Where have all the Villians gone?

I’m going to use the Mafia as an example in this post but you could use a lot of organizations like the KKK etc. History would have us believe that in years past there were a lot of villains running around causing general chaos and profiting from it. Offhand I could probably tell you the names of 4 Chicago gangsters alone who have since been arrested or killed.

My question is, where are the villians (non-political BTW) these days? I couldn’t name 1 mobster in any city thats not currently in jail or has gone into hiding. Is this because evil Doer’s are getting smarter? Or maybe its because Al Capone only became a household name after he was caught and his dirty deeds exposed.

I was just wondering what happened to the good old Don’s who were in up to their elbows in crime and everyone knew that they were guilty as sin, but are left alone because there isn’t any direct proof against them. Where are the stereotypical villains these days?

My guess is that there never were any, making a villian or a hero out of someone doesn’t come until after their career is over.

Well, there’s Whitey Bulger here in the Boston area. He’s currently on the run, but before that they knew where he was and strongly suspected him. He was an active though (AFAIK) unproven villain.

Maybe the police did their job?

In this country the investigative journalist Paul Williams makes a comfortable living out of mythologising various local criminals. Perhaps most famously he wrote about ‘The General’. There was a film of the same name released in 1998. His later books have dealt with other organised criminals and gangs are are vastly popular. Many of his subjects have become household names in Ireland. This isn’t on the same scale as your Capones etc but it is a similar effect.

They all moved to Melbourne . Of course, they’re not here any more either now, since most of them are dead or run off to Greece

Al Capone and other mob leaders were enormously famous in their lifetimes, at the height of their power.

And this continues. From your location you don’t live near New York City, or otherwise you would have noticed that mob boss John Gotti was in the papers almost daily during his career. The New York papers are full of mob news.

It’s true that mobs have learned that having a public profile is counterproductive. And there are a great many mobs, not just the big Italian (and Jewish) mob that dominated for so long. Cities like New York and Miami have major mob problems and these aren’t kept out of the papers. Drug lords have public identities in the south, where the drugs are shipped in. They are of less national interest, though.

The villains these days are individual murderers. You can list them from Charles Manson to David Berkowitz, the Son of Sam, to John Wayne Gacey to the BTK Killer. And then there’s that OJ feller, who got a few headlines then and now.

But the headlines today go to terrorists. Everybody knows the name of Osama Bin Laden. Who needs a local mobster when you have a symbol of evil like that?

Many villians retired, and they moved back to Vaude, where they were born. They left home when they were young, but once a Vaudevillian, always a Vaudevillian. :stuck_out_tongue:

Were they really profiting from causing chaos? They were, after all, organized crime.

The villians are still there. If you worked in the federal courts in a major city, you’d see quite a lot of them. They just don’t make the papers quite like they used to. For example, seven people were killed in the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929, and they’re still talking about it. In 2001, seven people were killed in a drug house shooting and you probably didn’t even hear about it, or for that matter, about the shooting the day before where seven people were also killed.

I would think that the big drug cartel lords are the modern day villain. They have relatively high profiles, and since they are not in the US, are much harder to apprehend.

Oh, I don’t know. Maybe they all went back to Villia.

Any specific villaige?

It’s not in any person’s best interest to be well known as a criminal. So no criminals are advancing their own publicity. The publicity is generated by outside parties like law enforcement, the government, or the press. And at the moment, these parties are focusing on other issues. The criminals are still out there but they’re not household names.

At least one is hiding in a cave in Pakistan.

You can follow the NY mob on a weekly basis at this web site. Click on ‘This Week in Gangland’.


thanks for the link, I guess I wouldn’t consider serial killers a villain per say, though definitely evil, I guess Osama is probably the closest modern day, but I was hoping for someone more local and definitely less hidden.

Granted he is dead but Richard Kuklinski was involved in the mob and also quite the serial killer. Killing at least one person by leaving them tied up in a cave where he was eaten alive by rats, he liked to paralyze some victims with a screwdriver to the spine and then slowly kill them while they could do nothing, he killed quite a few people with cyanide, I believe there are two documentaries about him on youtube that are worth watching, he is also believed to have been poisoned in prison.

In one hit that was ordered against a man who had raped a Mobster’s daughter:

Didn’t you hear? The Kingpin is dead, baby. Daredevil took him out.

In the US, the use of anti-raketeering laws greatly injured the mob and other organizations. Also there has been a general splintering of culture in the current age so not only are there 150 cable channels, and a blog for every passion, but there are also a lot of little mobs out there filling niches.

As an example: The OK city bombing was carried out by a couple of people, but they had ties to organizations that could be classified as villains.

There are also gangs such as MS-13 that might lack some of the glamour of Al Capone, but which are pretty scary when you hear about what they do.