Tough Guys


Episode #714

Date January 18, 2016

Run Time 1:04:31

Steve Di Schiavi and Hank Chen share stories of true grit.

Song: RISK! Theme by Wormburner and John Sondericker

Song: Blues Boys Tune by B.B. King

Radio Story: Simple Twist of Fate by Steve Di Schiavi

Song: Clarity Lost by Peas

Live Story: What Kind of Friend by Hank Chen

Song: Don’t Wanna Fight by Alabama Shakes



Download: MP3

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8 years ago

I love you and respect you Steve… you are an inspiration… Your story moved me and made me cry. But all your trials and regrets in life have not defined you, they have made you stronger. God Bless you Steve

Brian Womack
8 years ago

Steve nearly the same thing happened to me and my dad. We fought all the time and although not the same day but within days of fighting and telling him to drop dead he did, at his job in the middle of telling a joke to a Co-worker. Massive heart attack. So I know how you feel. I’m 54 and this happened in my 20s and it still is stuck in my head. I became a paramedic and entered the fire academy. One day my mom calls screaming and it turned out my sister died of unknown causes and my mother was yelling at me to do something, it was too late. So don’t feel alone, I’ve walked in a similar path.

8 years ago

Thank You for sharing !! Much respect Steve !

michelle Murphy
8 years ago

Never be ashamed of the things in your past sometimes our past has a way of making us stronger like the old saying goes what doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger we have all said and done things that we did not mean the irony of losing your father to that only set for a path in your life to make you change you should be proud of the man that you become and for all the good that you have done rock on Steve I only admire you more

Christy Arellano
8 years ago

Steve you’re an a AMAZINGLY AMAZING man!! Thank you for your story!!

Vickie Lewis
8 years ago

Steve, all teenagers at one time or another were wishing their parents would die. Please let this go, and if you weren’t so sensitive and caring, it wouldn’t eat at you so much! You overcame so much growing up to become the great man you are today. You can’t live on regrets, as it will eat at you for the rest of your life. We all have regrets, myself included, and you can’t live by wouldas, shouldas, and couldas! You are living a much better life now, and you have the respect of millions that listen to this, or watch you every week! God Bless you!!

Dee Fleming
8 years ago

Amazing. Thank you for sharing your journey.

Patricia Dunn
8 years ago

Steve,you didn’t say anything that every kid has said to or about their parents at one time or another.your Dad can hear you,he is beside you every step of the way,ask for his forgiveness, then let it go.He would be so proud of all you are and all you do.God bless you

Nila L Castiglia
8 years ago

Just thinking about your pain and wondering why not have a private meeting(reading) with the Long Island Medium,(Theresa C) make peace with your past, what is there to loose, maybe your guilt, I just wished you could forgive that young boy within, God has~

Dianna Johnson
8 years ago

Wow…….. Thank you Steve for letting me and others that idolize you know who you truly are. We see a handsome ,macho, tough guy on your show and think how easy you must of had it to get on a TV show who are you related too? I have always been attracted to men like you because of the tough guy persona. I never thought what it was that made you tough!!! I respect and thank you for all you have sacrificed, all that you have endured and all that you have survived. I still think your hot and the tough guy is part of the attraction. However there is a real man in there that has feelings and truly cares about others. You are an inspiration to others and as I watch your show now, I will see it as a true and real struggle for these people and not just cool entertainment that’s fake as hell, because I believe what you say and what you do is legit. I would love to hear the back story on how the show came about and what you have witnessed and seen and how it’s impacted the so called ‘Tough Guy” please write a book or do another pod cast about what brought you to the show and what this all means to you. You are an inspiration and I thank you once again for letting me see into the eye’s of a true hero. God bless you and you did good Steve. “You did good!”

Dee Fleming
8 years ago
Reply to  Dianna Johnson

Go to travel and you can find out how the show came to be.

