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Why Did Kidnapping for Ransom Decline in U.S.?
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Why is kidnapping for ransom so rare in the United States in the 21st Century?

To be precise, kidnappings in custody disputes and for sex crimes (or for other motivations in which the kidnapper wants the victim around) remain a problem in the U.S. But unlike in some Latin American countries, kidnapping for ransom is no longer in the news here in the U.S. For example, in Wikipedia’s list of noteworthy kidnappings, the last one in which the word “ransom” appears is 1991.

In the mid-20th century, however, famous families like Lindbergh, Sinatra, Hearst, and Getty suffered kidnappings.

In contrast, celebrity families in Latin America still get kidnapped. For example, last year everybody was praising Guillermo del Toro’s vaguely anti-Trump Oscar speech about how bad borders are. But I pointed out that Del Toro didn’t set foot within the borders of Mexico for 17 years after his father had been kidnapped and he borrowed a million dollars from James Cameron to pay the ransom. Del Toro moved to the lowest crime neighborhood in Southern California.

Interestingly, Del Toro’s dad got rich from winning the Mexican national lottery. Unlike most lottery winners, Del Toro Sr. then used his fortune to make a bigger fortune in business.

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  1. OT but worrying if true – in fact terrible

  2. IHTG says:

    He’s old and eccentric but it’s not dementia. I’m sure you have a boomer relative who is weirder than he was ten years ago.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @YetAnotherAnon
  3. Anonymous[295] • Disclaimer says:


    “White nationalism” is now spreading among–drumroll, please!–Orthodox Jews. Naturally it’s all Trump’s fault. From Forward Magazine:

    Money quote:

    Of course, being pro-Israel doesn’t necessarily mean being Islamophobic; I myself am stridently pro-Israel. But too few Orthodox Jews are doing the work of separating their Zionism from other racist tendencies. [Emphasis mine]

    Talk about self-awareness!

    • Replies: @Pericles
  4. Liam Neeson and Mel Gibson?

    • Agree: Desiderius
    • Replies: @Anonymous
  5. Gordo says:

    But unlike in some Latin American countries

    Surely ‘unlike in other Latin American countries’? Okay give it 5 years.

    • Agree: Ibound1
    • Replies: @duncsbaby
  6. OT:

    A hate crime at the Jersey Shore?

    Workers at a grocery store construction site discovered a spray-painted swastika.

    The store is the first Lidl in the area. The German supermarket.

    I am not sure how this works.

    • Replies: @duncsbaby
    , @Brutusale
  7. Anonymous[392] • Disclaimer says:


    Phone tracing, for example, is a trivial matter these days, as compared to the days of Strowger and electromechanical arrays.
    Plus you have ubiquitous CCTV an licence plate recognition. DNA database help if the merest trace of the suspect’s hair/tissue/saliva etc is inadvertently left behind.

  8. Anonymous[167] • Disclaimer says:

    They couldn’t get him with Mueller, so their changing to another tack.

    The sniping won’t stop until he’s gone.

  9. Anon[383] • Disclaimer says:

    I think it’s an increasingly hard crime to pull off, and perhaps criminals have figured that out.

    — Rich people protect themselves and hire people like Gavin de Becker to help them do it.

    — Ubiquitous video surveillance makes it harder to nab someone and get away.

    — Cash/hostage exchange is harder and marked bills harder to spend, cash being a bit odd and suspicious to use these days (But wait until the Bitcoin blackmailers and meatspace kidnappers team up! But even then, getting large amounts of money out of Bitcoin into cash is not easy.)

    — Rich people try to stay anonymous. This recent ProPublica investigation profiles a nondescript Texas attorney who was outed by Forbes as the heir of a German billionaire when the IRS Seal Team 6 audited him (he beat it, for the most part, getting a $1.2 billion-with-a-B tax bill reduced $10 million-with-an-M, but is no longer anonymous). His comment: “I hate Forbes.” Apparently the IRS needs large teams of the sort of super-brainiac legal specialists who tend not to want to work for the government to investigate these cases, because they need to look at dozens on companies simultaneously to unravel things, but the Republicans won’t give them the budget, and they are stuck with, presumably, Harvard Law graduates of color instead.

  10. Back in the 70s and 80s you could pick up a suitcase full of used notes from the drop-off point and do whatever you liked with it. Today the police can arrest you on suspicion of drug dealing/money laundering if they catch you with anything over four figures in cash. Also, you can’t buy big things like cars and real estate with cash anymore. Maybe the future is kidnapping for bitcoins?

    • Replies: @Pericles
  11. Pericles says:

    Does this mean Judaism can’t be advocated on facebook anymore?

  12. Dignan says:

    Guillermo not Benicio.

  13. mmack says:

    I dunno Steve, maybe everyone saw Fargo and didn’t want to end up in a woodchipper when it broke bad, ya?

  14. Wasn’t that Guillermo del Toro?

  15. Paul Rise says:

    No need to publish but you probably mean Guillermo del toro.

  16. Paul Rise says:

    In the US the police will investigate the crime and try to arrest the kidnappers and save the kidnappee.

    In Mexico, the police will investigate the crime and then attempt to extort a percentage of the ransom from the kidnappers.

  17. Ray P says:

    Presumably the rhetorically implied answer is fewer Mexicans make fewer ransoms. Could it be los bros. Cohen putting out several movies about ransom schemes gone wrong?

  18. Ray P says:

    Was the Lindbergh baby the last truly famous ransom-case in the states?

    • Replies: @Alden
    , @njguy73
    , @guest
  19. Flip says:

    So how would President Pence be in standing up to the lefties? Is he tough enough?

