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hammer6

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THE ORIGIN OF CRIME
AND
VIOLENCE IN AMERICA


 



Was the American Revolution legal? What if modern Americans decided that they were being improperly taxed by Congress, do they have the right to declare war, and start shooting at police? Would the authorities be justified in arresting and charging these Americans with crimes? These issues may sound obscure, however, every day Americans are divided against one another by controversies over crime. Most Americans don't understand the most basic history of their own country, or the evolution of its legal institutions. The over-simplified, biased and distorted version of American history taught in public school is a disservice to the American people, for it impels us to follow the politicians blindly, even as the politicians cause serious harm to the nation.

The Constitution of the United States has never been submitted to a free election of the people of America. All the state constitutions of the original thirteen states were proclaimed as being in effect. Some of the techniques used to obtain what approval there was -- from property owning white men -- included excluding royalists, to enable "rump" legislatures to enact "law" that otherwise would have failed to receive majority support. Furthermore, the principals who conducted these maneuvers did not do so in ignorance: many of the colonial rebels were lawyers.

Many people today are appalled to hear about illegal immigrants, who break the law by entering the United States without proper approval, or when they read that kids are shooting at police, but we forget that the Federal Republic had its origins in the wholesale breaking of the law, which today is whitewashed with terms of patriotism. It is ironic that we fill the minds of American schoolchildren with heroic images of the colonial Revolutionaries, and then we cannot understand it when they try to live up to those examples. The bottom line is that when "patriots" shot at public servants at Lexington and Concord, it was not legal. It was a violation of the laws of the constituted and established legal authorities, which if repeated today, would land one in prison.

The arrogance of the politicians is the leading cause of the breakdown of the American society, because they sincerely believe the law is anything they define it to be. The Constitution gave so much power to the politicians, that it exceeded the authority of King George III, who was actually bound to obey the law. Americans are at a disadvantage in understanding what law is because the school system deliberately over-emphasizes the Constitution, and plays down the role of custom and tradition, which are the cornerstones of the law. Unlike legislation of the Congress, custom is the practices of the people since time immemorial; it is the law made by the people themselves to fill their own needs, and as case law, it constitutes the basis of the "common law" (customs upheld as law by magistrates in court). This is very important, because it reflects the fact that law is independent of any institution, and that it is possible for a government to be illegal.

The first factor which casts a cloud of doubt over the legal claims of the United States to the land (as successor to the legal claims of Great Britain), is the manner by which the land was acquired from the previous possessors, the Native American people. As a result of misrepresentation, fraud, duress, bad faith, trickery, and murder, the Native Americans were systematically displaced, without recourse to law. The brutality of the English and the Spanish was only exceeded by the Americans, who were so convinced that they were a superior race that they flat out stole the land of the Indians, seeking to extinguish Native claims to the land by simply killing off the rightful owners. The Christian missionaries stole Indian children, to convert them; the U.S. Army gave the Indian tribes blankets infected with smallpox; and there were many documented instances of U.S. troops opening fire on villages, knowingly murdering women, children and elders in cold blood. Of course, the Government has always felt free to commit murder, starting with the American Revolution itself, the prime victims being American royalists, who were not merely "tarred and feathered," but who were "tried" in kangaroo courts, and often lynched, while their property was stolen and distributed as booty among "patriots."

A second factor which would seem to invalidate the holy nature of the violence of the Revolution was the strident extremism of its supporters. The "patriots" were not unbiased victims, only seeking reasonable redress; they were rabble-rousing demagogues with an axe to grind. Violence itself is a product of extremism; Sam Adams, a former tax collector, was instrumental in swaying public opinion in favor of his extremist agenda, deliberately inciting people to riot. The American people were far from united on the subject of independence. At least a third of the people whole-heartedly supported the royal government of the king; the likelihood is that the number was higher, but honest figures are lacking. Another third of the population have been defined as ambivalent, with no concern whatsoever as to whether the king's forces won, or the "patriots"; however, considering the violent reprisals the "patriots" visited upon any open supporters of the king, it probably worked against their own cause, literally driving "patriots" back into the Loyalist camp as a reaction. It is ironic that a nation that proclaims so loudly its love for freedom of speech and thought, came into being by the suppression of royalist thought, as well as the royalists themselves. The republic was born on the murder of royalists.

Washington, the man, was so harsh as Commander-in-Chief of republican forces, that he personally caused a deep antipathy in Americans, against a mandatory draft. In his historically accurate novel on Aaron Burr, Gore Vidal relates that George Washington wanted to be addressed as "His Mightiness." (His Mightiness had a penchant for lynching "deserters"). Apparently, it was dangerous to be against the Republic in 1776.

In our rush to love the Republic, we overlook what it mean't 200 years ago, when white men talked about "taxation without representation." Taxation is ALWAYS imposed on property, and in 1776 the majority of the "patriot" leaders owned human slaves, the ancestors of the modern American black community. The "Old Money" Americans drool over, by definition, was built on the backs of enslaved human beings. Possessing property for status predisposed early American society to use the number of slaves a man owned as a measure of his worldly success, and in the purist Protestant sense, as a sign of divine favor. It was the preservation of this colonial privilege that motivated the lawyers who set up the Federal Government, and who are venerated in all of its shrines; not any idealistic vision of popular freedom.

Slavery is one of the most horrific institutions known to humanity. The single paragraph most schoolbooks devote to slavery, in public schools, wherein slavery is justified historically as a universal practice "of that time" (and therefore not that unusual), downplays the actual gruesome reality of human enslavement. The over-riding consciousness of the slave was that he was not allowed to own himself, and that he would be punished if he attempted to act even remotely independent. The slave's survival depended on his complete subservience to his master, his ability to hide his true emotion of hatred, to only tell his master what his master wanted to hear. After 400 years of being bred for strength, and bringing up generation after generation of children in slavery -- many the actual children fathered by the slavemaster -- the psychology of slavery was firmly imbued into the black people. This psychology is the real basis of the social tensions of the urban centers of America.

At the very root of the slave psychology is violence, and black people know this far better than the white people, who don't see the Republic as the yoke which the black people still see it as. The spirit of the United States Constitution is in the clause requiring its officers to return "fugitive slaves" to their "owners," for this represented the real view of its authors about human life. Every statement justifying or downplaying this clause, is only an apologetic; it does not alter the true intent or content. These fugitives were flogged mercilessly and suffered every indignity known to man. However, slaves did not have to go so far as to try to escape to suffer under the hand of a harsh master.

