions, Baffled the FBI, Eluded the Mob, and Lived to Tell the Crooked Tale.
It’s all about the art of life, now.
“I make myself a perfect steak, I watch Netflix, and I’m happy,” he says.