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  20. We got Amber alerts in 96.

    It seems like most “kidnappings” these days turn out to be custody disputes.

  21. John says: • Website

    I do not know why kidnappings-for-cash are rare in the U.S., but I can confirm they are common in Latin America, or at least in Colombia they are perceived to be common. If you have information about a kidnapping, the hotline number to dial is 165. Saw that on billboards. I also saw – for Colombia throws a lot at you fast – windsocks at soft-drink plants. I surmised executives always helicoptered in, never drove – the latter would make them easier targets for interception.

    Here’s a theory: such crimes are more likely in societies that are high-trust over long distances (so large stable “corporate” fortunes can be amassed) but locally low-trust (so no one notices or will admit to noticing skulduggerous neighbors) but also have, within those low-trust cells, high-trust clans or cliques (which you would need for kidnapping, a venture likely requiring lots of participants who must work together discreetly for long periods). I just made this up but it is no dumber than any other social-science theory you’ve read.

    It is also no dumber than the compulsion to off-topic commentary on iSteve. At the moment, there are under this post 8 comments, only 2 of which are on-topic.

    • LOL: AndrewR
    • Replies: @AndrewR
    , @PV van der Byl
  22. Mr. Anon says:

    Why Did Kidnapping for Ransom Decline in U.S.?

    Perhaps so few Americans nowadays would be worth paying for to get back.

    • LOL: Dtbb
    • Replies: @Anon
  23. Anonymous[337] • Disclaimer says:
    @william munny

    Like, they prevent kidnappings by hunting down Bady’s ?

  24. Mr. Anon says:

    Kidnapping for ransom is a crime that requires a certain level of intelligence to pull off, or even to seriously contemplate doing. Have there been any successful such kidnappings anytime in the last 50 years – where the perpetrators got the money and got clean away? Maybe anybody smart enough to seriously plot such a crime is smart enough to realize that the odds are against them.

    • Replies: @guest
    , @tsotha
  25. Anonymous[337] • Disclaimer says:

    You just send em a crafty letter with cutouts and stuff…

    – J. Smollett

  26. Anonymous[337] • Disclaimer says:

    The fortitude hes exhibited for more than 3 years now is unprecedented for a peacetime leader.

    Nixon and Johnson genuinely cared about the men they were sending to their deaths as kinfolk and younger versions of themselves, so perhaps that internal struggle was even more difficult, and both succumbed in some sense. That’s unlikely to ever happen again in the diversity era and the external swirl was a fraction of today’s.

    Watching Trump face down and dismantle every powerful interest in the US while being threatened investigated, risking assassination, has been stunning to any objective observer.

    How many times going back to the campaign have you awakened lazily glanced at some news and thought this time hes done ? Anyone else in western world would be in seclusion somewhere or grovelling around to his tormentors.

  27. prosa123 says:

    In 2012, a knife-wielding man forced himself into the car of 74-year-old Violet Ripken, Cal’s mother. He tied her hands and blindfolded her, and spent about 24 hours driving around more or less aimlessly before releasing her 30 miles away from the abduction spot. He has never been caught.

    There is some reason to believe that Cal paid a substantial ransom for his mother’s release, but the police asked him to keep quiet about that in order to avoid inspiring other criminals to kidnap member of celebrity families.

    • Replies: @res
    , @danand
  28. anon[321] • Disclaimer says:

    A couple of guesses:

    1. Kidnapping for ransom is usually the province of organised criminal gangs. That’s the case in Mexico, I think, and it’s the case in two of the three American examples Steve gives. (Three out of three, to hear some tell it.) But the rise of the narcotics trade means that gangs have an easier, safer and more profitable route to riches.

    In a relatively crime-free society such as the USA, this means that other, riskier criminal wheezes will decline. If this hypothesis is correct, then we should, for instance, have seen a decline in bank robberies over the same period. (I note that Patty Hearst’s kidnappers also robbed banks. Probably so did the Getty boy’s.)

    But in a society awash with crime, like Mexico, even the drug trade can’t find work for every gangster, so some will stick with these higher-risk ventures.

    2. Kidnapping is a high-profile crime that attracts the attention of law enforcement, and probably has a higher conviction rate than other crimes.*

    In America, where the police are relatively competent and trustworthy, this presents a problem for wannabe kidnappers. In Mexico, where the police are relatively corrupt and useless, not so much.

    In fact, given the probable impact drug money has on corrupt Mexico – even more corruption – we should expect to see more kidnappings there since the drug trade took off. (I believe this is actually the case: I read somewhere that the cartels have diversified their portfolios in recent years, so to speak.)

    * Either you return the hostage alive, in which case you’ve handed the police a witness, or you kill the hostage, in which case you’re on the hook for murder – and unlike most murder cases, the police are usually already investigating it before the murder even happens. That’s got to give the police an advantage over regular murder cases, one I think would be reflected in a higher clearance rate for kidnapping-turned-murders.

  29. Tiny Duck says:

    The fire rises

    Face it. You guys lost.

    All your worst fears will come true.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Anonymous Jew
  30. The FBI played a HUGE role in the decline of kidnapping for ransom, especially after the Lindbergh baby. Kidnapping was made a federal crime, originally with the death penalty, and the FBI would go full throttle on any kidnappers.

    Gated communities may have had something to do with the decline of kidnapping as well. However, anyone who has spent a lot of time in Manhattan knows that rich and/or famous people walking down the street completely undisturbed is something that happens many times every day.

    SOME wealthy people will have bodyguards, especially those in organized crime. There used to be a fairly big gangster who occasionally hung around with a crowd I ran with. He always had a bodyguard with him. A lady I dated a few times in NYC told me she used to date someone big in the construction business, and when they went on dates they were followed by a car with his “associates”, presumably at least one bodyguard.

