Mike Dowd Dirtiest Cop In NYC

Mike Dowd Dirtiest Cop In NYC

Back in the early eighties the crack and crime infested neighborhoods of South Brooklyn were devastated by poverty and urban decline. The 75th Precinct of the NYPD covers an area of Brooklyn south of Jamaica Boulevard and it is here that we meet Michael Dowd, perhaps the most corrupt cop America has ever known.

Heists, burglary, drug-dealing, kidnapping. There was literally nothing too dirty for Mikey D. and his crew of crooked cops. These guys ruled the neighborhood, shaking down drug dealers for protection money and committing hundreds of crimes in a reign of terror that lasted more than a decade.

The Seven Five is a fast moving documentary that spotlights the remorseless rise and inevitable fall of Dowd and his thuggish friends.

The real stars of this show are the bent cops themselves—interviewed for this movie documentary, they outline in every shameless detail, the depths to which they betrayed the NYPD and the residents of South Brooklyn. Dowd comes across as a Joe Pesci style wise guy from the get go. As one of the IA cops who finally took him down relates—“I first saw him in the car park out back of the station, he didn’t look like a cop, he didn’t have a cop look. He looked like a perp.”

Needless to say, Dowd, who spent a substantial amount of time in jail for his crimes, gushes forth about the bad old days and is still full of the wise guy bullshit, he weasels and lies and makes excuses—he looks misty eyed for the lost camaraderie of his crime-ish cohorts. But make no mistake, we are dealing with a bad man here, you will be appalled, maybe even sickened, but you will also be drawn into a story that is endlessly compelling.

The interviews with Dowd and his crew are linked by retro footage, shots of the horror and squalor of South Brooklyn, a neighborhood that looks reminiscent of modern day Syria in many instances. We also get courtroom admissions from the 1993 Police corruption investigation in which Dowd confesses all. Then there are the pièce de résistance opinions of drug kingpins Adam Diaz and Baron Perez. Diaz in particular comes across as being fiendishly unrepentant. “I’m not saying I killed him he just ain’t around no more,” he drawls at one point, a derisive smirk plastered across his face.

These are bad people all right; very bad people. If you love crime you will love the Seven Five Crimeziners. It is out now for a limited cinema release, also available on cable and DVD. Check it out

http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi222933273the seven five


American Crime Crimezine

American Crime—A laugh riot of comic japes and quick-firebanter.

Ah, there you are Crimeziners. Anyone fancy some American Crime? Not Serbo-Croation Crime, or Guatemalan crime, but full bloodied, freedom loving, American Crime? How iconic that sounds. You can almost imagine the marching band, and old glory fluttering patriotically in every scene, as a square-jawed set of shoulder-holster wearing patriots, with pomaded hair, swap dry, Dragnet style witticisms and unfiltered cigarettes, as they “stake out”, run down, then pummel ruthlessly “punks” of every description.

The world has changed substantially since America used to make those kind of shows. In a world where living human beings are burned alive, beheaded, and otherwise tortured in an endless rolling news horror-fest; the viewing public has become somewhat desensitized to the threat of “stoners”, “radicals” and jug-eared gangsters from central casting.

Gritty realism is the new vogue, and American Crime has plenty of that. In this show the darkness is unrelenting from the outset. Heroin addled beat-downs, junkie rip offs, and terror-filled streets seething with emaciated street-hoodlums with more tattoos than you can shake a magic marker at. There are the sweet middle class families too, torn apart by horror of it all. The horror! The horror! Even Joe Conrad wouldn’t be able to make it through this show in one piece.

Thirty minutes of this kind of “entertainment” and you will be reaching for the prescription meds in the vain hope that the world will become bright and shiny again. Of course it won’t. The world will never come good again, especially if you have been watching rolling news coverage for any length of time.

At the other end of the entertainment spectrum we have the CSI’s and the other acronym ridden crime-lite shows that top the ratings. But even these prime-time staples are becoming infected with the growing tendency to favor gratuitous cruelty and stomach churning nastiness over mystery, suspense and sophisticated plot development. Thanks al-Qaeda. Ten bucks for a water at the airport, now this.

