Why you should care

Because crime touches us all. And not in the good kind of way either.

This OZY original series explores our complex connections to crime.

I Broke Legs for a Living

To the sensible, the business pitch might have seemed much more than reasonable: pay what you owe or get paid what you owe. But a kind word and a hammer always got one collector further than just a kind word alone. Which brings us to Lester C., a former collections thug in New York who talks about the ins and outs of being a ball-peen hammer–wielding extortionist.

Who Murdered My Father?

What do you do when a case is so cold cops won’t even touch it? If it’s your father who was killed, you do what Jon Kinyon did: fight for answers. From the post-Age of Aquarius–swinging San Francisco to a possibly mob-related murder, the answers weren’t matching the questions.

Beasts of the East: When the Boston Irish Mafia Ruled the Roost

Boston in the late ’70s was not just the scene of some of the most lurid public examples of racist violence (Case in point: the famous photo of the Black man being stabbed by a Southie resident with an American flag), but it was unarguably the heyday of the Boston Irish Mafia. Underworld chronicler Phyllis Karas looks back at the Wild West of the last days of South Boston’s murder-mad mob.

The Deadly Drug World Struggle From Drugs to Drug Precursors

Colima, a tiny Rhode Island–size outpost, has become the Mexican state with the highest homicide rate: headless bodies in plastic garbage bags, bodies festering on display on city streets while margarita-swigging tourists— oblivious to the bloodshed around them — boast about cut-rate vacations on sunny Pacific beaches. Most of the dead? Foot soldiers in the latest wrinkle in the drug war: “precursor drugs” from China and Southeast Asia.

The Bikini Killer of Southeast Asia

Hatchand Bhaonani Gurumukh, aka Charles Sobhraj, killed Western women tourists in Southeast Asia during 1970s. For what? For money. Mostly to be able to afford the extravagant life he was living at that point that included multiple escapes from prison, a James Bond-esque flair and, of course, continued murder.

Your Next True Crime Fix Is Fake True Crime

Following in the footsteps of the hit Netflix TV parody American Vandal last year, true-crime parody podcasts, including The Onion’s ”A Very Fatal Murder” and Castbox’s ”This Sounds Serious,” take aim at our violence obsession. So what makes a good parody version? Here are some key ingredients: the self-importance of earnest, amateur detectives and armchair sociologists, and leaning into the absurd.

A Date With Gunplay

You’ve probably had a first date go from bad to worse, but from worse to gunplay? Well, that’s something else entirely. And all part of a narrative that started with a brutal West Indian father and ended with pre-Tinder gun-toting, knife-carrying dating.

OZYOpinion

Interviews, op-eds, and analysis to help you make sense of the news of the day and the news of the future.