    • Agree: Lot
    • Replies: @Thomas
    , @Sternhammer
  31. anon[160] • Disclaimer says:

    The Q community thinks this is cover for the CIA to use ultrasound and/or radar weapons.

  32. George says:

    ‘celebrity families in Latin America still get kidnapped. ‘

    What the Sailer family needs to fear:

    • Replies: @George
  33. Andy says:

    Harsh penalties in the US. If you commit a crime, you are far more likely to get caught and receive lenghty prison time in the US than in Latin America. Of course, this is what the democrats now want to do away with.

  34. George says:

    After the war, Hauptmann and a friend robbed two women wheeling baby carriages they were using to transport food on the road between Wiesa and Nebelschütz. The friend wielded Hauptmann’s army pistol during the commission of this crime.[7] Hauptmann’s other charges include burglarizing a mayor’s house with the use of a ladder. Released after three years in prison, he was arrested three months later on suspicion of additional burglaries.[8]

    Hauptmann illegally entered the United States by stowing away on an ocean liner.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @kihowi
  35. songbird says:

    I wonder if it has anything to do with drugs. Perhaps, there is more profit in drugs if you live in America, but not Mexico – unless you are at the very top.

  36. songbird says:

    I bet there’s been a huge decline in hijacking big trucks too.

  37. Jack D says:

    Yes, I was going to say the same. And security cameras everywhere. And then they get at your phone messages and email. And maybe evidence of funds being moved around electronically. If the cops are really interested in solving a crime, such as a high profile kidnapping of a rich person, nowadays they can usually do it – people leave behind electronic footprints all over the place. The risk of getting caught and of the police being able to build an ironclad case against you are much higher.

    • Replies: @Thomas
  38. @IHTG

    “I’m sure you have a boomer relative who is weirder than he was ten years ago.”

    Mister, I am that relative.

    • LOL: IHTG
  39. Lugash says:

    Kidnapping was huge about a decade ago in Phoenix. IIRC At one point more Arizonans(of Mexican descent) had been kidnapped and killed in Mexico than all Americans in Iraq. Not sure what the stats are now.

  40. vinny says:

    Bank robberies don’t much make the news these days, but they still happen. We don’t hear about them because the news media decided not to publicize for fear of encouraging others. Possibly the same for ransom kidnappings.

    If only they’d be so quiet on hate hoaxes!

    • Replies: @James N. Kennett
  41. Thomas says:
    @Paleo Liberal

    That’s the supposed story. The FBI was just getting started as a significant entity in the early 30’s and the Lindbergh kidnapping had just happened. So it was something that had a lot of public attention and gave the FBI an opportunity to do some PR.

    It seems like a crime where just too much can go wrong and one thing can either get you caught or escalate the situation into felony murder. The kidnappers have to make secondary contact at some point to collect a ransom. Assuming they actually do release the victim or he or she escapes, there’s a living witness left behind. You have to rely on the victim’s family not calling the police. It’s punished with a severity second only to murder, and a federal sentence means no parole.

    The classic case I can think of where would-be criminals case up with the bright idea of breaking into kidnapping was the Chowchilla bus incident back in the 70s. The guys who tried that are still in prison 40 years later.

    One circumstance I’ve heard though where it still goes on is the case of a victim already involved in criminal activity. There’s a built-in disincentive to call in the police at that point.

  42. Art Deco says:

    There are private security cameras in populated areas. You go to the store, you’re photographed umpteen times. Makes successful money drops quite challenging. Also, difficult to see how a criminal can ensure that the cash dropped isn’t traceable. To take two prominent examples, every serial number on the bills of the ransoms supplied to the Lindbergh kidnapper and to DB Cooper was recorded ‘ere the drop. Bruno Richard Hauptmann was identified with technology available in 1934. It took a couple of years, to be sure. Nowadays, police can collate security camera footage at convenience stores, security camera footage at banks, and time-stamped transaction reports to identify a source of hot cash quickly if branch banks are responsive to BOLOs about certain serial numbers.

  43. Thomas says:
    @Jack D

    Requesting cell tower hits has become routine even in insurance investigations now. If you’re planning to commit a significant crime these days, you pretty much have to leave your cell phone at home if you don’t want to be located. And who does that anymore? It would be like cutting off a limb to most people.

    • Replies: @Known Fact
  44. It’s Guillermo del Toro’s father that was kidnapped, not Benicio’s, whose parents lived a much less eventful life.

  45. lanskrim says:

    I think you mean Guillermo del Toro

  46. There were one or two cases within the past few years where the kidnappers snatched up some rich guy, then over the course of a few days, had the victim sign over his assets and withdraw large amounts of money from brokerage and bank accounts. So, no need for a ransom demand. The perps still got caught though.

  47. res says:

    That seems like a good case to bring up in the context of this post. Here is a detailed article about it:

    But what really caught my eye there was about something different:

    Orioles manager Buck Showalter held a press conference at Camden Yards before that night’s O’s game against Tampa Bay to discuss the kidnapping. He praised the “stock” and told a tale of how, in 2000, when he was managing the Diamondbacks, his own mother had been terrorized in her home by an intruder who “tied her up with a cord to the radio” that she had been using to listen to his game.

    “Turns out she knew the guy,” Showalter said. (The Baltimore Sun reported that the perp in the burglary of Showalter’s home “died a few days later in a separate incident.”)

    That sounds like quite the coincidence.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  48. I guess it doesn’t pay anymore. Too much risk?