On a lighter note, Timothy Hutton is marvelous as former gambler Rus Skokie. Hutton has been acting for literally fifty years man and boy and has starred in umpteen movies and TV Shows. Unfortunately, Crimezine was unable to shake away the memory of his performance as Nathan Ford in Leverage. This was perhaps the cruelest torture of all in American Crime, because every time Hutton graced our screen we expected him to offer up a pithy Leverage style witticism. Sadly none came, and we were forced to choke down a handful of Citalopram with a vodka-tonic chaser. This didn’t help. We then switched to rolling news, in the hope that the latest burnings and beheadings would cheer us up.

But as those with romance and optimism in their hearts will know, there is always something good that comes out of every great tragedy. In this case, that something good is the on-set love match between the superannuated Hutton 54 and his American Crime co-star, 26-year-old Caitlin Gerard. (The junkie chick in the show.)

Apparently the two lovebirds hooked up while shooting the show in Austin, TX. Crimezine understands from insiders that the two are so “into each other” that she moved into Hutton’s Austin love nest and she’s now “secretly” living with him and his 27-year-old son Noah. Aw, bless—the kid is older than she is. No doubt mom—Hutton’s first wife Debra Winger—will be delighted. Catch you later Crimeziners.


RED NOTICE CRIMEZINEZdravstvuj Crimeziners! And a triple word score to you all! For it is from that free market paradise formally known as the USSR that we bring you today’s special edition of Crimezine the world’s favorite crime blog.

Our Russian friends, or more especially Russki Capo di tutti capi, Vlad-it-wasn’t-me-who murdered-those-dissidents-honest-Putin, are never far from the news these days. Whether it is poisoned sushi that is to blame, a “careless” fall from a balcony window, or a car door handle liberally covered in a lethal nuclear isotope, you can be sure the bare-chested, tiger-wrassling Vlad is never far from the news media podium, to offer one of his famous pokerfaced denials of malfeasance.

“Former” KGB goon Putin has upped his game substantially in recent years, using his trademarked totalitarian newspeak to explain away the shooting down of holiday airliner MH17, the invasion of the Ukraine, and the brutal murder of leading opposition figure Boris Nemetsov.

But it is perhaps one of Putin’s least understood achievements that concerns us today. Following the fall of the Soviet Union and the breathless rush to the free market transition that followed, the Russian government started selling major assets, such as oil companies and other state-owned industries, at yard sale prices. Many were bought by a handful of well-connected oligarchs who became the world’s new super rich.

Enter Stanford educated Bill Browder, CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, an Investment management maverick, who figured how to buy into the assets of the new Russia and make billions in the process. Red Notice is the book that details How Browder made the transition from a down on his heels corporate investor into an international financial superstar and fell victim to the world’s greatest criminal conspiracies as a result.

Browder’s capitalist dream became a nightmare when—Vlad-it’s-a-nice-day-in-the gulags-today-Putin’s meteoric rise to power put the breaks on foreign investment. Oligarchs fled in fear of their lives and the full police-state machinery of the new Russia was turned to the purpose of swindling foreign investors.

Forget about the Ocean’s Eleven robbing the Bellagio Casino, or Goldfinger cornering the market in world gold. This crime was bigger, way bigger. In the scramble to claw back control from foreigners the Russians “redistributed” assets from companies they had already sold, effectively stealing entire oil and gas fields from Western investors—assets worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

Bill Browder became persona non grata of course. Worse than that, the Putin police state now viewed him as an enemy and treated him accordingly. Red Notice is the story of the merciless treatment Browder recieved—A story where we meet an endless parade of corrupt cops, bent judges, secret agent assassins and vile politicians, as they scramble to ruin and discredit our hero.