8 years ago

My dearest Steve, I to am Italian American although I am a girl. My family story is not that different except it takes place in Philadelphia. This could be my uncles or guys I knew. Life can be harsh. You are so brave to share with us your story. You are not your past but our past makes us who we are today. It builds us in to the people we are, the good the bad and the ugly. Your are an amazing man. Thank you for sharing. Love your show can’t wait till it starts. Keep growing!

8 years ago

Holy insight to the journey you have been on Steve. Amazing why some paths are put before us. I am truly sorry for the pain and guilt you have with your Father and Brother. But you wouldn’t be who you are today without this game of life playing out that way. Thank you for your service to our amazing Country. Thank you for sharing.

Connie Powell
8 years ago

Steve very inspirational story Go Bless and stay strong..Connie Powell

Gina Potter
8 years ago

Steve you know I’m a faithful fan and follower and today I listen to your radio you on the radio show and I listen to every word I even shared it with my mom who listened to it with me. I cried so much I had to stop it and restart again after I could gather my composure. I think you are one of the bravest people I have ever met and I know you went through a lot of terrible things in your life but Steve and you are one of the strongest and bravest people that I know of. The world needs more people just like you Steve DiSchiavi!!
Thank you thank you so much for protecting all of those that you can.
We love you and we appreciate you.
Please keep up the good work for as long as you can.

8 years ago

Steve I firmly believe things happen for a reason which is so cliché but it’s true. Your past life events shaped the man you are today. It does not make it right or easier but listening to the progression you through you at 13 til now things could havetaken a 180 degree turn if maybe one thing changed in your youth and the type of person you became and are today. I do believe in God and that we will see our family again. Forgive yourselves here on earth and make your peace when you see them again. Thanks for being you , thanks for your service both in the Marines, and with the NYPD. Your an man I can truely respect.

8 years ago

I have a lot of respect for you for sharing your story. You’ve come a long way and should be very proud of yourself, I know I am.

Pamela M. Thomas
8 years ago

Steve, Thank you for sharing your story! You & your partner Amy might consider visiting your old stomping ground…she may be able to connect with your Dad & brother & give you the closure you need…you have a source in her that many of us would love to have. Take care & enjoy your life as it is now…let the past go as best you can…you have obviously grown & learned from all that you have been through. Sending LOVE & Light to you & yours!

Em Lane
8 years ago

Steve, you’re a smart guy, listen up! You were a victim growing up of physical, mental and spiritual abuse. Some parents thought it was okay to beat their kids and belittle them to the point were some were not ever able to recover. When you told your father to “drop dead” you were just trying to survive any way you could and the comment was one way you could stand up to your father. You know you’re not responsible for his death. You also know from the work that you do that your father is with you every day and that you can talk to him and that he has forgiven you because he now knows the way he treated you was wrong. I appreciate the tears when you’re talking about this but you don’t have to cry anymore. Therapy is good, keep going. Thank you for the work you do with Amy on the Dead Files. It educates all of us.

8 years ago

That’s quite a journey, Steve. But see what an amazing man you’ve turned into? Let go of the past and live in the now. I’m positive you’ve redeemed any mistakes many times over as a detective. Your dad and brother chose their path and paid. That is not your fault, no matter what you said. Continue to work towards the future. You have a unique perspective, working with Amy. We are seen according to the light we give off. Not the color of our skin, our bank account or our lifestyle. You serve. You’ve done good. Keep up the good work.

Barbara Ruef
8 years ago

Regardless of how you got there, you ARE the man your father hoped you’d become. I’m sure he watches over you and is extremely proud of your dedication and caring for others.

