True Crime sources?
April 25, 2010 11:12 AM   Subscribe

I’m looking for workaday capers. Not brilliant thieves or brilliant cops – down a notch or three.

The crimes I seek to understand were committed by people somewhere a junkie with a pistol, and a smug accountant at a big company.

What was the play? What tripped them up? Even unsolved cases yield tidbits and value.

So where would you read about these? I don’t expect deep analysis — that’s for the blockbusters — but I do need some report of what happened. Police reports? Newspaper columns? Books?

Capers that involve violence are ok, but I’m not particularly looking for them. Innovation is fine, too, but I’m want craft as much as art. (Or lack thereof.)

I have a predilection toward the past, when lower technology ruled. But I’ll look at the latest instant-trade scandal, too.

Any ideas?
posted by LonnieK to Law & Government (9 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Are you looking for these for your enjoyment or as research? If you're just looking for something to read, I highly recommend the crime stories of St. Clair McKelway, in particular "Mr. Eight Eighty" about an unusually modest counterfeiter.
posted by ocherdraco at 11:25 AM on April 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Should have said: Research, not just pleasure. McKelway tip excellent. Mr 880 looks like the bird I'm looking for. Thx
posted by LonnieK at 11:43 AM on April 25, 2010


Gilbert Bland (gotta love the name) was responsible for some serious map theft.
posted by IndigoJones at 12:58 PM on April 25, 2010


Frede Møller-Kristensen, an employee of the Royal Danish Library, stole about 1,600 books from the library over a decade. The total value of the theft was over US $50MM.
posted by tellumo at 1:05 PM on April 25, 2010


"The Fix is In" (from This American Life):

"The whole program is devoted to one story, in which we go inside the back rooms of one multinational corporation and hear the intricate workings—recorded on tape—of how they put the fix in.

"We hear from Kurt Eichenwald, whose book The Informant is about the price fixing conspiracy at the food company ADM, Archer Daniels Midland, and the executive who cooperated with the FBI in recording over 250 hours of secret video and audio tapes, probably the most remarkable videotapes ever made of an American company in the middle of a criminal act."
posted by MonkeyToes at 1:33 PM on April 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh, also, look into Tino De Angelis and the $37MM Salad Oil Swindle.
posted by tellumo at 2:16 PM on April 25, 2010


How about dumb cops? "The Cops are Robbers" tells the tale of several bad cops and their robbery of a local savings bank and the aftermath.
posted by Gungho at 2:34 PM on April 25, 2010


You could always request court transcripts.

I testified in a $1 million embezzlement case a couple of years ago. The perpetrator's actions came to light as the result of an anonymous faxed note (which, we later found out, was sent by an accomplice she double-crossed). Feel free to MeMail me if you're looking for anecdotal information.
posted by paulg at 5:42 PM on April 25, 2010


Just recalled Edward J. Reiners and the Philip Morris scam.
posted by IndigoJones at 12:04 PM on April 26, 2010


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