Special to Crime Magazine
(This excerpt is from Ron Chepesiuk’s book, Gangsters of Miami, True Tales of Mobsters, Gamblers, Hitmen, Con Men and Gang Bangers from the Magic City, which Barricade Books (Barricadebook.com) published in November 2009. Available on Amazon.com. All rights reserved.)
In 1928 Al“Scarface” Caponebecame the first big-time mobster to journey to Miami and stay, at least for part of the year. Capone was at the pinnacle of a criminal career that was making him the most famous gangster in America history. By the late 1920s, Capone’s flamboyant style had captured the imagination of mainstream America, and he was a high-profile celebrity, just like the famous athletes and movie stars of his day.
Born on January 17, 1899, to Italian-American parents, Al grew up on the mean streets of Brooklyn. At 5’ 10’ tall and 225 pounds, the beefy gangster was a born street fighter. More than a few times Capone ended up in a vicious knife fight, which explains how Capone got his nickname. Tough men could wet their pants in his presence, knowing Scarface could have them killed with an eye blink.
Writers’ Guidelines for Crime Magazine
We look for well-written, well-researched, well-organized, high-profile crime or criminal-justice stories. Our articles vary in length from 1,500 words to 20,000 words, but we believe the shorter the better, generally speaking. One of our goals is to publish the definitive account of the subjects we write about, so our articles do tend to run long.
Updated Nov. 7, 2011 and June 22, 2014
For 27 years the heartbroken André Bamberski kept an eye on the fugitive serial rapist who murdered his 14-year-old daughter. Then he arranged a vigilante kidnapping to deliver the murderer to the police.
In the early hours of the morning little happens in the town of Mulhouse.
Mulhouse, of slightly over 110,000 inhabitants, is geographically in eastern France, in the region of Alsace, but it is often said by skeptical French that the Mulhousiens and the Mulhousiennes, as the inhabitants are called, have German hearts. The reason is that Germany starts just a few miles east of Alsace, and indeed of Mulhouse, and the Germans have therefore annexed the region three times. The first annexation had been after France’s defeat in the Franco-Prussian war (July 1870-May1871), the second, during World War 1 (1914-1918), and the third in World War Two, after France’s June 1940 capitulation to Adolf Hitler’s Nazi army. This third annexation had lasted until the end of the war in May 1945. Since, Alsace has remained French.
During the early morning of Sunday, October 18, 2009 Mulhouse was again silent, but the silence was disturbed when the computer screens in front of the officers on duty in the police’s emergency call room flashed an incoming call.
The caller, a male, speaking with a marked Russian accent despite his flawless French, gave the cop who took the call the name of a local street: Rue de Tilleul. On that street, said the caller before he rang off, the fugitive, Dieter Krombach, could be found.
Updated Sept. 4, 2010
Letterman survives his unmasking as a “creepy” sexual predator
by Don Fulsom
On September 9, 2009, David Letterman ambled out of his multi-million dollar lower Manhattan hideaway and plopped his lanky frame into a waiting limo for the short ride to the Ed Sullivan Theater. To Dave’s surprise, his chauffer handed the CBS TV star an envelope.
The driver had lowered his window to accept the envelope at the ungodly hour of 6 a.m. He apparently thought little about the propriety of the transaction—because the envelope came from esteemed CBS veteran “48 Hours Mystery” producer Joe Halderman.
Yet the envelope was not an innocent handoff of company memos from one Black Rock (CBS Headquarters in Manhattan) biggie to another. Authorities say its contents amounted to an extortion attempt by Halderman. And six months later, Halderman himself concurred—pleading guilty to second-degree larceny.
In his failed blackmail attempt, the producer was threatening to expose the 62-year-old Letterman’s sexcapades, over several decades, with a significant number (eight or nine are the most prevalent rumored numbers) of far-younger Letterman staffers. In fact, Halderman’s former live-in girlfriend, 34-year old Stephanie Birkitt, was reputedly among Letterman’s cavalcade of underling bedmates.