The background for the Constitutional Convention was a polarized society, in the aftermath of the suppression of the Shay's Rebellion, a rebellion by farmers whose farms were being seized by the government to pay taxes to repay the loans extended by the rich to pay for the Revolution. A Revolution most of the people wanted nothing to do with. At the time of the Revolution, there was genuine fear on the part of the poor that the rich would enslave them using the control of the government. The people were actually paranoid, and whole regions were hostile to Washington and his band of rebels. The cities loved entertainment, and the same New York City crowd that showed up to cheer Washington, showed up to cheer a British leader, with complete ambivalence. The re-creations we see on television, and in the movies, of Valley Forge, or of Paul Revere's ride, are complete fictions, portraying an image of popular support that simply did not exist.

One of the most significant causes for the American Revolution was the desire of American debtors to repudiate their debts to their creditors in London, some of which may very well have been incurred for the purpose of purchasing slaves. When language of freedom and equality was used, it was deployed deliberately as propaganda, for the Founding Fathers were openly hostile to democracy, and had no intention of encompassing the freedom of women, Indians, African-American slaves, or white indentured servants. In fact, the Founding Fathers lived in mortal fear of slave revolts, for they were far outnumbered by their slaves. (To illustrate the mortal fear of the slavemasters, when Nat Turner, leader of a slave revolt in 1831, was captured and executed, his body was reduced to fat, to completely eradicate his memory, as if he never existed).

The primary concerns of the Founding Fathers revolved around the accumulation and protection of wealth, even if they were not all adept at achieving it on a personal level. (Even with 150 slaves, Jefferson died a bankrupt). The law, on the other hand, tended to perpetuate the rights of people on an equal standing, so that institutions were obliged to respect their individual rights; even the king was obliged to honor the rights of the commonest person in his realm. But this was disagreeable to the Founding Fathers, because they imagined that they could increase their profits by seceding from the British Empire. They knew that AS the government, they could set the law aside at their pleasure, and make it appear as if the very displacement of the law itself was "legal". When America's secession from the British Empire became effective, commerce came to dominate the priorities of the new Republic, and we now live at the end of a 200 year old nightmare, bearing witness to a Government that has consistently relieved industrial businesses from all legal and financial liability for polluted land, sky, rivers, water tables, oceans and landfills. American people perish from poisoning from industry, or military testing, and the Republic turns its back on the victims, even blaming them for being victims; but when corporate America's oil was threatened in Kuwait, the Republic fielded a half a million man army to protect it, for billions of dollars.

The Republic is a house of cards, which from day one was designed to punish Americans, to manipulate and coerce not some enemy, but our own people. Whenever the people finally suffer enough to build up the courage to approach the most sinister and exalted man on Earth, the President of the United States, within four years another man will replace him, and the requests and petitions from the people are lost in the shuffle, unaddressed, ignored and rebuffed.

When the colonials began stockpiling arms, one envisions homicidal fanatics, like the arms laden cult the ATF annihilated with the help of the FBI, at Waco, Texas. (We all know that the same fate, or worse, would befall any group that intended to use force to overthrow the Federal Government, for the United States Government possesses an undisputed monopoly on lethal power -- the power to murder -- which it is capable of projecting anywhere in the world). In order to abruptly set aside the monarchy in America, in favor of the musical chairs approach to government, wherein NO ONE is held responsible for anything it does, the Founding Fathers had to break the law, and break with tradition. The Revolution was not a polite discussion over the necessity of American independence and the Committees of Correspondence were not debating clubs. There was nothing friendly or cooperative or delicate about the coercion used by the Continental Association, formed to punish "lukewarm patriotism". The Committees of Correspondence blatantly usurped the functions of the royal government, and virtually ran off the legitimate government of the king, with mobs and violence. When royal governors returned with British armies, it was in reaction to the colonials, who initiated the violence.

The colonials were not victims. The British did not oppress the Americans. The whole of American complaints are dry, legalistic grievances over trade and taxation, having to do with the resistance of Americans to pay anything for the expensive war the English fought for the purpose of American security. After waging a war against the French, to oust them from North America, to stop the constant danger they posed to Americans along the northern frontier, the Americans showed their gratitude by shooting at the public servants who gave them that security. Americans not only refused to pay a fair share of the cost of the war, but they sought to murder the very people who actually fought in that war, and then labelled this as a "patriotic act". Is it any wonder why children of 13 or 14 years of age are hard pressed to live up to the examples of Washington and Jefferson, without serious contradictions?

The legacy of the Revolution is a legacy of mindless resistance to authority, an emotional knee- jerk reaction, unrestrained by any serious thought, because in retrospect the so-called "patriots" were wrong to go so far as to violently attack men in public service. The release of India, in the 20th century, from the British Empire, as a result of passive resistance, is clear- cut evidence that violence was not the only means for a nation to establish its independence. An obvious way to perceive this is to recognize that one of the principal means for apologizing for the more disgusting traits of the Revolutionary generation, is to justify them as a peculiarity of a distant era, as if the laws governing reason were different in the 1700's (inferring that we are progressive and that the 20th century enjoys all the benefits of this progress). The problem with this outlook is that it is inaccurate, because slavery, racism and violence were recognized by the more intelligent people -- even in 1776 -- as unprogressive, mean-spirited, and evil.

After violently and systematically annihilating the Native Americans in acts of genocide that rival the Nazi Holocaust, the Anglo-Americans brutally forced the French to retreat back to Europe, to then turn on their own, the royalist Americans. Perhaps this tendency towards violence did derive from a background of pioneering raw land, but it is important to recognize that it was in us then, and it is in us now, and some of that tendency rests in the influence of our institutions. Slavery was upheld by LAW, and Christian ministers would wax indignant when slaves revolted, and the Government was slow to protect the good white Christian folk. Many a sermon thundered that slavery was righteous before God, and that it was actually a benefit to the "ignorant" black people, quoting the Bible to support this Godless opinion. (Many, many Christian churches upheld this position well after the Civil War, and will not be allowed to forget their true past simply because it was undefendable, and inconvenient in light of the modern drive of Christians to discount and deny the violent history of Christianity).

Once independence was secured, and the vision of riches did not come true, largely because the outlaw-bandit U.S. Republic was rejected by the world community of law-abiding states, the American economy had its first depression. This led to regional rebellions, the most impactful of which was Shay's Rebellion, wherein farmers actually seized control of the courts, to stop foreclosure actions on their farms, for backtaxes. This caused the propertied class to become unhinged, and energized the call to "amend" the Articles of Confederation, to increase the power of the government to punish, what else, Americans.

The lawyers who wrote the Constitution knew full well that it would protect them from the poor, and they realized that the poor knew this too, and thus the Convention to write the Constitution was held secretly. This so aroused suspicion, that when the resulting document was voted on in Virginia, Patrick Henry openly accused its authors of engaging in a criminal conspiracy, and demanded an investigation. This investigation never took place because the document was railroaded through, with arm-twisting, and horse-trading of political favors.

