Posts Tagged ‘True crime’

It is a truth universally acknowledged, dear Crimeziner, that one should never make a purchase of any kind in an airport departure lounge. To ignore such advice is foolish indeed, as it invariably leads severe punishment of both the wallet and the gastro intestinal tract.

With this salutary warning in mind Crimezine hobbled into the departure hall at Tam O Shanter International, Scotland, swishing at the gills with near lethal quantities of premium Speyside malt and prescription meds. The faustian horror encroached, as wailing travelers struggled to negotiate the hordes of baton wielding air marshals, exploding Islamian extremists, and junk fondling CSA facilitators with a poor collective body image. How brave these heroic travelers were, struggling as they did through this Boschian landscape so they might squander their hard earned–tourist dollars in the overpriced sky mall.

Crimezine meanwhile, slunk to the very darkest corner of the airport bar for a twenty dollar cocktail that had received only the briefest acquaintance with hard liquor and came ready paired with a ghastly tummy ache sandwich that was surely sponsored by the gastric bypass industry.

Airports rarely carry books these days. The FAA and their corporate partners have no doubt decided that anyone who buys literature is a clear and present danger to national security. They have therefore replaced bookstores with a carefully selected range of bovine snack foods and overpriced city souvenirs featuring NFL teams and rainbow unicorns. We did however manage to find the latest crime masterworks by Conners and Coben, along with the latest Jimbo Patterson entitled, “Cross Legged”, lovingly knocked together by his army of crime elves, but then, the excitement suddenly peaked—

Talking with Psychopaths and Savages—a journey into the mind of evil by Criminologist/investigative journalist, Christopher Berry-Dee.

Hurrah, hurrah and thrice hurrah! “A chilling study of the most cold blooded, manipulative people on the planet”, the cover screams. “Look around you, because the person sitting right next to you could be a cold heartless murderer!” Gulp!

CBD, as we shall call him, is very important. He tells us this very clearly in the first fifty pages or so. He is involved with television and stuff. He has interviewed “Cold-blooded heartless monsters” and heinous horrible people about their horrific crimes! Yikes. How scary that sounds. So who is first up? Not so fast eager beavers. You need to know what a Psychopath is right? Because CBD has read books and done research stuff on the “World Wide Web” He’s also found a stack of well thumbed copies of True Detective Magazine and The National Enquirer in the abandoned surgery of the horrific and heinous serial killer Dr. Harold Shipman—he was a doctor who killed people and stuff—it was really horrible. “You should read the Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson,” blurts CBD. Really? What about your book CBD, the one we have just forked over ready cash for?

But, seeing as you mention it—Jonno Ronson’s book, “The Psycopath Test: A Journey through the madness industry” (2011) has been rejected as “Abject nonsense” by The Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy, and by Robert D. Hare, creator of The Hare Psychopathy Checklist. Hare has also described the Jonson book as “frivolous shallow and professionally disconcerting.”

Oh dear. But at least Johnno could be arsed to get out and actually interview some people. After a lackluster start In which CBD talks endlessly about “aggressive narcissism” and fails to see the irony of constantly tooting his own trumpet, we are treated to potted histories of Oscar Pistorious and the aforementioned Harry Shipman, both of whom have been yawnsomely over-exposed to media scrutiny in recent the years. CBD offers no evidence of talking with these men, no real insight or analysis either, just the same old yackity-yack you have heard a thousand times before.

Subsequent chapters do however reveal CBD has actually gone into jail to meet killers and spoken to their families which is progress of a sort. But oh double dear, virtually everyone he speaks to gives him short shrift. Worse, these ‘momentous events’ all happened many decades ago. CBD meanwhile boasts constantly about how much smarter he is than those he speaks with. Most of the folks he has met are little league murderers— nasty despicable, career felons you probably wouldn’t want to know about. CBD mentions he once visited notorious psycho serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, but he leaves it right there—one sentence—no details—nothing. This is what passes for “investigative journalism” in the world of CBD.

So, as you can see, this book has little to offer. And in that way it is very similar to an afternoon spent at an airport departure lounge. Right about now CBD would sign off with yet another moan about word count. Writing books for money is such an arduous job isn’t it? So much so that certain folks can hardly be bothered.