Linda Hall Owens
8 years ago

My good looking Italian, love your accent. Don’t let what happened in the past mess with your tomorrows. We all have things in our past we regret. I was raised by a very good Christian Mother and only wish I was half as good as she was.My Dad died when I was around 9 so I didn’t really have a man to teach me the way of men therefore I married and let him brow beat me down. I already did not like myself and he didn’t help. I could write a book on all the sadness I went through but it has made me a stronger person. I have four wonderful children from him, he left me several times and married the last one but they are divorced now. He is still hanging around her though. I am so glad you lived through all the years you were helping others. Love your and Amy’s show. I think maybe you should try and contact your Dad, I am positive he is very proud of you, as am I. Good luck, stay safe, enjoy life, it doesn’t last long. 🙂

Linda Stanton
8 years ago

Steve, Thank You for giving youth a glimpse of hope to turn their life around. Your life is valuable but your story is priceless and will pave the road of hope for so many around the world. Many Blessings Steve.

8 years ago

Thank you for sharing your story, I have a lot of respect for you , You are an amazing man, I am an Italian how lived in Bensonhurst ,Bay ridge area I know were you are coming from So proud of you! You have come such a long way I Love You and your show , Let the past go I no its not easy because of my past but I have grown from it Very very proud of you! Love to You.

8 years ago

Steve – It’s never easy to open ourselves up and bare everything such as you did. Thank you so much for trusting us enough to share. Thank you for your years of service both USMC and NYPD. I really enjoy seeing the things you do and how you get the answers you do on Dead Files. Thank you for being you – your past has made you the man that you are and you shouldn’t regret any of it. God Bless.

8 years ago

Steve – All I can so is WOW! Amazing story of sadness, strength and perseverance!!! I always believe walking the walk and being understanding because you have been there yourself makes so much difference in peoples life! You came through something so tragic…and your story would help so many kids going through rough times! Your so strong Steve and not because you were a tough guy but because you were RAW about talking about this! I respect you and my dear friend I thank you for sharing your story…..Peace & Love – Jayne January 19, 2016

8 years ago

Good stuff. This is real life. Thanks for sharing. God bless.

8 years ago

Steve, I have so much respect for you and all you have been through. Bless you! Bless your strength and resilience! You are an example that those of us who live with PTSD can survive and thrive! It’s been great watching you with Amy on Dead Files. Watching you respecting the families and what they go through is amazing and so refreshing. Wishing you all the best!

Kelley B
8 years ago

Steve, never be ashamed of who you were and how awesome a person you’ve become…I grew up with a verbally abusive alcoholic father who made life miserable for his hard working wife and children…although my brother rose out of that dysfunction, he’s somewhat scarred when it comes to relationships…he’s never married ..I think he chose to break the cycle..
he never really had a father figure growing up, but he made a fantastic career in the government and the other parts\of his life. Myself, I’ve been failed by the first man in my life, but I never let that get in my way…You’ve become an incredible, honorable, heart warming, and compassionate person with so much to give…be thankful for how awesome your life is now!! you inspire and help so many people!!

8 years ago

you grew into an amazing man. be proud of yourself………….you know your dad is..

8 years ago

Bless your heart. I am so sorry you had to go through that. We as kids say a lot of things to our parents that we wish we could take back. You weren’t responsible for his death Steve, it was fate. It was his time to go and God took him. Think of the things you have accomplished and pulled yourself out of the hell and into life. There isn’t a kid alive that hasn’t done or said something they regret. Let it go! Look at the man you have become instead..your father has I am sure. You are a brave man to have told this very personal story. Bless you Steve.

Teresa Pate
8 years ago

I have always thought of you as a straight forward and truthful person;
this just confirms it for me Steve. All of us has had traumatizing experiences, as you said we all have some degree of PTSD. I want to thank you for sharing your story, it opened my eyes to who you are as a person. You have withstood forceful trials in life, which could have went in a different direction; just like you said that could have been me. I believe personally this was a good thing for you to do for YOU. I am so glad you opened your heart up to us and let us in. Everyone has a past, and or regret/regrets it is a fact of life, but due to your honesty and ability to unwrap it before us; I believe it is the beginning of your healing of those things that have bothered you my friend. Your story is an inspiration, and I will be passing it on to people who I believe can be touched by it enough to make a decision to turn their lives around. It is my prayer that PTSD and regrets will be resolved and healed Steve. As one of your fans from The Dead Files I wish I could reach out and give you a huge hug, and tell you I love you my friend. Keep smiling Steve Be safe and GOD BLESS Always,
Teresa Pate

john keller
8 years ago

Incredible story of your early life. You may not believe it but people you pass don’t usually hold grudges over words spoken in anger. Good luck to you. Love your show.