    O/T: Jordan Peele’s Us is, in my view, a very very good movie. It’s begging for an iSteve exegesis of some of its themes. National Review says its an anti-socialist allegory (plainly ridiculous). The movie is a nativist, or citizenist, manifesto, IMO. Some commenters here might be disninclined to like a movie about a black family, or to see a woke agenda where none is actually present, but I highly recommend the movie.

  49. Dudley says:

    Yeah, like people have already pointed out, electronic footprint. If you ever try to think about how you would pull off a big crime, you quickly figure out once you were a suspect – police would have a great circumstantial case within 24 hours. You could probably kidnap someone, but once you tried to contact to get the $, the jig would be up.

  50. @Anonymous

    Agree, and kidnapping for ransom is more vulnerable than other crimes to these advances in technology since it requires recontact with victim’s family and potentially with authorities.

  51. bjdubbs says:

    Why kidnap when Medicare fraud is so much easier and more lucrative? By the way, the Brazilian movie Manda Bala is a great movie about Brazil, the wealthy in Brazil and kidnapping.

  52. polaco says:

    My guess, too, is criminals understand they wouldn’t be able to get away with it, even after having been paid. The authorities would eventually track them down. Maybe the level of attention a kidnapping can bring is also a factor. The west is not as lawless as Latin America, using the spoil to pay off the police and prosecutors is not as easy, it’s unacceptable, the police tend to want to bring their investigations to closure. In most countries, it’s actually hard to call these places real countries, the predatory nature of government functionaries is on full display, they expect bribes and work for the highest bidder, in northern Mexico drug cartels run the place, not the legal authorities who cower in their stations at night.

    One of Mitt Romney’s Mormon cousins was held for ransom in Mexico-

    The polish writer and comedian, W.Cejrowski, who has traveled extensively in South America, once realized he was being tracked across several countries by a kidnapping gang, a familiar face would pop-up in his vicinity on occasion. But they eventually gave up after doing their due diligence. He actually confronted someone he thought he had seen before, and got told he used to be a target, but it was decided he wasn’t worth the effort, for the expected amount of money to extort wasn’t what they had been hoping for. A guy, who Cejrowski later recalled seeing on a Colombian wanted poster, told him flat out, he had nothing to worry about as they had concluded nobody would pay anything for him.

  53. Jesse says:

    You’re thinking about Guillermo, not Benicio. (Sp?)

  54. Anon[293] • Disclaimer says:

    Re dementia, go to YouTube and amuse yourself with Trump dementia videos dating back to 2016 (along with Hillary dementia videos).

    Of course, even a stopped clock is right twice a day, and this time it may finally be real.

    I think they’re playing the dementia card too early. By doing it now, by election day in 2020 there will be so many false alarms and funny video that it will only help Trump. Better to have waited and spring it on the public in October 2020, swift boat style.

  55. danand says:


    Could be it, just bury the reports?

    That’s the tack they’re going with up here in the SF Bay Area: please just don’t report, the numbers make things look bad (~ these “low level” crimes have about doubled in the past few years here no doubt incentivized by former governor CA Jerry Brown’s edict that “low level” crimes not be prosecuted: the disparitive impact on Africant Americants was too high a price to pay). And this with the current good economy.

    “A BART police officer caught on tape trying to persuade a teen armed robbery victim not to file a police report because it would be a “waste of resources” is facing an internal affairs investigation after NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit obtained a recording of that phone call.
    The victim, a 17-year-old from New York visiting friends and family in the Bay Area, says he and his cousins were robbed at gunpoint while waiting to pick up a friend at Oakland’s Fruitvale BART station.
    “I had pulled in the parking lot and two men pulled up behind and basically blocked me in with their car and came at us with guns pointed, and basically told us, ‘phones and wallets,’” Mike, the victim, said. NBC Bay Area is not identifying his last name because he is a juvenile.
    But more surprising than being robbed at gunpoint, Mike said, was how a BART police officer following up on the robbery relentlessly discouraged him from filing a police report.
    “She just came up with maybe five or six reasons on why not to make a report,” Mike said. “She said if you’re going to get new phones and wallets, why make a report?”

  56. “kidnappings in custody disputes … remain a problem in the U.S.”

    Given the government backed meat-grinder that is divorce and custody law in the US, I am not unsympathetic to parents who perceive that the legal system will only rape them, so they opt out, take their own kids and go on the lam. So it is a “problem” inasmuch as something is causing it to happen, but the more serious problem might be whatever it is that is causing parents to “abduct” (i.e. reclaim) their own children.

    • Agree: YetAnotherAnon
    • Replies: @Alden
  57. I believe that should be Guillermo del Toro, not Benicio.

  58. Luke says:

    Steve, I think you mean Guillermo del Toro, not Benicio

  59. Whiskey says: • Website

    Everyone here is missing the obvious. Corruption.

    Mexico has plenty of video cameras. Cell phones. Surveillance tech, gated communities, and DNA technology and tracing of ransom payments.

    HOWEVER, the cops and feds are usually … the kidnappers. Or paid off by kidnapping gangs.

    For now, the police are NOT corrupt to the extent that they actively protect or engage in kidnapping of wealthy residents. For now.

    That is not likely to remain the case for long. Look at France. Top Gear host Richard Hammond and family were gassed and robbed in the South of France, assailants never caught. Same with the gang that robbed Kim Kardashian. Since the police in France have the same tech, surveillance cameras, cell phones, etc. the conclusion I draw is that the robbery gangs are operating with the protection or active participation of the increasingly diverse non- White police.

    Imagine every prosecutor being Kim Foxx, and every police officer being Jussie Smollet. Now how honest, and non corrupt would you imagine the police and prosecutors being?

