January 15th 2005 Life of Crime

A common theme in film is the portrayal of a professional thief, murderer, assassin, terrorist, or other criminal. While many of these character are Hollywood-ized for the big screen, they at least have some counterparts in reality. This brings up a question that has been plaguing me for some time: where exactly do these “criminal masterminds” get their start? Let’s be honest—a commoner doesn’t just suddenly develop the skills to rob a casino, assassinate a president, or steal a nuclear payload. These aren’t the sort of skills you learn in school. I imagine you have to start small—knocking off a candy store or shooting a normal person, or example. But even then, you have the danger of getting arrested. How do these small-time criminals evade the law long enough to develop mastermind-level skills? It can’t be easy. I, for one, could never rob a bank—I wouldn’t know the first thing. I wouldn’t even know how to properly case a bank to develop a scheme for robbing it! And I have no idea where bank robbers get floor plans or a schematic for the burglar alarm. I think that climbing the criminal ladder must be almost as difficult as climbing the corporate ladder. Besides, there’s a lot of competition in the world of crime today, not only from other Americans, but from overseas, too. Much like other industries, crime is clearly outsourcing its labor to other parts of the world. It must be tough being a criminal today. I bet crime just doesn’t pay like it used to.