(Roughly) Daily

“Old age and treachery will always beat youth and exuberance”*…

 

… geriatric crime poses special challenges. During the trial of Germany’s “Grandpa Gang,” the gang members described how their 74-year-old co-defendant, Rudolf Richter, almost botched a 2003 bank heist by slipping on a patch of ice, forcing them to take extra time to help him into the getaway car. And the 74-year-old had another problem, co-defendant Ackermann told the court: “We had to stop constantly so he could pee.”

Bloomberg on the rise of crime perpetrated by the aged worldwide: “Instead of Playing Golf, the World’s Elderly Are Staging Heists and Robbing Banks.”

* David Mamet

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As we respect our elders, we might recall that it was on this date in 1898 that Jefferson Randolph “Soapy” Smith uttered his last words: “My God, don’t shoot!”  Smith, a confidence man who was “following the gold,” had moved to Skagway, Alaska, after successful criminal careers in Denver and Creede, Colorado.  He’d assembled a gang and taken control of the docks– an important distribution point in the Klondike Gold Rush.  A committee of vigilantes formed to rid the town of Smith and his gang.  When federal authorities failed to act, they decided to confront Soapy themselves.  Smith met them carrying a Winchester rifle.  In the event, only one of the citizen’s committee– Frank Reid, who’d been a bartender in on of Smith’s saloons– was armed. The two men struggled and wounded each other, after which another member of the committee, Jesse Murphy (a recently-arrived employee of the railroad) wrestled the rifle from Smith and killed him with it.  Reid also died from his wounds; though his own reputation was far from untarnished, his funeral was the largest in Skagway’s history, and his gravestone was inscribed with the words “He gave his life for the honor of Skagway.”

Soapy Smith

 source

 

Written by LW

July 8, 2015 at 1:01 am

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