    Our glorious multicultural future is one of law enforcement kidnapping those with any amount of money and applying torture to their victims until families pay up. And maybe or not letting their victims live.

    • Agree: GermanReader2, fnn
    • Replies: @fnn
    , @Anonymous
  60. “Why Did Kidnapping for Ransom Decline in U.S.?”

    Because there is still no app for that, and people in the US can’t do anything anymore without a smartphone in front of their bloody faces.

    • Agree: International Jew
  61. Camlost says:

    Kidnapping is the domain of the professional criminal and takes a little bit of brains and planning and our resident criminal class isn’t exactly known for such things.

  62. For historical reasons, bank robbery and kidnapping for ransom are two crimes that the FBI has been very effective at solving. The FBI was created in the 1930’s specifically to target these two crimes. It was the Hindenburg kidnaping case, as well as bank robberies that spurred the creation of the FBI.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    , @Mr. Anon
  63. Tex says:

    I think that was Guillermo Del Toro whose father was kidnapped.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  64. “Why is kidnapping for ransom so rare in the United States in the 21st Century?”

    Clearly, diversity has made America a kinder and gentler nation.

    Blast from the past:

    In 1973 there was a kidnapping for ransom in my neighborhood. My parents and I had just moved in, and there was a bank president who lived about a quarter mile up the hill from our new house. His wife was home alone, and two men in a van drove there and took her.

    I don’t remember the details, but someone had noticed what was happening and called police with a description.

    Miraculously, police pulled the van over a couple of hours later on a road somewhere down below, near the city. The woman was all right, and the kidnappers were arrested. The news was reported in real time, from the kidnapping description to the pulling over, on our TV.

    That was then, and this is now:

    Certain varieties of kidnapping and extortion are alive and well in America. Eleven years ago, two psychopaths invaded a doctor’s home in Cheshire, Connecticut, bashed the doctor in the head with a baseball bat, tied up his daughters, and forced his wife to go to the bank and withdraw money under the threat of her daughters being killed.

    The woman withdrew $15,000 for the home invaders. Then they raped and killed her and her daughters and lit the house on fire. The doctor woke up from the baseball bat and managed to untie himself while the house was burning. The bank teller called the police.

    The two murdering, raping invaders are in prison for life. They might have been executed by now, but Connecticut stopped killing psychopathic murderers in 2012.

    • Replies: @Oleaginous Outrager
  65. The decline might be partly to do with the rise of increasingly expensive devices (e.g. smart phones, video game consoles, televisions, laptops, tablets, etc.). Thinking in business terms, the inventory management/upkeep for kidnapping is enormous and intensive—the person has ro be kept alive and in (relatively) good health, or else the ransom is worthless. Not to mention that there’s a veey specific “market” available (no one is going to pay a ransom for someone they don’t know). If the family doesn’t pay, then the kidnappers have just lost a massive investment (and also need to get rid of their inventory).

    Devices can be stored and kept hidden for periods of time with no need to look after them, plus they can be fenced to a larger market. Since there’s little investment into stealing these items, they can be sold for a fraction of their market value if need be.

    I wonder if ransoms were driven down by the more profitable and less risky business of property theft. The crime stats for this would be interesting. It might also explain why Mexico has higher rates of ransoms—expensive devices would only be ubiquitous among the rich, so both the supply and demand markets would be smaller.

  66. Jack D says:

    It was really a very unfortunate accident. It seems like he walked into a baseball bat with his head. Repeatedly.

  67. See the ransom of Red Chief as an explanation.

    • Replies: @Alden
    , @Jim Don Bob

    Central American migrants in an enclosure in El Paso where they were being held by Customs and Border Protection.CreditCreditJose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters
    Suppose one night there is a knock on your door. You open it to find 100 bedraggled families shivering in your yard — exhausted, filthy, terrified. The first cry of your heart would be to take them in, but you’d know there were too many.

    But you’d still do something. You’d rally your neighbors and the local authorities and put some system in place — some way to provide immediate care, figure out who these people were and how, within your means, you could lift them up.

    And this is precisely what the U.S. has failed to do in handling the refugees who are flooding across the southern border. There is nothing remotely like an adequate system in place to handle the hundreds of thousands of people fleeing violence in Central America or seeking economic opportunity. And there is no prospect of a plan being put in place from either Republicans or Democrats.

    And in that way the border crisis is paradigmatic of our politics right now. Both parties are content to adopt abstract ideological postures. Neither is interested in creating a functioning system that balances trade-offs and actually works. In the age of Trump, national politics is showbiz — self-righteous performance art to make the base feel good about itself.

    The Trump show is all about toughness and cruelty. The administration adopted a zero-tolerance policy that was supposed to deter potential immigrants. It failed miserably. Roughly 103,000 unauthorized immigrants reached the U.S.-Mexico border in March, twice as many as in March 2018.

    Aside from baring his fangs, Trump is uninterested in processing the extra refugees. The facilities are overwhelmed. Over 800,000 people already have their cases pending. New asylum seekers are held for a couple of weeks, dumped out on the streets, and most will wait until 2021 to get their formal hearings. My colleagues Michael Shear, Miriam Jordan and Manny Fernandez cite the words officials are using to describe the situation: “operational emergency,” “systemwide meltdown,” “the system is on fire.”

    The field is wide open for the Democrats to come forth with a decent plan. But on many issues the 2020 Democrats aren’t really having a primary campaign; they’re having a purity test. The candidates are not sure if they can deviate from wherever the social media warriors have defined the leftward edge. So the Democratic show consists of indignant generalities intended to sound radical while changing nothing.