Jill Lubrano
8 years ago

I always knew there was more to you. Steve, the first thing you need to do, is forgive yourself for what you said to your Dad. Because, that recruiter? That was your fathers hand that lead him to you. Your father has forgiven you and is by your side. You might not see him or hear him or feel him, but he’s there. Don’t worry about being judged by others. I learned that the hard way. Everything that happened to you in your life, good, bad, whatever, was meant to happen to make you the person you are today. What I see in you is a kind, gentle caring person and the reason you are those things is because of the hard shit you went through. Think about it. You wouldn’t have that Detective that instinctivley knew what those kids were doing because you did yourself. Be kind to yourself. Give yourself a break. Therapy?? Hell, we all need some fuckin therapy. You are just man enough to say hey, yeah, I do. I love ya Steve. Let the past rush back to you now & again. It’s healthy. Just don’t live in it. Mad Respect for ya.

8 years ago

i love you Steve !

Bellagrace Ponce
8 years ago

Reviting, deep, human and risk! Thank you. I truly understand.

8 years ago

You have been through a lot of hard times. Glad you got help and you are brave for sharing! <3

Matt Slattery
8 years ago

As with so many have said much respect to you Steve. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to listen to the whole thing but even the up til your enlisting in the military I can totally understand where you where coming from. What I find soothing to all of this is that even though you have a tough exterior you are able to allow your feelings. Some take a guy crying as a weakness. I myself find we are only human and it takes a really man to show any true emotion.
You know up until your enlisting, you did what you felt at the time was needed to be done in order for your own survival. That’s just in the past and chalk it up as a learning experience.
On dead files once in a blue moon we can see you become emotional and I commend you for that.
A brief on me I am 38 and deal with Bipolar disorder aka Manic Depression. I’ve done things myself not as bad but I look back and say given my age and the way my (adopted) parents were, it is just having to learn on my own.
In heated moments we all say things we don’t fully mean. I once heard that regret is a useless emotion and I have to kind of agree with it. We need to seek forgiveness within ourselves in order to heal. If we can not forgive ourselves we can not expect others to forgive us.
I don’t judge people by their past hell if I did I’d have no friends. I look at the person they are now. Steve you are a good guy. You are caring If you weren’t then why bother to help other’s? I’m not a religious person but I will send my best to you in spirit and ask that you find it in yourself to forgive yourself.
Again I haven’t heard all this cast but I got it download to listen to when have more time.

8 years ago

Hi Steve. What a brave man you are to tell your life story on the internet. You lived hard, worked hard, and now you can reap the benefits. I have never had such tragedy in my life, which I am very thankful for. But I can relate to your story about your dad’s death. 31 years ago my mom died. The last thing I told her was I would call her on a specific day, which sadly, I never did. That was the night she went into a coma and never regained consciousness. She died 2 weeks later. I carried that guilt with me for decades. It was not until a few years ago when I started studying spirituality and life after death (I am an Italian Catholic from NY and yes, I met you at Scarefest 2015) that I found peace and I knew she forgave me. I watch your show with Amy whenever it is on. And you continue to help people now, but in a different way. You should be so proud of what you do, and am sure your dad looks down and smiles with love. I strongly believe that people who are good and kind in life will be treated with kindness and love forever. You sir, are one of those people. I am very honored to have met you. God bless you and keep you safe in all you do. With sincerity, Camille Henderson

Sierra Claire
8 years ago

Steve’s story Wow! Such a different perspective then we usually get hear on this podcast and what a breath of fresh air. Thankyou Steve!