The most effective strategy the proponents used in the state conventions to secure approval in the greater number of states where there was a genuine majority against it, was a trade-off of approval in exchange for an undefined "Bill of Rights" at some vague time in the future. The Federal Government actually came into existence without ANY limits on its power, which were added later, like an after-thought. A harness, but in reality a necklace, like an adornment. The proof of this soon came, for one of the first acts of the Washington Administration was to impose a tax on whiskey (a tax the states had considered within their domain). This caused an immediate furious reaction, for Americans were living under the notion that they had gone to war against their own Mother Country, precisely for the purpose of being free of arbitrary taxation. Alexander Hamilton and George Washington actually rode at the head of the troops sent to crush the rebellion that ensued; and the troops were accused of abuses along the line of the route. The fact that Americans were once again murdering Americans has been conveniently glossed over to put a positive analysis on the Whiskey Rebellion by modern apologists, posing as scholars. Thus a brutal act to suppress freedom is made out to appear as a progressive act to tax spirits for the benefit of the "government of the free." The fact that this same government accomplished this by murdering "the free people" who chose to exercise their freedom, is just not brought up.

The westward expansion of the United States is one of the most blood-soaked episodes of human history, which has only been outpaced by the bloodshed caused by the wars of the republics in the 20th century. The pioneers in search of gold and land, who collided with Native Americans using rifles and guns against bows and arrows, exposed the cold-blooded, callous nature of the European-originated values of the settlers. They had no use for anyone who got in the way of their search for wealth. The way of life of the Old West gunslinger, many of whom settled down into sedentary lifestyles after a wild youth, was a life of violence and death. Vigilante justice was swift and mean, and didn't take into account anything so delicate as proof or evidence. Once the Indians were reduced, in the first decades of the 20th century, the old frontier values lived on, in gunfights and showdowns, with Americans killing Americans.

The Civil War was the most destructive war since the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, in the history of all wars up to that time. One million Americans died in that war, which was the first industrial war. The idea that the Civil War was fought over slavery cheapens the real issues over which the war was fought, because the Confederacy itself freed the Southern slaves before the end of the War. The Civil War was fought solely for the purpose of the Federal Government establishing its supremacy over the states, in effect reducing them to the status of provinces. The truth about slavery as a commercial institution is that it is not very effective cost-wise, which even the ancient Romans realized. Slaves don't work very energetically, or eagerly, because there is no genuine return for the slave. (Jefferson tried to use his slaves in several money-making schemes, which failed). If peace had been valued to the extent Christians gave it lip-service, and the South had been allowed to peacefully go its own way, it almost definitely would have abolished slavery all on its own.

What did originate in the aftermath of the Civil War was the first bank robberies. After being trained to kill efficiently by the United States and Confederate Armies, and once the War was over, and the Armies de-mobilized, young veterans had a skill that private business had no use for. So these veterans went "free lance," much to the astonishment of those first bankers who suddenly found themselves faced by armed Americans, demanding cash at the point of a gun. Ironically, some of those bank robbers became folk heroes, because the general population felt like the victims of the banks, and of big business in general.

The biggest surprise of all came when the Civil War ended, and the black slaves were legally freed, but soon found that they were not much better off, for now they were the victims of naked racism, which would not allow blacks to advance, using social and legal devices. (The suffrage laws disallowed blacks from voting until the 1960's, with poll taxes, literacy tests, and "grandfather laws," all of which were outlawed; but voting has always been a token, for the Establishment completely controls ballot access, and therefore the content of what the electorate can vote on, and all power exists in the way the questions are formulated. This is the very essence of plebiscite representation).

Whenever a black man sought to advance himself, it was viewed as being "uppity". "Uppity" black people received midnight visits from hooded denizens, all of whom claimed to be good white Christian folk, murdering in the name of Christ. We will never know just how many innocent black people were lynched, because the white people don't WANT to know, it's just too gruesome; and it's too easy to write off as history.

The free sons of slaves were now "leased" the same land their fathers worked for generations, so that as "free" sharecroppers they continued to live in poverty. Suddenly, people of all races could be worked just like slaves, and once paid their pittance of a wage, the employer could completely disassociate himself from their needs. This historically documented early phase of the national labor market became the foundation of the current labor condition, in which the news is full of disgruntled employees reacting to their bosses by murdering them.

Many of our own parents remember the labor unrest which occured in the memory of their parents, and in their own childhoods and youth. The early union movement was not ideologically driven. It was driven by anger over abuses: too many hours, no time off, no safety precautions, no medical assistance, and no age limitations. The ideological overlay came from the bosses, so that they could justify to the masses their acts of sabotage and violence in breaking peaceful strikes for better work conditions.

The vitality of this popular movement -- which was constantly under violent physical attack by government and industry, united in a holy crusade to preserve the status quo -- was co-opted when FDR sponsored the National Labor Relations Act, and took control of the labor movement. Soon, the unions became a division of the very corporations whose employees they represented, in place to keep the assembly lines rolling, even if the employees ARE frustrated or angry over work conditions. The General Strike -- the complete and total shutdown of all industry -- the one tool of the middle class with any leverage, is thus made an impotent threat, disemboweled by the control of the unions by the Establishment. Our parents are glad that the violence of the labor movement is basically over, but they fail to see that the suppression of the people's voice has caused it to erupt in other more serious ways, like riots, and a suburban crime wave that is gradually bringing the Republic to its knees.

When freedom of choice entered the labor market, with the total abolition of chattel slavery, white employers realized that they did not have to hire or promote the black people, who had been kept ignorant on purpose to prevent slave revolts. So the new core of the modern labor market, which became the famous Middle Class, was caucasian and male. The black people were forced into an underclass of poverty, beneath the white poor people, because they suffered from the effects of racism, a holdover from colonial policy, which deliberately fostered hatred as a tool of state power. By giving the poor white people token status over the black slaves in the early colonies, as overseers and managers -- bolstered by misinterpreted Biblical passages, to attest to the "sacred" correctness of alleged white racial superiority -- the colonial elite guaranteed that their mutual hatred would forestall a combining of the slaves and poor white folk, to overthrow the colonial leadership. Of course, each side teaches the next generation how to hate, and who to hate, and until someone steps in to stop it, it goes on into the future, poisoning American life.

In the last decade of the 20th century, the violent legacy of America is shaking the Republic to its roots. The ghost of every murdered soul is wailing in our ears, as a million youth go to war in the streets. The Republic is dead. It was never alive; a Frankenstein's monster, that kills its creator. Ignorant housewives moan and lament that their children might read the word "damn", or see two people expressing affection for each other; and they compare this to violence! Violence is when your child is gunned down in the street, because law enforcement is sidetracked by breaking into bedrooms and parlor rooms, and giving speeding tickets.