    Many Democrats in Congress are denying there even is a crisis on the border. The only Democratic candidate with an immigration plan so far is Julián Castro, who wants to repeal a 1929 provision that made illegal entry a federal crime. Others gesture toward the open border crowd with policies like eliminating ICE. This is Trumpian extremism reversed.

    Immigration is one of those issues on which the extreme positions are wrong, because the correct answer means balancing competing goods.

    Editors’ Picks

    A Peerless Chronicler of the 1970s and ’80s Turns Her Gaze on Generation Y

    I Thought I Could Serve as an Openly Gay Man in the Army. Then Came the Death Threats.

    These High School Murals Depict an Ugly History. Should They Go?
    On the one hand, these people are our neighbors. Many of them come to us with harrowing stories of husbands murdered, daughters raped, mass extortion. It’s our obligation and joy to reach out to them with a hand of solidarity. It’s barbarism to send them back to lawlessness.

    On the other hand, many who are coming across seeking asylum do not qualify for it. When they get their hearings, only 20 percent win the right to stay in the United States because they’d face persecution in their home countries. Many come for traditional economic reasons. The murder rate in El Salvador has fallen in half since 2015, while the number of asylum seekers has skyrocketed.

    The U.S. cannot take in everybody who wants to come. So the first task is to set priorities. The victims of violence and persecution get top priority, then those being systemically denied their basic rights because their country has become a failed state, then those seeking economic betterment.

    Then you create a system to implement those priorities. Over the short term do the things any practical mayor would do: build new detention centers at the border; expand the capacities at the ports of entry; expand the number of judge teams, to speed through the backlog; create an orderly release procedure coordinated with humanitarian agencies; increase the number of counselors so refugees can navigate the system; vet children in their home countries for refugee status so they don’t have to make a fruitless trip.

    Over the long term, you help build better police and justice systems in the home countries. You cooperate with Mexico to jointly tackle this challenge we face together. You might shift to a more skills-based immigration system while increasing the number of refugees we take in each year.

    Designing a practical response that wins widespread support is, in theory, not hard. But it requires starting with a certain question: What can we do to help them? Much of today’s politics starts from a different question: What posture can I adopt that will reflect well on me? What can I say to prove I’m manly or woke?

    This is what happens when the politics of practical action get replaced by the politics of performative narcissism.

    The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
  69. Anonymous[397] • Disclaimer says:


    Isn’t Benicio Del Toro Puerto Rican, and the son of a well to do Puerto Rican professional?

  70. @Paleo Liberal

    Paleo is right. Not only has kidnapping all but disappeared in the US, but foreign kidnappers see US citizens as poor targets. Hard to get paid and likelier to get you caught. The FBI has a well-established policy for dealing with kidnapping, the main planks of which are:
    * don’t prohibit ransom, so the victim’s family isn’t reluctant to get help
    * negotiate through the victim’s family, coaching them, so the bad guys don’t know the cops are there
    * first thing, hide all family assets so that kidnappers can’t verify bank accounts or other money
    * be really passive-aggressive, so kidnappers have to do all the work of coming up with proof of life and payment plans, etc. ie “how can we pay when we don’t even know if our son is alive?” then the crooks have to scheme up a proof. A lot of crooks are dumb enough that this is hard for them. And it requires more communications and more time…
    * make the kidnapping go as long as possible. The longer the crooks have you the less likely they are to kill you (Stockholm syndrome goes both ways). And they can’t kidnap someone else until they get paid (harder to hide multiple hostages). So that hurts their turnover rate. Then the cops have a lot of time to ID your phone signal and anything else to find you.

    The FBI Crisis Negotiation Unit still gets a lot of practice helping US citizens kidnapped in Columbia, Philippines or Mexico. So they are always on top of their game. They have some domestic work too, but they always stomp on it hard and then keep it quiet.

    A retired guy from that unit has a recent book out, and it is very good. Chris Voss, and I think the title is Never Split the Difference.

    Whatever you think of the FBI bad apples in that whole Russia-gate debacle, the Crisis Negotiation unit is very smart, and very successful.

    • Agree: Lot
  71. Anonymous[337] • Disclaimer says:
    @Tiny Duck

    That you Pedro ?

    The georgetown undergrad as revolutionary….Interdasting.

    Ugly duckling

  72. @YetAnotherAnon

    OT but worrying if true – in fact terrible

    Even more important, what if you’re a gay pedophile?

    It’s OT, but troubling, if true – in fact, terrible.

    What if you lack the mental capacity to even be described as anti-intellectual? It would be like you aren’t even aware of your lack of ability to function without getting your talking points from like-minded screamers.

    That would be a terrible way to live, since Low IQ is a kind of a curse that cannot be mitigated.

    Keep us informed.

  73. “Why Did Kidnapping for Ransom Decline in U.S.?”

    It’s one victory for the Cashless Society.

  74. *Guillermo Del Toro; Benicio Del Toro’s parents are Puerto Rican lawyers.

    • Replies: @AndrewR
  75. @Tiny Duck

    I’d love to see you spend a week in a typical Black neighborhood. But, as you admitted on here before, you’ve never had extended contact with median Blacks. I have. We all lose. The only problem is that leftists (the not-rich ones) don’t realize they’re losing too. Why do all rich White liberals live in White neighborhoods? Why does Obama live in a White neighborhood? I can’t wait until diversity ruins your life too. Priceless.

    BTW: Am I the only one that’s certain Tiny Duck is a woman? I’m going with purple hair and fat. Her comments and writing style are not those of a man. She may even be transitioning and taking roids, but there’s no Y chromosome.

