Shrouded in mystery, eerie in sound, mysterious in origin, menacing in the images it provoked, the word ‘mafia’ came into common usage in c. 1875.
If you were a criminal, what would you choose – a life sentence in prison, the death sentence, or to be surgically blinded?
In the earliest medieval poems, Robin Hood is devoted to the Virgin Mary. While this may seem odd, many thieves in medieval Europe had an attachment to her.
In the Victorian era, New York was a large industrial city with ‘dark Satanic mills’ in which the poor and the rich lived “cheek by jowl”; paupers lived a hand-to-mouth existence and for many, a life of crime as part of an organised criminal gang.
Carlos Rodriguez gives a brief history and analysis of Mexican cartels from the 1980s onwards.
What distinguishes a well-planned murder committed by a robber to a low-life thug extorting protection money from a business owner? In this post, Tyler Welch discusses how we can define organised crime, and how such groups emerge and flourish.
Robin Hood hated the sheriff of Nottingham and everything he stood for, but that doesn’t mean that he objected to the sheriff keeping law and order.
The popular song “Mack the Knife” was based upon the story of an eighteenth-century highwayman named Captain Macheath. This post traces the literary life of this fictional character.
Salvatore Giuliano was the last true outlaw in history. Known as the Robin Hood of Sicily, he stole from the rich to give to the poor.
When “Upperworld” and “Underworld” Meet: Social Class and Crime in “The Mysteries of London (1844-46)
Rich people commit greater crimes than their poorer counterparts, but they are at their most dangerous when members of the “upperworld” and “underworld” work together.