Bernard Madoff allegedly swindled investors of ten billion in assets. Illinois Ex-Governor Rod Blagojevich allegedly offered Barack Obama’s former senate seat to the highest bidder. Why do I use the word “allegedly”? It has to do with due process of law. In the US, a person is innocent until proven guilty. Let’s take the case of O. J. Simpson’s murder accusations. In the criminal trial, he was found innocent. A later civil trial found him guilty. He was finally sent to prison on theft, in a recent trial.
Today we explore the criminal mindset. For both theological and philosophical reasons, I can’t endorse the criminal mastermind. Psychology would have a field day with them. If psychiatrist Hannibal Lector were a real person, there would be enough information captured to fill a psychology textbook.
Catch Me if You Can
Did you ever see the movie Catch Me if You Can (see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…)? It was about Frank William Abagnale, Jr. (see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…). According to the Wiki article, “before his 19th birthday, successfully conned millions of dollars by posing as a Pan American World Airways pilot, a Georgia doctor and Louisiana prosecutor.” Now he was no dummy, mind you. In order to become a Louisiana prosecutor, he had to sit for the bar exam three times. The third time he passed – without ever having attended law school. Wiki notes,” Frank passed the Louisiana Bar exam by studying for it in only weeks.”
His real knack was check forgery, which made him wanted in 26 countries. Wiki goes on to note that, “as a consultant and lecturer at the FBI academy and field offices for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, he also runs Abagnale & Associates, a financial fraud consultancy company.” How did this happen? Well he was so good, that the FBI secured his help, and commuted his sentence. The condition? He works for them, of course. And what about his company? Let’s just say he made millions consulting banks on how to detect and eliminate fraud.
This chap is well know from the Untouchables movie, and was a prominent gangster, during the Prohibition Era. When I was in graduate school for psychology, we had regional monthly seminars with fellow graduate students. One presented a paper on Capone. There were two tidbits of information I distinctly remember.
He said he could be anything he wanted to be, like a CEO.
Gang members in Cicero, Illinois (USA) frequently honor his tomb. It would be akin to folks paying homage to Catholic or Eastern Orthodox saints.
Law enforcement only convicted him on income tax evasion. He was a ruthless chap, yet he was also extremely bright.
Let’s end with Professor James Moriarty
According to Wiki at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…, “is a fictional character, the archenemy of the detective Sherlock Holmes in the fiction of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Widely considered to be the first true example of a super villain…” We could say that Sherlock Holmes, the legendary detective, would be incomplete without Professor Moriarty. I can even envision the 1995 film Heat (see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…). In the film, “Hanna deliberately intercepts McCauley and invites him to coffee at a local diner. During their tense meeting, the two professionals examine each other; despite their positive impressions, each reveals that, if necessary, they’ll not hesitate to kill the other if the situation demands it.” I can see Sherlock meeting James for tea, at a public London eatery, and each coming to conclusions similar to the Heat movie meeting.
Some Concluding Questions
- Question for Ron Blagojevich: What happened to George Ryan?
- Who pays to change all the open toll highway signs with the name Ron Blagojevich?
- If Ron Blagojevich and O. J. Simpson didn’t do any wrong, then what is the definition of doing right?