  76. @Buzz Mohawk

    Even criminals are getting lazier and more lunkheaded. Back in the 70’s, kidnapper would’ve followed the plan used in The Friends of Eddie Coyle and made some real money.

    • Replies: @Daniel H
  77. Daniel H says:

    Ransom demand made in Wanzhen Lu kidnapping: York police

    Yes. Petty kidnapping still a thing with Chinese immigrants. Just another example of why we need H1B/immigrants: jobs that American/Canadians just won’t do anymore.

  78. fnn says:

    This may be your best post ever.

  79. Daniel H says:
    @Oleaginous Outrager

    The friends of Eddie Coyle is an excellent movie. As a Boston mafia drama it is superior to The Departed.

    Alex Rocco, just a year from his noteworthy performance in The Godfather has a small role. Interesting. Rocco in his youth was a small time Boston hood.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  80. @Anonymous Jew

    “BTW: Am I the only one that’s certain Tiny Duck is a woman?”

    On that subject, anyone seen Corvinus lately?

  81. AnonAnon says:

    I wish I had “dementia” like him. Ever watch him take on the spot questions from the press? He’s fantastic at thinking on his feet, unlike that idiot Obama. No way he has dementia. The moron Ivy League-credentialed press like to think they’re all so much smarter than Trump but he’s incredibly sharp, no matter how much they wish otherwise.

  82. Sean says:

    I will tell you frankly that I am more that a little dubious about a lottery winner becoming a successful businessman. Unless … he set up a little laundry for cleaning Peruvian nose power off paper. It can be dangerous to do business with criminals because they’ll kill you if you owe them money kill you if they owe you money and set you up because that is what they do. Jake the Barber was kidnapped.

    Why Did Kidnapping for Ransom Decline in U.S.?

    There has not been a successful one in living memory. Unless the person can’t go to the police, and has vast amount of money to hand (usually means they are shady themselves), no kidnapper could reasonably expect to ever spend the money, fence it at a discount or otherwise profit.

    For example the best known ransom of recent time was hijacker DB Cooper made the familiar-from-fiction demand of non-sequentially numbered small bills. However mass publicity over the Lindbergh case had long made it public knowledge that even with 1930s technology, getting non-sequential bills in a ransom was no defense against the numbers being logged and used to track down a perpetrator. In the Lindbergh case, fencing what he could as hot money and being very careful with what he did personally pass, the perpetrator had been caught through the ransom money nonetheless, with identification and handwriting evidence brought in only at the trial. The DB Cooper money all ended up in a riverbed a long way from the landing zone. He probabally dumped the money , which is why he was never caught.

    • Replies: @prosa123
  83. JimB says:

    The surveillance state have made kidnapping for cash a hard crime to make profitable.

  84. Alden says:
    @Ray P

    There was the Bobby Greenlease case 1953. Even a 5 year old, which I was heard about it. It was on the news day and night. Largest ransom ever. Kidnappers killed him right away. Their criminal friends turned the kidnappers in.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Reg Cæsar
  85. Alden says:
    @Anonymous Jew

    My opinion TD’s a man because of all his comments about White women going after black men.

  86. Art Deco says:
    @Abelard Lindsey

    The FBI was founded in 1908 and re-organized in 1924.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  87. Art Deco says:
    @Anonymous Jew

    you’ve never had extended contact with median Blacks. I have. We all lose.

    A ‘median black’ would be a nurse’s aide or a bus driver. Not sure what they’re supposed to be costing me.

  88. Anon[417] • Disclaimer says:

    OT: It appears Assange was able to trigger the kill switch. There’s been a massive data dump at Wikileaks:

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
  89. Alden says:
    @Almost Missouri

    “There’s 3 sides to every story; his, hers and the truth “

    Another old French saying

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
  90. AnonAnon says:
    @Anonymous Jew

    Am I the only one that’s certain Tiny Duck is a woman?

    I’ve always thought so. Mostly because her replies are neither clever nor amusing.

  91. @Anonymous

    Nixon and Johnson genuinely cared about the men they were sending to their deaths as kinfolk and younger versions of themselves

    Lyndon Johnson cared about the men he sent to their deaths?

    Oh, really?


  92. Anonymous[337] • Disclaimer says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    I think he has the least opprobrium headed his way on this one.

    ” Im smart, needed the money, it was a mistake. Saw alot worse than these in students in my haravad undergrad days bear in mind. Anyway Ill take my punishment and move on to helping other less privileged children prepare for their college exams. ”

    Tennis pro in palm beach with side gig tutoring wealthy elites children for massive bonuses at Christmas. Maybe 250K per with a subsidized quarters at the club and a book deal.

  93. Anonymous[337] • Disclaimer says:
    @Art Deco

    *Ultimately disbanded by President Trump in 2019 after revelations of attempted sabotage efforts by the agency directed towards his successful campaign for the US Presidency.

    • Replies: @Flip
  94. Alden says:

    There’s a true crime movie El Clan. It was on Netflix last year. Upper middle class family. Son a professional rugby player. Father ran a store they belonged to the country club lived in an expensive neighborhood. Between the store. The country club and rugby fans they were able to find out a lot about their victims finances and habits

    They kidnapped wealthy people they knew inprisoned them in the attic and collected rsnsoms. The entire family was involved The random sums were reasonable, like 20k instead of 10 million. So the families could easily pay the ransom.

    They operated for years until they over estimated the ability of a family to pay. The family just didn’t have the money. Plus the victim refused to be quiet and screamed constantly. The victim was rescued after a few months in the attic and the midnappeds webt off for king prison terms

    There were a lot of small ransom kidnappings in Italy when the Red Brigades were active. 5, 10 k the victim quickly returned home. It ended after a police crackdown plus added security.

