Since television began, and on radio and in legions of books before then, crime has been a constant source of material for the writers who write it and the public that devours it. But in nearly every instance, the moral is: Crime Doesn't Pay, and the long arm of the law always tap the shoulder of the criminal who then takes the fall. But is that always the case? Are audiences so programmed after decades of crime stories to expect that criminals always will lose while the police yuk it up with donuts and coffee in the last moments of the play?
It seems not to be so in real life. Crime rates, while relatively low compared to population statistics versus crimes that are reported and subsequently investigated, disagree with the conventional wisdom of crime writers. Crime is big business. It always has been and it likely always will be. In fact, I know this to be true because I am a retired career criminal who has made an incredible living over the course of my twenty-five years in the profession. I've even written a book about my exploits that will probably go a long way towards closing a number of cases that have flummoxed law enforcement for years.
I have been waiting for the day that I could publish the book and write articles like this one and as of May of 2010 the statute of limitations for my final job (which netted me a cool $210,000) expired. In the immortal words of pulp writers and cheesy TV personalities like Geraldo Rivera, Now It Can Be Told!
The fact that I would lead with is this: A life of professional crime is more than doable; it is a highly exciting and rewarding career if it is approached with a clear head and an understanding and appreciation of your skill level, and is even more attainable if you admit your limitations.
There are standards which must be met if you wish to be a successful criminal, and one must never waver from them. I hope by now that you guessed that my crimes were committed solely for financial gain and were well-crafted and professionally designed capers. I absolutely abhor violence and thuggery of any kind. The maniacal sociopath prone to violent and narcissistic behaviors garners no respect or admiration from me. They are truly the losers who belong on the prison tiers and death rows of our society.
My "victims" are banks, the insanely wealthy, corporations, and arrogant egotistical fools who are so caught up in their own self-images that half the time they don't realize that I've tagged them. And believe me, you cannot even fathom for a nanosecond how much fun it is to see them scramble and fret once they realize that their pockets and bottom lines have been breached. There's nothing to describe it, other than to picture what it must feel like the first time a skydiver jumps from a plane or when a bungee jumper careens off a bridge spanning a thousand-foot gorge in New Zealand.
No, my life has been a wondrous adventure, and my career has been a total success.
It began shortly after I left the Navy and went to work for the Central Intelligence Agency. It was there that I was schooled in the fine art of… crime. That's right; my months spent at The Farm were nothing more than passing time at a legal crime school. Over the course of my government career I committed no less than a thousand major felonies (none involving the death or distress of another) that in the real world would have made me a prison lifer, or very close to it.
While at the CIA I was mentored by people who could wear the tag of criminal mastermind without a blink. And I was an excellent student.
When I left the agency following the demise of the Soviet Union, I decided to do what so many former government workers do: I took my skills and began using them in the private sector for financial gain. And I've never looked back.
Looking forward, I have recognized a need for crime writers and researchers to have access to my methods and experiences in order to afford them the ability to craft stories where the "good guys" don't automatically get their man. It's time for some equal opportunities for the "bad guys" in the world of crime writing and research, not only because there is a minimal amount of work out there available on the subject, but because it also happens to be true.
Crime writers and law enforcement would have you believe that it is impossible to commit The Perfect Crime and they are doing a disservice to their readers and the taxpaying citizens who fund the police by creating a false sense of security. All kinds of crimes go unsolved and unpunished, and while I wish the worst on those who would harm people physically, I think it's worth mentioning that a large majority secretly roots for the master criminal who pulls the perfect bank heist using only his wits and careful planning to pull the job. Not a soul is harmed and the loot leaves the premises, but almost invariably the crook gets caught in the last few moments of the story.
Well, if you are interested in the intricacies of successful crime, then please check back often to enjoy a few How To articles about this universally intriguing subject. I have also written a book called Crime Pays: Making Your Living with a Life of Crime that you may find enlightening and entertaining as well. Until the Next Job, hang in there and have a great day!