At the time of writing Browder is still breathing. But the book makes it clear that he is a marked man. Hermitage lawyer Sergei Magnitsky was not so lucky. His attempt to represent Browder and expose corruption in the Putin Government caused him to be brutally murdered. Sergei Magnitsky’s story is outlined in detail in this book. This is a touching, dynamic, and widely acclaimed account of the Browder story that will thrill and surprise you, as it outlines the crime of the century. But more than that, this book will enlighten you to the true nature of Vladimir Putin and the new Russia.


Thoughts on James Ellroy’s masterwork Perfidia by Ellroy expert Steve Powell

Originally posted on The Venetian Vase:

PerfidiaIn Exquisite Corpse: Surrealism and the Black Dahlia Murder (2006) Mark Nelson and Sarah Hudson Bayliss created a highly impressive chart they titled ‘Los Angeles 1935-1950: A Web of Connections’ which ‘situates Black Dahlia murder suspect George Hodel within the culturally elite circles of Los Angeles at the time of the murder and illustrates the close geographical proximity of the central characters in our book.’

After completing my second reading of James Ellroy’s Perfidia, I’m beginning to see more clearly how Ellroy has devised his own web of connections within his body of work as a crime novelist. Nelson and Bayliss explored the potential connections of figures such as Man Ray and John Huston to the Black Dahlia case, building upon the work of former LAPD detective Steve Hodel. With Perfidia, Ellroy has embarked upon a second LA Quartet, preceding the first Quartet chronologically, which, in its myriad…

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Crimezine Treasure Coast with Tom Kakonis

Crimezine cruises the Treasure Coast with Tom Kakonis

Calabasas crime fiction kingpins Lee Goldberg and Joel Goldman, co-founders of boutique publishing venture Brash Books have been publishing a veritable of crimewave of cult-tastic classic-crime novels of late.

Edgar-nominated, Goldberg is no slouch in the crime fiction department himself. A prolific TV writer/producer and novelist, he has scripted more cult crime shows than you can shake a .38 special at, including Diagnosis Murder and the frankly nutso Monk. Most recently he teamed up with the pulchritudinous and multi-talented Janet Evanovich for the bestselling Fox & O’Hare novels, The Heist and The Chase. International best-selling crime author Joel Goldman meanwhile, is best known for his Alex Stone, Lou Mason and Jack Davis Thrillers.

Cult crime legend Tom Kakonis is widely lauded by many as the natural heir to the Elmore Leonard throne. His first book Michigan Roll was published in 1988 when the author was 57. Kakonis is now 83 and has certainly had an eventful life. He served in the Army in Korea, before swinging a sledge on a railroad section crew and perhaps most useful of all for fiction writing, teaching inmates at Stateville Prison in Joliet, Illinois. Then there were the decades he spent as a struggling college professor, before he finally managed to break into the world of crime fiction.

Kakonis’ work has been out of print for many years, so crime fans are understandably excited that Brash Books is republishing the Kakonis oeuvre in its entirety—Michigan Roll, Criss Cross, Flawless, Blind Spot and perhaps most exciting of all, Treasure Coast a work that has been sitting on the shelf for years.

Comparable to the aforementioned Leonard, and with an added exuberance/kookiness reminiscent of Carl Hiaasen, Treasure Coast pulses with the kind of beaten down low-lifes that have made Kakonis’s work so special.

When waster Jim Merriman makes a death bead promise to look after his sisters twenty-one year-old son Leon, you just know there is going to be trouble and pretty soon there is—lots of trouble—as the hapless duo rampage their way along Florida’s Treasure Coast—loan sharking, thuggery, kidnapping—a mail order tombstone con and then there is the whacko psychic who channels the dead and a monster hurricane spinning closer with every passing second. Treasure Coast by Tom Kakonis, you just got to read it to believe it Crimeziners.




Crimezine The Galton Case.

Ross MacDonald The Galton Case

California Crime writing legend Ross Macdonald has frequently been compared to Chandler, Hammett, and James M. Cain. A darling of crime writers and readers of discernment, Macdonald’s prowess as a crime writer has been highly influential down the years.

