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Organized Crime

NEWS
February 3, 2000
JUST days before Russian figure skating queen Maria Buturskaya was to defend her world championship in December, someone firebombed her new BMW. No wonder her shaky performance cost her the title. Two weeks earlier, Alexander Kurtiyan, the $1-million midfielder on a St. Petersburg soccer club, was badly beaten near his home. Those two athletes were lucky. Since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, more than a dozen high-profile Russian sports figures -- boxers, umpires, ice hockey stars, club managers and promoters -- have been murdered.
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NEWS
September 6, 1999
EIGHT YEARS after the collapse of communism, Russian capitalism is on the ropes. Unscrupulous criminals, in cahoots with corrupt government officials, have looted the country, stealing state property, artistic patrimony, natural resources and even foreign aid. Everything is for sale, with proceeds spirited out of the country to safe havens in overseas banks.A staggering $136 billion -- nearly one half of the annual gross domestic product -- left Russia just between 1993 and 1998, according to Fitch IBCA, the international rating agency.
ENTERTAINMENT
By George Anastasia and By George Anastasia,Special to the Sun | May 30, 1999
"Bound by Honor, A Mafioso's Story," by Bill Bonanno. St. Martin's. 279 pages. $24.95.Mafia buffs and Kennedy conspiracy theorists should be lining up for the latest "inside" story on the American mob, Bill Bonanno's intriguing, entertaining and factually titillating memoir "Bound by Honor."This is not a mob tell-all, but rather a treatise on the demise of the American Mafia told from the perspective of someone, a mobster and the son of a major Mafia don, who witnessed and experienced it firsthand.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David W. Marston and David W. Marston,Special to the Sun | April 25, 1999
The war on crime is over and we lost. Not that crime rates are rising -- in fact, criminal activity has been declining dramatically for most of this decade. Organized crime, long assumed to be as perennial as death and taxes, has been virtually wiped out by RICO-armed feds. In many cases, sophisticated DNA testing provides unprecedented assurance that the convicts who do the time actually did the crime, prison populations are at record highs.But no one feels safer. Indeed, in "The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things" by Barry Glassner (Basic Books, 231 pages, $25)
NEWS
April 8, 1999
Dr. Mary D. Ainsworth, 85, a developmental psychologist whose work revolutionized the understanding of the bond between mothers and infants, died March 21 in Charlottesville, Va.Her research contributed significantly to attachment theory, which emphasizes the importance of intimate human relationships, or attachments, in shaping children's development.Red Norvo, 91, who performed with such greats as Charles Mingus and Frank Sinatra and is credited with introducing the xylophone to jazz, died Tuesday in Santa Monica, Calif.
NEWS
January 17, 1999
William H. Whyte, 81, who helped pioneer the scholarly study of urban human habitats and warned against the proliferation of corporate conformity in his best seller, "The Organization Man," died Tuesday in New York.Monroe "Bud" Karmin, 69, winner of a 1967 Pulitzer Prize in journalism for articles investigating the influence on gambling of organized crime, died Friday in Bethesda of cancer.Working for the Wall Street Journal, he and colleague Stanley Penn won the Pulitzer for an expose about Mafia dominance of gambling in the Bahamas.
NEWS
December 13, 1998
JAMES P. HOFFA will do his surname and his union a favor by ending what his late father began. James R. Hoffa molded the Teamsters into a powerful force in the 1950s and 1960s, but not without strong mob ties.The younger Hoffa, who won election to the presidency of the 1.4 million-member Teamsters, is greeted with considerable suspicion as he prepares to assume the helm.To escape the public's distrust and federal oversight of his union, Mr. Hoffa must prove convincingly that the union has freed itself of all links to organized crime.
FEATURES
By David W. Marston and David W. Marston,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | July 5, 1998
"Gangbusters: The Destruction of America's Last Mafia Dynasty," by Ernest Volkman. Faber and Faber. 256 pages. $24.95.Former Gambino family crime boss John Gotti, a.k.a. the "TefloDon," is doing life without possibility of parole at hard-time Marion Federal Penitentiary, which sums up how far the godfathers have fallen. But justice was a long time coming. For decades, the FBI's war on organized crime ("OC") consisted of rounding up the usual suspects (mainly gamblers and numbers writers) and chalking up stats.
NEWS
By Donna R. Engle and Donna R. Engle,SUN STAFF | May 20, 1998
Union Bridge has had one serious crime this year, a school break-in by a couple of guys who wanted to play basketball in the gym. But the town does have children and teen-agers who hang on the corner of Main Street and Broadway beneath the town's lone traffic light -- until curfew.The corner gatherings, reports of fights among students at school bus stops and rumors of bus stop drug deals are prompting town residents to organize a crime watch group."We need one, and we need it bad," Keith Hefner, an Elger Street resident told the Town Council at its meeting Monday night.
NEWS
By Jonathan Weisman and Jonathan Weisman,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | May 10, 1998
WASHINGTON -- Ron Martelle would have thought he was watching a scene from "The Untouchables" had the mayor of Cornwall, Ontario, not been looking out his own front door: Rival gangs with automatic weapons were battling in the streets to corner the market on $1 million worth of contraband streaming through town every night, by car, by truck, even by snowmobile.For a year, he recalls, his town cowered under a "reign of terror" that drove residents off the streets, inviting organized crime groups, prostitutes and drug lords to fill the void.
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