Crimezine- the-classic Crime-zine-Blog

Abagnale and DICaprio

Di Caprio meets the REAL Frank Abagnale in the film Catch me if you Can

Crimeziners who had their interest piqued by Crimezines review of Frank Abagnale’s book Stealing Your Life may be interested in tuning into the home of cable crime TNT on Friday March 9 at 9pm eastern, where you can catch up with the movie Catch Me If You Can starring Leonardo Di Caprio.

Boyish Leo stars as Frank W. Abagnale Jr.  a 16-year-old high school student who finds himself emotionally cut adrift when his mother, Paula (Nathalie Baye), leaves his father, Frank Abagnale Sr. (Christopher Walken), after Frank Sr. falls into arrears with the Internal Revenue Service.

Young Frankie witnesses Frank Sr. attempting to pass himself off as a substitute teacher. A small subterfuge that gives young Frank big ideas. Pretty soon Frank is passing himself off as an airline pilot, a doctor, and an attorney. Along the way, he learns how to become a master forger, using his talent & charm to cash 2.5 million dollars in phony checks. Frank’s increasingly audacious work soon attracts the attention of Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks), an FBI agent determined to put Frank behind bars. The movie is a crazy romp, untroubled by the actual facts of the case which the real Abagnale, now a middle aged father of three, admits were somewhat jazzed up for the movie. Still no matter, that’s Hollyweird for ya Crimeziners and it does not stop this movie being popcorn munching fun.  Set DVRs now!

Bonnie & Clyde-Tommy-gun

Bonnie & Clyde

A Thompson Sub-machine gun and a twelve guage Winchester shotgun dating back to 1897 are up for sale at Mayo Auction and Realty in Kansas city, January 21st.

The historical weapons once owned by notorious outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were left behind in Joplin Missouri April 1933 as the outlaws fled a police Dragnet. The weapons have added provenance, as they were found with a camera containing pictures of the legendary desperados goofing around.

Bonnie & Clyde terrorized the mid-west during the Great Depression years of the early 1930’s. They were famous for a series of crazed bank robberies and corner store hold-ups. The deadly duo killed nine police officers and a number of innocent bystanders during their reign of terror, which came to an end when they were ambushed and killed, by a posse of Texas Rangers in Bienville Parish Louisianna on May 23 1934 .

The weapons have been in Springfield Police museum since 1973 and are expected to make big money when they come under the hammer. So dig deep Crimeziners, and don’t forget that you will need a special permit for the Tommy gun.


Roberto Saviano,Gomorrah,Crimezine


Roberto Saviano is a wanted man. The Mafia have a contract out on him, that is official. The reason: his book, Gomorrah Italy’s other Mafia, a courageous, years in the making piece of investigative journalism, that blows the lid on the world of  the Neapolitan Mafia also known as  The CamorraThe System.

Saviano’s biblical pun, alluding to a land of sin and vice is an appropriate one. He paints a picture of a Mafia controlled black economy that is at least equal to the legitimate economy of Italy, a world where the Mafia controls business at every level, from high-fashion and consumer goods forgery, to construction contracts and lucrative toxic waste management programs.

While much of the staggering information and mafia background in this book will be new to the reader, the violence will not be. Saviano outlines in graphic detail how the Camorra are murdering all who stand in their way with impunity and it makes for grisly reading.

When you have read this tale of murder, slavery and environmental catastrophe, it will undoubtably make you think twice before you buy bootleg designer gear, or street corner cigarettes. This controversial book has made many Italians question the very system their country is founded on, and for that reason it is a Crimezine Classic.

Crimezine would discourage readers from seeing the Gomorrah movie, while it is an interesting, if low budget piece of European cinema, it bears little relation to this marvelous book.

Roy ‘Prettyboy’ Shaw is a bare-knuckle true crime legend. Imprisoned almost half his life, for a record breaking armed robbery he pulled in 1963 he emerged from the prison system with the reputation as a ruthless and committed psychopath.