School children are taught in schools across America to hate America's political enemies, enemies chosen by the politicians of the Republic. Our first enemies were the British; later, the Germans, the Japanese, the Russians. Peer pressure is used by adult teachers and administrators, on unformed children, who are all open to learning, and who all NEED attention and love; but what they get is a kind of boot-camp-for-kids experience, noteworthy only for its institutional harshness. The real lesson from the public school system is how to OBEY UNCONDITIONALLY, and to EXPECT punishment for disobedience. All other instruction is secondary, and is made to support this basic priority. This is what is mean't be the cryptic phrase: "The school is here to form you into a responsible citizen in a free society." By eliminating the individual's personal will to pursue his or her own identity, they can be trusted to behave "responsibly."

Of course, once taught how to hate, it's almost impossible for the politicians and institutions to control how that hate will be directed by the people they teach it to. Today we are forced to live with all that hate coming home to roost. When the Soviet Union collapsed, forty years of hate generated for Russians, was once again vented by Americans on Americans. About 26,000 Americans are murdered every year, by Americans. This is only outclassed by South Africa, and only because its approximately 20,000 annual murders reflect a 90% higher rate on account of the fact that South Africa only has about 21 million people.

The United States now has more of its own people in prison than any other country on the Earth. Does that mean that the U.S. has more criminals than any other nation? Certainly not. It means we have a political system that is out of control. The violence going on in our streets, the streets of America, has more to do with what we ARE teaching people, and little to do with what we are failing to teach. By disinforming Americans when they're children, and following it up with manipulation throughout their adult lives, the Government and industry have exploited the American people, leaving them with a sense of cornered desperation. And cornered animals fight back. It may be hopeless, but they look to go out in a blaze of glory: a sentiment echoed by countless youngsters in gangs, who don't think that they're going to live long lives.

The police and the district attorneys thunder from their bully pulpits that there will be zero tolerance for teenage gangsters. The ironic thing is that the police and the DA's think that these kids care about what they have to say. The pleas of the people have always been ignored by the politicians of the Republic, and now the people are ignoring the dictates of the politicians, in a record breaking crime wave, starting with the most zealous and uninformed members of the society, the youth. The kids want to fight the government, because they see how unjust and unfair it is. But the parents are frightened by the rebelliousness of their children, having been brought up in the shadow of the U.S. Army, the one army harsh enough to unconditionally defeat the Nazi war machine!

The Republic is based on imposing consensus with force, to whitewash it afterwards; because it was an outlaw institution, it developed a crusader drive, to re-formulate the world in the image of the outlaw. This was the supposed "Shot Heard Round the World", which, like Manifest Destiny, characterized the aggressive nature of the Republic. This was not defensive; the Republic sought to attack, to overcome, to change, to defeat those who would not humble themselves to its leaders. This starts in the civil war, the war in the homeland to defeat the traditionalists, the royalists; then the hatred of the civil war is exported, in exploits in foreign nations.

The American Revolution led like a chain reaction to the French Revolution, as an inspiration, and as a literal fact, because the loans made by the French monarchy to the American republic bankrupted it, forcing it to convene the Estates General, to ask for new taxes. The elite lost control in France, and the mass state came into being, as the urban poor broke into the political system with violence, never to be closed out entirely again. By conscripting and arming the passive citizen, and developing the ideal of nationalism, as a kind of civic faith, the French Republic catalyzed the common man, and led to the development of the largest armies of all time.

The mass armies were armed peasant mobs, undisciplined, made furious with hate, and channelled en masse onto the battlefield. In one fell swoop, all the medieval concepts of chivalry and honor in warfare, of which there had been traces, started to disappear, as nations formed their own mass armies to counteract the mass armies of their enemies, to finally fade forever by World War I. Old generals complained that the enemy seemed to be a ghost of what it had been, whereby worthy opponents had been honorably defeated. The Republic thus became the vehicle for the creation of Total War, wherein the whole nation became involved in war-making: men, women and children.

The development of Total War -- impossible under the monarchies of earlier times -- had a direct impact on society, because suddenly women and children became viable war targets. The modern era, which purports to be the culmination of a long process of improvement, could be defined as the Era of the Republic, for by force and trickery, most of the main European monarchies are no more, replaced by "progressive" republics. Yet the legacy of this Era of the Republic, is that this mode of government is responsible directly for the death in war of over 100 million people.

The Republic has failed in the fundamental purpose of a government, of providing justice. Without a law that men abide by, which they cannot set aside by a show of hands, they have no law at all. They are lawless, and one look at the landscape of America today reveals the chaos of lawlessness. But the answer rests in the same place it rested in, in 1776. It rests in the restoration of the ancient legal institution of the Crown of America.

Americans don't trust the Federal Republic because its leaders have a demonstrated history of violating the rights of their own citizens, right down to using them as guinea pigs in military tests. They don't trust the political parties to be objective, because the parties would sabotage the nation to prove that the "other party" is not worthy of power. The American people KNOW that a neutral institution of leadership is desperately needed, but the word "KINGDOM" is taboo under the Republic. The unwritten constitution of Anglo-American law remains unchanged, despite the imposition of the written Constitution of the Republic; it lies just beneath the surface, in the Common Law of the United States, and it is the constitution of a kingdom, lacking only the king.

Soon, all legal discussions will be academic, because the impoverished and embittered are tearing the country apart brick by brick. The hatred sponsored by the politicians, and the institutions of the Republic, is now being focused upon them, and the self-destructiveness of hatred is becoming pathetically self-evident. If we ever honestly want to improve our homeland, enough to search out the true root causes of violence and crime in America, the ONLY way to find it is to follow the ancient Greek advice to: KNOW THYSELF.


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Hi Hammer6... thanks for an excellent post regarding the Origin of Crime in America.  I found it particularly interesting, having studied both British and American Politics in a previous life, and would be very interested to know other members' views on this one.


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Hi Hammer6. A very interesting post on the history of the 'ORIGIN OF CRIME AND VIOLENCE IN AMERICA'.

 


Hi Admin2. Again an interesting read - early Scottish crime file.

hammer6

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Indeed some of the early cases are well known in Scotland I thought that Admin2 and indeed the whole TEAM has done a great job over the weekend.

 

You will note the early American CRIME section which is an interesting viewpoint.


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Prohibition and the gangsters are an integral part of America's history in the 1920's. America experienced the Jazz Age and the young who formed the basis of this period's fame wanted alcohol. 

The 18th Amendment had banned the sale, transportation and manufacture of alcohol in America. But it was clear to some, that millions neither wanted this law nor would respect it. There was obviously a huge market for what in the 1920's was an illegal commodity. It was the gangsters who dominated various cities who provided this commodity. Each major city had its gangster element but the most famous was Chicago with Al Capone.

Al Capone

Capone was "Public Enemy Number 1". He had moved to Chicago in 1920 where he worked for Johnny Torrio the city's leading figure in the underworld. Capone was given the task of intimidating Torrio's rivals within the city so that they would give up and hand over to Torrio their territory. Capone also had to convince speakeasy operators to buy illegal alcohol from Torrio.

