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Ex-Gangster Shot Dead Leaving Book Launch

His memoir described leaving a life of crime

(Newser) - Nedim Yasar produced a memoir about leaving a life of crime behind—and was killed as he left the launch for that book. The 31-year-old ex-gangster was shot twice as he left the event in Copenhagen on Monday, a day before Roots: A Gangster's Way Out was released, the... More »

Guy Loses $3.2K on Jeopardy Over 'Gangsta' Pronunciation

Nick Spicher went on to win anyway

(Newser) - A tip for future Jeopardy contestants: Pronunciation is key. So Nick Spicher learned on Monday's episode when he was penalized $3,200 for mispronouncing the answer to a "Before & After" clue. After Alex Trebek read out "a song by Coolio from 'Dangerous Minds' goes back... More »

Seeking Good PR, IRS Busted With Wrong Capone Gun

After input from readers, the IRS has gotten its story straight

(Newser) - It was a story the Internal Revenue Service needed to get right, a we-done-good look back at the 1931 conviction of legendary gangster Al Capone for tax evasion—a feat they pulled off when no one else could get him on any other charges. Hoping for some good press, the... More »

Ready to Leave the Yakuza? She'll Get You a Fake Finger

Yukako Fukushima has a most interesting job

(Newser) - You're ready to turn over a new leaf and leave a life of crime behind, but there's one giant obstacle. Or, one pinkie-sized one: You're missing part of a finger. The Guardian spotlights a most unusual prosthetics market that's seemingly been supplied by one woman for... More »

Ariz., Indiana Squabble Over John Dillinger's Gun

Peru, Indiana, says notorious outlaw stole Tommy gun from their police department

(Newser) - Police in southern Arizona are at odds with a small Indiana town over a Tommy gun taken from notorious gangster John Dillinger during an arrest more than 80 years ago, reports AP . Officials in Peru, Indiana, want the Colt Thompson submachine gun that Tucson police confiscated in 1934 when they... More »

Ex-Gangster, Inspiration for The Wire, Dies in Prison

Nathan "Bodie" Barksdale died of natural causes: Baltimore rep

(Newser) - Nathan "Bodie" Barksdale, the former Baltimore gangster who inspired characters in the HBO series The Wire, has died in a federal medical prison in North Carolina. He was 54. He was shot more than 20 times in his life and had to have his right leg amputated below the... More »

Our Love of Gangsters Created Aaron Hernandez

He's a byproduct of a society that glamorizes drugs, prison: Jason Whitlock

(Newser) - The Aaron Hernandez case was "only a matter of time," writes Jason Whitlock on Fox Sports . The former NFL tight end, accused of orchestrating a murder, is the natural byproduct of a society that glamorizes gangsters and the drug and prison culture. We used to idolize Joe Montana,... More »

Gangster Blows Up Prison Doors, Busts Out

Redoine Faid sparks huge manhunt

(Newser) - A French gangster inspired by movies like Scarface and Heat broke out of prison yesterday and sparked a manhunt across Europe, CNN reports. Redoine Faid, 40, briefly held four guards hostage and blew up several prison doors before fleeing in a getaway car. He later set fire to his car... More »

Whitey Bulger Hospitalized With Chest Pains

Relatives of some victims think gangster is trying to stall trial

(Newser) - James "Whitey" Bulger, the Boston gangster who was finally captured last year after 16-plus years on the run , was rushed to the hospital early yesterday with chest pains, officials tell the Boston Globe . Little is known about Bulger's condition, but this is at least the second time he'... More »

Ma Barker's Florida Hideout for Sale

Jeffrey Dahmer's Ohio home also on market

(Newser) - Two houses now on the market are getting attention thanks to previous occupants:
  • Ma Barker: The lakefront hideout in Ocklawaha, Florida, where the FBI gunned down her and a son in 1935 is up for sale for $1 million, reports Reuters . It's even got bullet holes—along with 11
... More »

Goodfellas Mobster Henry Hill Dead at 69

Long illness whacks famous informant

(Newser) - Henry Hill has died at the age of 69—young for an American male, but a Methuselah for a mob turncoat. The former gangster, whose life story was made into the 1990 movie Goodfellas, died in Los Angeles after a long fight with an undisclosed illness, TMZ reports. Testimony from... More »

Offensive Ad's Creator to Critics: 'Suck it'

Turn Right USA not apologizing for ad many are calling racist, sexist

(Newser) - If you were offended by the Turn Right USA ad featuring machine-gun-toting gangsters ordering a Democratic candidate for Congress to "Give me your cash, bitch, so we can shoot up the streets,” well, tough. Ladd Ehlinger Jr, the conservative filmmaker who created the ad, tells Salon that critics... More »

Is This Most Racist, Sexist Political Ad Ever?

'Give us your cash, ho, so we can shoot up the streets,' chant gangsters

(Newser) - The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is blasting what could be the most stunningly racist, sexist campaign ad in history. The web ad, produced by the ultra conservative Turn Right USA PAC , features machine-gun toting black ganstas ordering "bitch" and "ho" Democratic candidate for Congress Janice Hahn to give... More »

13 Years Later, Notorious BIG Investigation Back On

Task force investigating new leads, say sources

(Newser) - Thirteen years later, the murders of rappers Notorious BIG and Tupac Shakur remain two of the music industry’s highest-profile unsolved mysteries—but that could soon change. Police “reinvigorated” the Notorious BIG murder case months ago, sources tell CNN , and they are actively looking into leads and new information... More »

Real Life 'Goodfella' Arrested

Mob informant Henry Hill gets drunk showing his artwork

(Newser) - Henry Hill, the mobster-turned-informant who inspired the movie Goodfellas, has been arrested for a drunken incident at an Illinois hotel. Hill has been charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, and is free in lieu of $1,000 bail. Hill, in the town of Fairview Heights for a showing of... More »

History's Most Badass Jews

Bugsy Siegel, Kerri Strug and, of course, Jesus make the list

(Newser) - The beginning of Hanukkah gave Sam Greenspan the excuse to give us his list of history’s most-badass Jews. Some highlights:
  • The Maccabees: “Led Jewish fighters into battles against the armies of Seleucia, Syria, and Rome … and won,” leading to the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem
... More »

Chicago Student's Beating Death Caught on Tape

Police beef up patrols after savage gang melee

(Newser) - Chicago police are stepping up patrols today at a high school where a 16-year-old honor student's gruesome beating death in a gang melee was captured on video. Students scream in horror as Derrion Albert crumples to the ground and covers his head in vain as he's repeatedly pummeled with wooden... More »

Salvador Cop, Gangsters Busted in Filmmaker's Murder

Alleged killers come from same gang Christian Poveda chronicled in film

(Newser) - El Salvador has arrested four gang members and a police officer for last week's murder of French photojournalist and filmmaker Christian Poveda, CNN reports. Another man who allegedly ordered the killing is already in prison, authorities say. The gangsters belong to the same Mara 18 gang that was the subject... More »

Public Enemies Pretty, if Rote

Mann's film is visually luscious, but some find it rote

(Newser) - Critics mostly like Public Enemies, Michael Mann’s lusciously shot—if not terribly deep—ode to ‘30s gangster life with Johnny Depp as bank robber John Dillinger.
  • The film is a "beautiful work of art," declares Manohla Dargis for the New York Times, "a vividly realistic
... More »

Lions Defend Turf Like Gangstas

(Newser) - Lion prides display the behavior of human gangs not to hunt more efficiently, but to defend their turf, researchers have discovered. The larger the prides, the more successfully lions keep out interlopers, reports the BBC. Scientists have long been stumped by why lions are singularly sociable among cats and what... More »

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