Marci Tiller
8 years ago

I’m a fan of The Dead Files and to be honest, never listened to a podcast until now. Reminds me of the late night radio shows we used to have. I was born in 1972. My dad, former Deputy Sheriff, Vietnam veteran. It can be said of my family, half were cops and the half were running with the Hell’s Angels. I grew up essentially an only child and learned early to take care of myself. A lot of bad stuff happened to me, my family, too much before I hit 17. I ended up working 17 years as an eye doctor’s nurse, self-educated. Working with the public, so many people you meet every day, always putting up window dressing about their lives. I truly, sincerely, appreciate your candid manor and the pure fucking honesty. I shared your story with my dad tonight. I was seperated from him after my parents divorved when I was 9. I only recently reconnected with my dad. The last time I saw him was for my 40th birthday. After living most of my life with my mother and taking care of myself, I found out I was just like my dad. We never know how much we love and miss someone until they’re gone. I’m disabled now with uncontrolled epilepsy, a seizure condition I’ve had my whole life since I was 3. Who knew becoming an old lady would make it worse? Lol
Anywho’s, I want to thank you for sharing your memories, a piece of your life that no one can ever really know and carry that experience but you, how much life can throw you for a loop. Blessed Be and Walk in Beauty Steve. Your sincerity is appreciated more deeply than I could ever express.

8 years ago

Great Storytelling Steve!! I hope it helps you heal.
You have helped many & deserve good things!

8 years ago

Hi, I think “Clarity Lost” is actually the name of the album…….Can anyone tell me the song name? Thx.

Patrick F.
8 years ago

Mr. Di Schiavi’s story was very powerful and emotional. It takes courage to open yourself up the way Mr. Di Schiavi did in his story. I am also a sufferer of chronic PTSD. Our wounds are invisible, but just as real as any scar. Thank you for admitting that you found therapy to help deal with your trauma Steve. “I need help” are simple words, but will, hopefully, inspire other people to find the resources they need to deal with Life and the human condition.

8 years ago

Hi Martha, I think “Clarity Lost” is the name of the album AND that single.

M J Harrow
8 years ago

Just want to add to the respect that is going out to Steve.

M J Harrow
8 years ago

I forgot to say that if anyone finds themselves in Hank’s situation has to go to the police within four hours. I know it’s wrong to put pressure on victims of rape and I also know when you report to the police it’s pot luck weather you get a good office like Stave or a piece of shot.

However as cold has it sounds, none of the above points matter. I’m a betting Man and it’s odds on that the person who raped Hank is going to rape again (if he hasn’t done so already) and stopping people like him is the most important thing, from a non-victim point of view. We have to encourage people to go to law enforcement to enforce the law, not their employers, colleagues or schools.

Love this podcast, hope you can make it out to London England.

Tori Weston
8 years ago

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’ve also shared my story on Risk. It’s called The Power.

Your story hit so close to home. I’ve had to do the difficult thing and tell my grandfather that his son OD’d and also deal with having the last words I’ve said be something I wish I could take back. I’ve also had situations that show me how lucky I am that I survived the projects. But I also see those who did not. Your story has helped me and I am sure will help other people. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

8 years ago

Yes, the single and the album are both named “Clarity Lost.” Thanks for including it in the podcast. I’m a big fan of Risk and was pleasantly surprised to be part of this episode.

8 years ago

Wow Kevin, I listen to a lot of podcasts, but this has to be the best story ever! Steve Di Schiavi, what a guy huh. In a perfect world I hope the kid came out ok…would love to know. I’m a Kiwi living in Australia. I served a long time in the military. Spent a lot of time in Iraq & Afghanistan and seen and done stuff, I tear up every time I hear this episode. I’m not a Tough Guy. Oh and the song Clarity by Peas fu(king awesome. Love your show dude.

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