Capone was very good at what he did. in 1925, Torrio was nearly killed by a rival gang and he decided to get out of the criminal world while he was still alive. Torrio handed over to Capone his 'business'.

Within 2 years, Capone was earning $60 million a year from alcohol sales alone. Other rackets earned him an extra $45 million a year.

Capone managed to bribe both the police and the important politicians of Chicago. He spent $75 million on such ventures but considered it a good investment of his huge fortune. His armed thugs patrolled election booths to ensure that Capone's politicians were returned to office. The city's mayor after 1927 was Big Bill Thompson - one of Capone's men. Thompson said

"We'll not only reopen places these people have closed, but we'll open 10,000 new ones (speakeasies).

For all his power, Capone still had enemies from other surviving gangs in the city. He drove everywhere in an armour plated limousine and wherever he went, so did his armed bodyguards. Violence was a daily occurrence in Chicago. 227 gangsters were killed in the space of 4 years and on St Valentine's Day, 1929, 7 members of the O'Banion gang were shot dead by gangsters dressed as police officers.

In 1931, the law finally caught up with Capone and he was charged with tax evasion. He got 11 years in jail. In prison, his health went and when he was released, he retired to his Florida mansion no longer the feared man he was from 1925 to 1931.

 

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Gangster

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Italian WWII propaganda poster presenting an Allied airman as a gangster, playing on the popular gangster icons of Al Capone and the Thompson M1928 gun.
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Italian WWII propaganda poster presenting an Allied airman as a gangster, playing on the popular gangster icons of Al Capone and the Thompson M1928 gun.

Gangster is the frequently misused term for a career criminal who is, or at some point almost invariably becomes, a member of a violent crime organization, such as a gang.

In the WWII era, a gangster one who was a part of a "mafia" or "organized crime group". In current times, gangsters are most commonly viewed as malicious individuals. The media has had a substantial influence on the modern view of the gangster.

Gangsters are typically organised criminals who are actively engaged in crime as a group activity or enterprise for pleasure and profit. The visibility of activities of gangsters can range from the low-level such as drug-trafficking or protectionism, which are prone to be 'under the radar', to the in-your-face spectacular, such as the UK's multi-million Brinks Mat robbery. Gangsters often run their operations as businesses insofar as they offer a "product" or "service", albeit an illegal one, or, as is sometimes the case, a legitimate business operating as a front for criminal activity.

The ranges and spheres of activities of gangsters are diverse, and frequently are to be found filling the gaps between legislature and physical reality. During the Prohibition era in the United States, gangsters effectively and lucratively exploited the demand for alcohol by filling the gap in supply. In the 1950s, they did the same with gambling. They also actively engage in other demand-driven markets such as trade in narcotics, pimping, people-trafficking, the supply of false documents, and so on and so forth.

Some gangsters engage in extortion, intimidation, and/or bribery to wield influence over labor unions. They are also known for attempting to manipulate the decisions of civil institutions, such as court cases and political elections.


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ORGANIZED CRIME

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In the pantheon of the American violent antihero, the gangster has occupied an enduring price of place second only to the cowboy; both have enjoyed the distinction of inspiring an entire genre of popular music. Whether the cinematic iconography is that of the loyal family operative—The Godfather (1972)—or the brutal sadist—The Untouchables (1987)—the adventure, violence, and bloodshed of the American gangster continues to grip the imagination of the world.

In reality, organized crime is mainly another business—the bursts of machine-gun fire and "rubouts" that dominate the movie version of gangland are really only the occasional means to a higher (or lower) end—money. Like rogue nation-states securing their national interests, organized criminal syndicates aggressively defend their profits and business "turf" by any means necessary.

In distinction to other forms of criminality, organized crime is a conspiratorial activity involving the collaboration of numerous people over a prolonged period. Unlike other criminal groupings, syndicates have maintained enough organizational strength to allow continued operation in the face of the loss of one or more members. Criminal syndicates rely on rules and regulations to maintain discipline and control within their ranks. Breaking the rules typically results in verbal or physical punishment, including death.

Organized crime groups are motivated by money rather than ideology—a characteristic that distinguishes them from organized terrorism. Although there are occasional links between terrorist groups and organized criminals (e.g., the Russian Mafia is often accused of supplying Russian nationalists with weapons), organized criminals generally avoid connections with terrorists and are much more restrained and functional in their use of violence.

Like other plunderers, from the state level to the back alleys, organized criminals are willing to use violence and murder to accomplish their goals. Although reliable statistics on mob murder and violence are unavailable, the level of bloodshed seems proportional to the vigor of the market for mob-supplied goods. Expanding markets and profits associated often intensify competition between existing groups and spawn new ones; violence tends to flare when several groups are jockeying for the same market niche. Violence also plays an important internal role among criminal groups who use it as a deterrent to insubordination. Violence can also be the price of failure. Mexican organizations, for example, kidnap, torture, and execute members whose drug shipments are confiscated by U.S. border agents.

Gangsters themselves are the most likely victims of organized-crime-related violence; however, bystanders sometimes get caught in the middle. The DeMeo crew of the Gambino family murdered well over a hundred people; while most of them were criminals, several were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Criminal syndicates tend to specialize in the provision of illicit goods and services. Organized crime is not limited to any one kind of activity, illegal or otherwise, but syndicates tend to focus on gambling, drug trafficking, loan sharking, prostitution, and extortion. To accomplish their goals, participants function in hierarchical networks, with each member assigned a particular task. The structure of organized crime insulates the leadership from direct criminal involvement. The subordinates are willing employees with specialized skills, such as computer hacking or contract murders.

Organized criminals often make use of government corruption to accomplish their organizational goals. Bribery and extortion are necessary tools for the survival of their enterprise. For example, a recent federal investigation in Arizona resulted in the arrest of ten federal officers, two deputy sheriffs, three local police officers, and one local judge. In another investigation, federal agents discovered that four Immigration and Naturalization Service inspectors were paid over $800,000 to pass more than twenty tons of cocaine into the United States.

Traditional Organized Crime

The origins of organized crime in the United States date back to at least the early 1800s, when criminal gangs victimized the residents of New York, Boston, and other cities. By the middle of the nineteenth century, at least some of these gangs had emerged in a sufficiently structured and prominent form to warrant public recognition of "organized crime."

One of the first criminal groups with a tightly organized and acknowledged leadership was New York's Forty Thieves Gang, which thrived from 1820 to about 1860 (another gang by the same name operated between 1930 and 1940). Throughout the early and mid-nineteenth century, many sons of poor Irish immigrants formed gangs and participated in criminal activities, including theft, burglary, and extortion. The Forty Thieves and groups like them were also heavily involved in local politics. In fact, New York's infamous Tammany Hall politicians used the brawling Irish gangs as tools of political power, selectively procuring their services for such unlovely reasons of state as breaking up picket lines, intimidating voters, and stuffing ballot boxes. In return for their help, the gangs received protection from the police, access to political power, and jobs for their relatives.

