Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How to be a Criminal -- a series

I heard a lot of stories from the wrong side of the law over the last four or five years, and almost without exception, I was surprised by how badly the crimes attempted were conceived and executed. Clearly, movie crime is overblown. I know that what I saw in The Italian Job never happens. But it has become obvious why D.B. Cooper deserves top spot in the criminal hall of fame.

Most crime is conceived by morons and carried out with breathtaking stupidity. I actually heard, for instance, of some guys who had grown enough marijuana to fill a big rig. They didn’t want to haul it right away, so they hired a guy to watch it over night. The guy they hired was a crack head.

So, in Chasing the White Dog, I decided to gather some tidbits along the way and present them as a series titled How to be a Criminal.

Here’s the first one:

How to be a Criminal, Item 1: Do not, while on probation or having recently come to the attention of the law, engage in large scale felonies with strangers.


  1. Item 1 counterexample?

  2. (other counterexamples?)

  3. jsewell:

    eg: Man gets busted selling moonshine and gets probation. Stranger rolls up on the farm and asks where he can buy some moonshine.

    "How much moonshine?" asks the shiner.

    "Many, many gallons. Maybe just a few hundred right now, or whatever you have, but I'd really like to buy, I dunno, 1,100 gallons."

    Correct answer: nowhere.

    Answer that will land you in prison: "Right here!"

    The fellow I have in mind went ahead and sold a few thousand gallons of shine to the federal agent who wanted to buy it from him.

    The Items are both Dos and Don'ts.