But there are others who consider his work difficult, and rather intellectually superior for their tastes, preferring instead the work of others such as the similarly named John D. MacDonald. [Of Travis McGee fame]. The startling reputations of both writers are unassailable. But of all the Macdonald’s writing in the crime genre—Ross Macdonald can be unquestioningly called, The thinking mans crime writer.

The Galton Case is a densely plotted psychological detective mystery featuring Macdonald’s hardboiled private eye Lew Archer. Macdonald once said it was his favorite novel, the best he ever wrote. Which is certainly saying something as he wrote some of the most influential and highly readable detective fiction of the 1950s and 1960s, a time when detective fiction was big news.

Macdonald’s work is highly complex and yet startlingly concise. At just under 240 pages The Galton Case is a cunningly distilled masterpiece. Most modern novelists are pushed to devise such swirling and mysterious conspiracies at anything under 400 pages. The Galton Case also contains some startlingly beautiful language, that is far subtler than Chandler’s frontal assault to the senses; less brutally hardboiled than the work of Hammett, and more thoughtfully intellectual that the gritty nastiness of the Cain oeuvre.

—How intellectual, we hear you ask. Well, there is reference to Rimbaud’s theory of the violation of the senses; there are also many subtly pertinent allusions to Greek myths layered deeply inside the kind of murderously devious plot that will send your head spinning.

The Galton Case kicks off in the fictional California town of Santa Teresa, (A thinly disguised Santa Barbara) when the aging and incredibly wealthy Mrs. Galton hires Archer to find her long lost son. But, what seems at first like a staggeringly impossible missing-persons case quickly evolves into a murderous trail into the past, where everything we understand as real quickly melts away into the swirling mists of the Pacific. Deep delve into the mysterious past, discover beat poetry, gangsters, swindlers and strong-arm racketeers. Discover also, the depths of human frailty and a morally complex imbroglio of family life gone horribly and irrevocably awry.

Written in 1959 The Galton Case is charmingly old fashioned in many respects, but the wit and the intelligence of Ross Macdonald’s writing will remain for many long years to come. You too can be a part of it Crimeziners. Check out The Galton Case. Tell them Crimezine sent you..




Crimezine Night crawler

Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Nightcrawler Lou Bloom

If it bleeds it leads Crimeziners. The new Jake Gyllenhaal flick Nightcrawler exploring the dark underbelly of the TV News freelancing industry is a must see for all crime fans.

Co-produced by Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler is also a family day out for Bourne trilogy brothers Dan and Tony Gilroy. The gorgeous Rene Russo AKA Mrs. Dan Gilroy also stars.

Nightcrawler is filled with noirish nastiness and Gyllenhaal is hypnotic as Richard Ramirez style petty criminal and psycho Lou Bloom. As he prowls the LA night, Bloom chances upon a scene of freeway carnage and promptly decides that there is money to be made as a freelance TV news cameraman.

Bloom is as ambitious as he is unscrupulous, a mix of talents that propels him to the top of the trade at the expense of innocent bystanders. Along the way, we get very many marvelous moments, as Bloom inflicts his philosophy of self-empowerment on all and sundry—an acerbic metaphor for not only the unsavory side of media intrusion, but the voracious nature of capitalism itself.

Deep? Do not worry. There are car chases. There is gore. There is moral torment and some stunning cinematography from Robert Elswit. This tense and suspenseful movie will have your heart pumping out of your chest.

Award winning photojournalist and Crimezine chum Howard Raishbrook worked as a Consultant on this movie. Mild mannered Howard is the perfect English gentleman and the very antithesis of psycho Gyllenhaal character; but his company RMG provided valuable background for the making of the movie. Expect to see more of H coming your way soon, as the success of Nightcrawler means RMG will feature in a new reality TV show featuring a veritable carnival of vehicular misfortune and crime scene carnage. How did Gyllenhaal cultivate the Richard Ramirez style cheek-bones? According to H a regime of flavored tooth-picks, herbal-tea, and punishing ten mile runs created that effortlessly starved look. Hollyweird—it’s not all red carpets and champagne, is it Crimeziners?