Other immigrant groups were associated with organized crime in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—among them Jewish, Polish, Chinese, and Italian—leading many criminologists to suspect that immigration may have facilitated the growth of organized criminal activity in the United States. One scholar has argued that because early immigrants were wedged into poverty-stricken ghettos with few legitimate opportunities for conventional success, they were more likely to turn to crime to escape poverty. "The aspiring ethnic, blocked from legitimate access to wealth and power, is permitted to produce and provide those illicit goods and services that society publicly condemns but privately demands" (Ianni 1975, p. 89). In short, organized crime provided the immigrant and his family a means to escape the penury and indignity of the ghetto. The same processes may still be at work in the twenty-first century with more recent immigrants to U.S. cities.

Like many other immigrants groups, the Irish-American population found increasingly legitimate avenues for success outside the ghetto. With fewer members of their own ethnic group willing to support or even tolerate their criminal ventures, Irish syndicates found it difficult to maintain control over the criminal rackets. For the most part, the Irish were slowly, sometimes violently, replaced by other criminal groups.

However, while Irish and other ethnic groups have come and gone on the American organized crime scene, none have rivaled the impact or resilience of the Italian-American syndicates. Between 1820 and 1930 almost 5 million Italians immigrated to the United States—more than 2 million between 1900 and 1920. Like the Irish before them, Italian immigrants found themselves isolated in ghetto areas with few legitimate opportunities to realize the American dream, so that some of their number sought to escape poverty by supplying the illicit goods and services demanded by the local populace.

Some argue that the Italian experience was even more conducive to the formation of criminal syndicates. Because many Italian immigrants did not speak English, they were even more isolated and had even fewer opportunities for positive influence outside their ethnic enclaves. Moreover, the organizational antecedents of organized crime, including secret societies such as the Italian Mafia and the Camorra already permeated southern Italian culture. Thus, Italian immigrants brought with them knowledge of the ways of secret societies and the spirit of the Mafia that they used to construct a uniquely American organization that emerged later, with the advent of Prohibition.

In 1919 the passage of the Volstead Act made it illegal to produce, distribute, or sell alcoholic beverages. Prohibition (1920–1933) provided the context for the rapid development of a new illegal enterprise and the necessity for a more complex division of labor between and within the criminal groups responsible for bringing in and distributing illegal alcohol. In essence, the large profits that could be made by satisfying the public demand for alcohol motivated small-time, local Italian gangs to expand beyond the ghetto.

While it is easy to focus on the violence associated with gang wars during Prohibition, the breadth of the market induced many Italian gangs to work more extensively with other criminal groups than they ever had before. At times, however, cooperation failed and resulted in bloody conflicts. For example, in Chicago a four-year feud between rival Irish and Italian forces culminated on February 14, 1929, when members of the Capone mob, disguised as police officers, systematically executed seven members of the Moran gang in the aptly named "St. Valentine's Day Massacre." Interestingly, collaboration with non-Italians increased profits, and most syndicate leaders recognized that gang wars were bad for business. Working with non-Italian groups also demonstrated the utility of other models of organization that departed radically from the family patronage model of the traditional Italian Mafia that many of the young American-born Italians rejected.

The violence reached its peak in the Castellammarese War of 1930–1931, when the Old World faction headed by Salvatore Maranzano was nearly exterminated by younger, Americanized factions under the direction of Giuseppe Masseria. By the end of the war, Maranzano was dead along with many of his compatriots, clearing the way for the Americanized gangsters to assume new levels of leadership in Italian-American crime syndicates. In the shadow of Prohibition, newer, younger leaders replaced their fractious elders with an organization that was on the whole more cooperative, stable, and profitable. Some criminologists contend that by the end of Prohibition, U.S. organized crime had developed a national, rigidly hierarchical framework under almost exclusive control of the Italian Mafia. Others cite evidence that indicates the criminal syndicates maintained a fluid, decentralized, ethnically diverse structure that has promoted their interests in an environment hostile to their very existence. As of the twenty-first century, the Mafia (also known as La Cosa Nostra) remains the most powerful organized-crime group in the United States, but most criminologists deem it a declining force.

Nontraditional Organized Crime

The contemporary war on drugs, like Prohibition in an earlier generation, has drawn the attention of organized crime, generating expanded opportunities for cooperation and competition among the various criminal groups seeking entry into this illegal market. While the Mafia may be the best-established criminal group involved in the American drug trade, many of the nontraditional groups vying for a share of the action are better organized, both nationally and internationally, and more violent. Specialization in drug trafficking is one of the hallmarks of the emerging criminal syndicates that experts refer to as nontraditional organized crime; they can also be found operating in other criminal rackets like gambling and prostitution. Although various Asian gangs, primarily of Chinese origin, have been active in the United States since the 1850s, they are also labeled nontraditional organized crime.

The Chinese Triads are among the most feared and interesting criminal syndicates that operate in the United States. Overseas the Triads are heavily engaged in illegal gambling, prostitution, and extortion; inside the United States they generate millions of dollars trafficking in opium products such as heroin. Like many criminal syndicates, Triads are principally involved in the importation and wholesale distribution of narcotics; however, because of their close ties with American Tongs and Chinese-American youth gangs, Triads have ready access to street-level markets. Youth gangs are also instrumental in protecting the Triad/Tong narcotics turf from infiltration by competitors (i.e., rival African-American groups) through intimidation and violence.

Mexico is also home to a number of powerful organized crime groups. Mexican cartels, also considered nontraditional organized crime, vividly illustrate the brutality of drug trafficking. For many years the Juarez Cartel has controlled the El Paso, Texas, gateway for drug traffic. Authorities believe that the Juarez Cartel is responsible for more than 300 drug-related disappearances in Mexico, more than 120 drug-related homicides, and 73 disappearances in El Paso. In a separate incident in 1998, a U.S. border patrol agent confronted and was murdered by narcotics smugglers along the Arizona-Mexico border. Events such as these along the U.S. border with Mexico are part of a larger pattern in which organized criminals attempt to maximize its profits by protecting shipments and territory through the use of deadly force.

Another nontraditional organized-crime group making headway in the United States is the Russian Mafia. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian Mafia, or vorovskoi mir, emerged as an important criminal organization in both Russia and America, supplying coveted but illegal goods and services in both markets. In addition, the Russian Mafia is intimately tied to the political and economic structure of Russia, much more so than most organized crime groups. Russian businesses, for example, often have little choice but to turn to criminal syndicates for investment capital. While many Russian gangs are local or national, more and more are establishing international links, including links to the United States, where they are involved in multiple rackets, including drug trafficking and securities fraud.