Shaw used his very real talent for ferocity and unrestrained violence in the unlicensed boxing ring, a ruthless world of criminality, desperation and

Prettyboy, Roy Shaw, Bare knuckle boxing

Roy Shaw: not pretty

hardcore violence. ‘Prettyboy’ is Roy’s account of his time in Prison, and his trip to the very top of the unlicensed boxing world.

Roy provides a straightforward and chilling account of his life of violence. The miracle is he survived at all. This book provides a fascinating glimpse into the world of the institutionalized criminal, a winner takes all approach to the dog eat dog world of unlicensed boxing, and a blow by blow account of how Shaw turned his life around.

Roy Shaw is now 75. He is now a millionaire real estate investor and businessman. His crime spree days of ferocious violence are behind him we are told. but this book also reveals a deeper truth: a razor sharp intelligence and a code of ethics that made Roy ‘Prettyboy’ Shaw one of the most feared men in England. This book is a true crime Classic, buy it today.

Celebrity gangster and shameless self publicist ‘Dodgy ’ Dave Courtney, first shot to fame, after he was portrayed in The film Lock Stock and Two

Dave Courtney Stop the ride I want to get off-crimezine-TonyBulmer

Dodgy Dave Courtney Rides again

Smoking Barrels by the thuggish Vinnie Jones. If you think slamming some ones head in a car door is over the top, you ain’t seen nothing bub, until you have read Dave’s first autobiography Stop the Ride I Want to Get off.

The ride that the book discusses, is Dave’s struggle to go straight. It is a struggle that  has been mostly unsuccessful if this book and it’s sequels, such as Raving Lunacy and The Rides Back on, are to be believed.

And there is the rub, there are many inconsistencies in Dave’s stories, and confirmed South London Gangsters such as ‘Mad’ Frankie Fraser have called many of Dodgy Dave’s antics into question. Dave does possess a great deal of charisma however and  his idiosyncratic humour, makes Stop the Ride I Want to Get Off an essential read. Dave is always good for a chuckle, even if he is punching your face in with his diamond studded knuckle duster at the time.

Fame is a cruel mistress however, and in one of his tales, Dave relates how a thug  came to his home to beat up The famous Dave Courtney. Dave answered the door in a bath robe, while eating a breakfast sausage, still attached to a fork. The thug issued a challenge, and Dave,  quick as a flash, stabbed the intruder in the forehead  with the fork  uttering the immortal line, Nah fawk orf! Priceless.

The cops of course, hate Dave Courtney, and he hates them, but Dave never tires of baiting them, and this does become rather wearing. One hopes that now he has been offered a £15 million , three movie contract Dodgy Dave will finally Get off the Ride for good.

But conflict comes easy to the Courtney camp and Dave has recently been bad mouthing Vinnie Jones, for stealing the Courtney persona. Of course, Courtney being the shrewd, media savvy operator that he is, knows that he owes much to the publicity the character Jones played, and that controversy only generates more publicity. Crimezine wishes him well in his movie career, meanwhile pick up a copy of Stop the Ride I Want to Get Off, you will not be able to put it down.

Crimezin, TonyBulmer

The Outfit

Everyone likes a good mob story and the stories do not get any better than those associated with the Chicago Mob. The sub head of Gus Russo’s essential book The Outfit is: The role of Chicago’s underworld in the shaping of modern America. A somewhat grand and all encompassing title, but this book describes just that and it does so with a great deal of style and panache.

You probably had your suspicions, but this excellent book lays out the ugly coiling tentacles of the Chicago Mob for all to see, outlining in detail, just how far those tentacles reach. For Crimeziners who have even  a passing interest in the Mafia, this book is essential. It offers a comprehensive and highly entertaining insight to who was who, and who did what to whom and why.

The history is detailed, but never dull; meticulous, but engaging. It offers a better understanding of the mob that will enliven the world of crime for readers. Reading this book will heighten the enjoyment of every mob related work you read, or see on the big screen. From Mario Puzo to James Ellroy, many authors take a certain level of  reader understanding  for granted. This book will give you that understanding. From Board Walk Empire to The Godfather when ever you think Mafia you will think Gus Russo too.