A violent career criminal.
A gangster is usually a member of a group who is formed predominantly for engaging in crime as a means to easy profit.
Often represented in popular media as respectful "men of honour" who engage in crime due to societal forces such as poverty. They are confusingly seen as people who live powerful, interesting lives when the opposite is often true.
Contrary to popular belief, gangsters do not live in a world like that represented in popular media. Gangsters live in a paranoid, ultra-violent world that is devoid of humanity. They bash, rob and murder other people in the name of profit.
Gangsters are generally the worst type of criminal as they have chosen crime as a career. This makes any attempt at rehabilitation by the penal system usually a lost cause.
They are typically un-educated, lacking in intellect, and use violence to solve all problems. The race of the gangster is typically a non-issue. Ie, Italian gangsters are not much different from Russian or African gangsters. As they are all of similair upbringings they tend to have the same lack of intellect and impulsive personalities of most criminals.
As gangsters are members of large groups, they can be difficult to prosecute. Witnesses are often intimidated or killed. In addition gangsters may intimidate prison guards, and infiltrate labour unions and other areas of lawful society. People are too scared to do anything about the gangsters for fear of being killed.
Examples of crime engaged in by gangsters:
- Loan Sharking ("Shylocking"). This is where money is lent at exorbitant compound interest rates. Eg a "10 points" loan would be 10% interest compounded weekly ;
- Commercial armed robbery. This is where truck and aeroplane cargo is stolen through sophisticated planning;
- Drug trafficking. Gangsters typically produce the drugs and sell them to low-level "street" drug dealers, which reduces their risk and increases their profit.
- Protection rackets. This is where the gangsters destroy premises and assault workers of illegal industries such as drug dealers, brothel owners and illegal casinos. The owners must pay the gangsters money or risk more violence; as the owners are engaged in illegal activity they cannot go to the police for help. The gangsters then protect the store from themselves and competing gangsters.
- Murder. This is the gangster's "tool of the trade". It is used to solve problems such as outstanding debts, competing gangsters, witnesses to crimes, and to remove members of the gang for various reasons.
Gangsters typically either die young, are incarcerated for long periods of time, or turn state's evidence and testify against their fellow gang members in return for re-location and immunity.
New York Mafia (Gambino Crime Family; John Gotti; Bugsy Siegel), Bloods/Crips, Hell's Angels (Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs)
The Police found two bodies buried under an abandoned Brooklyn parking lot. The deceased allegedly owed large amounts of money to Bronx gangsters as part of a strip-joint shakedown scam.
The bona-fide gangster, accused of murder and labor racketeering, refused to testify at his trial.
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