Organized Crime and the Media

The mass media both reflect and shape public perceptions of organized crime. Films such as Good-fellas (1990), televisions shows like The Sopranos (1999), and books like Mario Puzo's The Godfather (1969) all portray Italian-Americans as the primary perpetrators of organized crime. Furthermore, stories of organized crime in the news often focus on only the most superficial and sensational crimes. This coverage leaves the public with the view that this type of criminal behavior, while somewhat romantic, is excessively violent. In all likelihood, members of crime syndicates go out of their way to avoid exposure to such violence. Thus the media has fueled society's appetites for stories about mobsters while at the same time obscuring the reality of organized crime groups by providing stereotypical images of their members, their modes of organization, and their activities. Suffused with the romance of death and daring in the popular imagination, the bulk of organized-crime activities carry all the panache of a corporate board meeting or an accountant's balance sheet.

See also: FIREARMS; HOMICIDE, DEFINITIONS AND CLASSIFICATIONS OF; HOMICIDE, EPIDEMIOLOGY OF

Bibliography

Abadinsky, Howard. Organized Crime, 6th edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2000.

Barlow, Hugh D. Introduction to Criminology, 7th edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

Ianni, Francis A. J. Black Mafia: Ethnic Succession in Organized Crime. New York: Pocket, 1975.

Lyman, Michael D., and Gary W. Potter. Organized Crime, 2nd edition. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2000.

Mustain, Gene, and Jerry Capeci. Murder Machine: A True Story of Murder, Madness, and the Mafia. New York: Onyx, 1993.

Internet Resources

McCraw, Steven C. "Organized Crime, Drug Trafficking, and Terrorist Acts." In the Federal Bureau of Investigation [web site]. Available from http://www.fbi.gov/congress/congress00/mccraw.htm.

JOHNETTA M. WARD JASON D. MILLER


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Nice one for the info TONY.......by the way are you connected


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Most Wanted Fugitives USA:

Suspects currently being sought by law enforcement agencies in connection with specific crimes and incidents.
Articles & Resources
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Richard Lee McNair
Escaped murderer, Richard Lee McNair, has a way with words. He proved it when he convinced a police officer in Ball, Louisiana, last week that he was just out for a jog and the officer let him go.
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David Benjamin Creamer was charged with distribution of child pornography, transportation of obscene materials, firearms violations, money laundering and income tax evasion, but never showed up to court. He has been on the run since 1997. Have you seen him?
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Byron Keith Perkins promised to donate a kidney to his ailing son, but skipped town instead. This callous act resulted in his being dubbed the "most hated man in America."
$5 Million Reward Offered for Drug Kingpin
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has announced a $5,000,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of Joaquin Guzman-Loera, a.k.a. Chapo Guzman.
Donald Eugene Webb
Donald Eugene Webb is wanted by the FBI for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, murder and attempted burglary.
Genero Espinosa Dorantes
Genero Espinosa Dorantes is wanted by the FBI for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution and criminal homicide.
Victor Manuel Gerena
Victor Manuel Gerena is wanted by the FBI for bank robbery, unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, armed robbery, and theft from interstate shipment.
Richard Steve Goldberg
Richard Steve Goldberg is wanted by the FBI for sexual exploitation of children (production of child pornography); unlawful flight to avoid prosecution - lewd acts upon a child (six counts) and possession of child pornography (two counts).
Glen Stewart Godwin
Glen Stewart Godwin is wanted by the FBI for unlawful flight to avoid confinement - murder and escape.
Robert William Fisher
Robert William Fisher is wanted by the FBI for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution on the charges of first degree murder (three counts), arson of an occupied structure.
James J. Bulger
James J. Bulger is wanted by the FBI for racketeering influenced and corrupt organizations (RICO) charges including murder (18 counts), conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit extortion, narcotics distribution, conspiracy to commit money laundering; extortion; and money laundering.
Diego Leon Montoya Sanchez
Diego Leon Montoya Sanchez is being sought in connection with the manufacture and distribution of multiple tons of cocaine.
Usama Bin Laden
Usama Bin Laden is wanted in connection with the August 7, 1998, bombings of the United States Embassies in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. These attacks killed over 200 people.

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Stockbroking Days

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

FLASHBACK TO YARD 4

The Prison Machiavelli

Two Tonys relates Machiavellian quotes to prison life

And, above all things, abstain from taking people’s property….

“In the joint you should abstain from takin’ people’s property, cos, firstly, you can get hurt, and secondly, it’s not the right thing to do. Readers may be saying', ‘But Two Tonys done robbed, done stole, done conned, and now he’s sayin’ takin’ someone’s Snickers and two bars of soap is wrong,’ so lemmetellyasomethin’: there ain’t nothin’ worse than a jailhouse thief. Also, extortion of property by gang members ain’t right. It’s hard enough in here with the boot of the Man, society, on our necks, to then hafta experience man’s inhumanity to fellow man from yer brothers in chains; shit like protection rackets, quid pro quos, I’m gunna give you two boxes of cigarettes a week to handle my problems. Here the strong prey on the weak and the smart take from the strong.”

….it is much more safe to be feared than to be loved….

“Here, bein’ feared can hurt you or can help you. If you’re too feared motherfuckers might wanna rake yer out. I whacked a motherfucker outta fear. He scared me, so I had to get there first. There’s a happy medium. Love in prison is a word thrown around a lot, love and respect, wah-wah-wah. If you get right down to it there ain't too many motherfuckers who love yer in these fuckin’ shithouses. You’re pretty much on your own. Respect is a more common emotion – and a form of fear. I respect the Rock outta fear. I’m not gunna pull his moustache and poke him in the eye if I see him in a bar. That’s respect.”

Politics has no relation to morals.

“Prison politics have changed since my first time down in 1980. There was a code. If you were a good person of your race they wouldn’t beat you down and take your shit, they’d show you the ropes, the dos and don’ts. If some esse or black dudes run up on your store bag and say, ‘Whatchu got in there. I’m hungry. Gimme some,” and you’ve got no allies, you’re in big trouble; so, you need six or seven white guys to roll over to prevent a situation. The white guys aren’t supposed to exploit you later on but they do. Politics changed when DOC STG’d [classified as a Security Threat Group] the gang leaders, and sent ‘em to SMU. The cons used to run prison. DOC runs it now. The days of the old wise-crackin’ con talkin’ outta the side of his neck are gone.”

…a man who wants to act virtuously in every way necessarily comes to grief among so many who are not virtuous.

“That’s so fuckin’ true. When somethin’ bad's goin’ down, you feel it, it’s in the air, you know it’s about to happen. I seen a guy one time they were gettin’ ready to kill. I knew him, and somethin’ told me to warn him but I didn’t do it. They killed him. The virtuous thing to do woulda got my ass killed. You can’t be too virtuous in here. If I see a guy comin’ outta a cell with some jabroney’s TV that I don’t give a fuck about, I’m not gunna get involved. If it’s a partner’s TV, yeah, fuck, let’s get it back. In society you see your neighbours house getting’ robbed and you call the cops. In here that’s a no-no.”

For men are so simple…. that the deceiver will never lack dupes.

“No question about it. There’s a lotta dupes in prison - some smart people too. Turned loose on society, there’s some motherfuckers in here that’ll run big game.”

Hatred is acquired as much by good works as by bad ones.

“Churchgoers are not privy to a lotta things goin’ on. You can’t be too good in here. When you start feedin’ hungry motherfuckers, it’s seen as weakness, and yer gunna have a line at yer door every night.”

How perilous it is to free a people who prefer slavery.

“You’ve gotta lotta institutionalised prisoners. State-raised from the cradle to foster homes to juvenile hall to county jails to prison. These guys hit the gates, get out, and can’t cope with it. They’re freer in here than with the bunch of worker ants I see on my television at 5:30 in the mornin’, on the freeways, bumper to bumper, bunched up line after line, all headin’ downtown. Here we don’t decide what we eat, wear, or what doctor we see. If this is all you’ve known yer entire life how are you expected to get out there and get a job, buy clothes, get to work, pay bills? It’s a drain on a motherfucker who’s not ready for it. You’ve gotta be a well-oiled machine. The tiniest infraction – a speedin’ ticket – and the whole machine is kaput. Suddenly you’re down $175, so you’ve gotta boost some canned ham from the meat department at Safeway so you can eat. When I wave goodbye to motherfuckers like Repo at the gate, I know they’re comin’ back. Slavery is a state of mind and prisoners are mentally conditioned to be in prison.”

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http://ganglandnews.com/

 

 

http://ganglandnews.com/bellomo.htm

 

http://ganglandnews.com/column.htm


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A Mystery
(The story of D.B. Cooper)



Sketch of DB Cooper
Sketch of DB Cooper

The particulars of D.B. Cooper's clever airborne crime and daredevil getaway have been pondered, picked over and recapitulated for three decades now.

In 1971, D.B. Cooper hijacked and threatened to blow up an airliner, extorted $200,000 from its owner, Northwest Orient, then leaped from the airborne 727 with 21 pounds of $20 bills strapped to his torso.

He was never seen again—dead or alive. The crime was perfect if he lived, perfectly crazy if he didn't.

In either case, D.B. Cooper's nom de crime—no one knows his real name—may be the most recognized alias among western felons since Jack the Ripper.

Everyone from dour G-men to giddy amateur sleuths have pored over the details, hoping to wheedle a resolution out of some overlooked aspect, as though a clue concealed in the holdup's hieroglyph of facts might lead to an a-ha!, a la Inspector Clouseau.

Yet the case remains unsolved more than 30 years later, and D. B. Cooper has become the Bigfoot of crime, evading one of the most extensive and expensive American manhunts of the 20th century. The whereabouts of the man (or his remains) is one of the great crime mysteries of our time.

Of course, the annals of wrongdoing are stuffed with titillating unsolved cases, from London's notorious ripper in the 1880s to the Black Dahlia murder of an aspiring actress in Los Angeles in 1947 to the befuddling murder—and muddled investigation—of little Jon Benet Ramsey in 1997 in Boulder, Colo.

But D.B. Cooper's crime was different. First, no innocent bystander was injured, although law enforcers argue that he put several dozen lives at risk.

There was modest collateral damage to Northwest Orient's bottom line, and the FBI's swollen ego was bruised to the bone. Cooper pulled his buccaneering swipe in the twilight of the 47-year tenure of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who died not long after the hijacking. The director no doubt went to his grave with teeth gritted over his agency's inability, in this case, to get their man.

Cooper's crime also was unusual in that it helped rally critical support for sweeping air travel security initiatives, including passenger screening. Until D. B. Cooper's skydive, it was entirely possible to walk aboard a jet carrying a bomb.

Most law-abiders react with revulsion to violent criminals, with disgust to extortionists, and with a tsk-tsk to the preponderate larcenies that fill crime blotters in police stations across America.

Yet Cooper induced more smiles than frowns.

Hijackings became more violent and less palatable as the 1970s wore on, and the destruction of September 11, 2001, makes any such act seem evil.

But D. B. Cooper's crime was of its time, the early 1970s, when antisocial behavior had cache. Many Americans commended his moxie. He was celebrated in a song, film and books. He managed to tweak J. Edgar Hoover's nose and finagle a bag of loot from a big corporation. He was Robin Hood for tie-dyed longhairs—and not a few wearers of more traditional attire.

But did D. B. Cooper get away with it? No one can say for certain. We do know that he could have survived the dangerous nighttime skydive because Cooper's caper, like a crime science experiment, was replicated with complete success by a copycat aerial clip artist just months later. That hijacker hit the ground safely, although the mimic ultimately paid dearly. The copycat case also spawned a controversial theory about the fate of Dan Cooper.

Coincidentally, Cooper himself probably copied a similar hijacking that occurred two weeks before his endeavor.

Many others have tried variations on the airline extortion technique—generally with less success. Some have "splattered," as law enforcers like to say. FBI investigators believe Cooper probably met that fate—a fatal kiss of the ground. But their opinion is far from unanimous.

Books by a half-dozen authors, including three separate tomes by ex-FBI agents, have posited theories—some serious, some spurious—about what happened to Cooper. Several men have stepped forward claiming to be Cooper, although none convincingly so. Some believe Cooper is alive and well and living on a beach in Mexico. Others say he slipped back into an obscure American life and grins like a Cheshire cat at premature reports of his demise.

 

CHAPTERS
1. A Mystery

2. The Crime

3. The Hijacking Dilemma

4. Meeting the Demands

5. "Everything Is Ready"

6. The Jump

7. The Investigation

8. Clues and More Theories

9. The Copycats

10. "I'm Dan Cooper. So Am I."

11. Postscripts

12. Bibliography

13. The Authors
-David Krajicekkrajicek


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This is also a great topic for lovers of TRUE CRIME> The Raid in Teaneck, the prologue from Ron Chepesiuk and Anthony Gonzalez's upcoming book, Superfly: The True Untold Story of Frank Lucas, American Gangster. (A major movie about Lucas entitled American Gangster and starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe will be in theaters beginning Nov. 2, 2007.) The book investigates Lucas's life and criminal career and the claims to fame the movie makes about him. This includes Lucas's relationship with legendary Harlem gangster Bumpy Johnson, his connection to La Cosa Nostra, the money he made in the drug trade and the development of the Asian drug pipeline. Lucas's life as a government informant is also examined. Beginning Oct. 25, 2007, Superfly can be purchased from the web site franklucasamericangangster.com. A documentary is also available.


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