  95. @Art Deco

    Do people in those occupations – of any race – typically have IQs of 85? That’s the Black median. Maybe those nurse’s aides and bus drivers are median when you discount the out of sight drug addicts, prison population et al. 70-80% is more like it. (85th percentile would be equivalent to the average White person).

    I will grant that age mellows. A 20-year-old with an 85 IQ, high testosterone, and a deep resentment of Whitey is a different animal from a 55-year-old with an 85 IQ that has a bum leg and has been beaten down by life.

    I went to school with the bottom 99% of Blacks, before prison, schizophrenia etc start weaning their population. I maintain the median costs you and is not pleasant to be around. I don’t think you or Tiny Duck would be happy living with the median. The thought of it makes Mexico seem like a highly advanced paradise.

    Someone did a calculation based on earnings and use of all government services. Whites are a net positive $2K or so (I assume Asians even more), Blacks are a net negative of about $11K.

    *FWIW I recognize people as individuals and will be the first to admit that Jews, as a group, have some less than desirable traits.

    • Replies: @Alden
  96. probably because law enforcement in the US is a lot better at deterring it now. among the wealthy class anyway.

    what was the last high profile one? when they grabbed steve wynn’s daughter? steve called BS on the vegas shooting decades later, a man with a lot of experience with casinos and criminals.

    has kidnapping really gone down that much though? seems like street level criminals kidnap people all the time and make them drive to the ATM. maybe in sweden and other no-cash societies, where cash crimes are nearly impossible. but not in the US. in fact, philadelphia and other vibrant cities are starting up anti no-cash policies. forcing businesses to accept cash. low class people operate on cash, so those laws help them be able to still buy and sell stuff, but those laws also keep the ATM kidnap scheme in business.

    bank robbery is way down, for the same law enforcement reason. it’s actually really hard to get a big take now. basically nobody is able to rob a big bank for millions anymore. bank robbers are all smurfers now, to use methamphetamine parlance. you take down branches for a couple grand score, then the next, in a row. point break style. and in true point break style, lots of modern bank robbers wear realistic masks.

    heat style bank robberies are a thing of the past in the US.

  97. It’s probably the case that carting the kidnapped person around to evade discovery while ensuring his or her health is laborious, and there are easier ways to steal the money. It’s probably also difficult to receive the money in such a way as to not be traced or traceable in a first world nation such as the U.S.

    I suspect that in Latin America and other places where kidnapping for ransom is still practiced, the law enforcement authorities are on the take or possibly involved in the kidnapping schemes themselves, so evading detection is easier and the kidnapping game actually profitable because you can actually pull it off.

  98. Anonymous[392] • Disclaimer says:

    Hauptmann doesn’t come across as too bright. A patsy?

  99. TWS says:
    @Anonymous Jew

    No tiny duck is a man. Probably larping but a man. He’s plagiarized dozens, pretends to be a gay man, straight, a lesbian, straight woman, black, white maybe Muslim. My guess is he’s a white male who thinks he’s Godfrey Elfwick or wants to be.

    Maybe he thought he was, ‘red pilling’ or black but now he’s just trolling to troll.

  100. @Buzz Mohawk

    It would be interesting to know who was proctoring those tests. He doesn’t exactly look like a HS junior anymore.

  101. Marty says:
    @Art Deco

    Since the bus driver is working toward her second or even third pension, she’s nowhere near median.

  102. istevefan says:

    First it was the Classics. Now they are going after the Vikings to own the White Supremacists.

  103. Cortes says:

    Aren’t home invasions more profitable?

    Even in the sleepy UK I’ve been made aware of a couple of recent cases involving the deliberate maiming of the target’s spouse to encourage the prompt compliance in delivery of goodies the target had been unwise enough to allude to in company. Not to mention the ethnic element of some target groups known to hoard gold.

    Wham! Bam! Thank you ma’am! And then it’s “who were those masked marauders?” And little publicity…

  104. This is good, in the Sailerian coalition of the fringes sense.

    • Replies: @Flip
  105. Jack D says:
    @Art Deco

    They’re costing you because their salaries are being paid by your taxes. In an economy without massive government caused distortion they would be as poor as they were before our economy was socialized but now they are middle class thanks you the generosity of the government with my money and yours.

    • Replies: @res
  106. AndrewR says:

    I just made this up but it is no dumber than any other social-science theory you’ve read.

    You’re my new favorite commenter here…

  107. @istevefan

    Love how they use “multicultural and multiracial” to try and lead us to believe there were a bunch of Vikings from Senegal and Thailand.

    Also, the story’s first paragraph is about the NZ shooting, just make sure you know how amazingly dangerous the notion that Vikings were only “white” really is.

    • Replies: @guest
  108. AndrewR says:
    @Nosferatu Zodd

    There was an ad a few years ago where Benicio del Toro was sitting in a restaurant or something and some dumb family outside saw him and said… “He looks really familiar. Isn’t that… um…”

    And my first thought was “Brad Pitt” because, well, he looks a lot like Brad Pitt.

    But the dumb mom or something said “Antonio Banderas” and everyone in the family agreed and laughed. Banderas, of course, looks nothing like del Toro but he’s “Hispanic” unlike Brad Pitt. I wanted to KO everyone involved in the making of that ad.

    • Replies: @guest
  109. @Thomas

    And just try to find a working pay phone to deliver the ransom instructions

  110. res says:
    @Jack D

    Just to provide some backup for your comment.

    First, some numbers:

    During 2008-2010, 21.2% of all Black workers are public employees, compared with 16.3% of non-Black workers. Both before and after the onset of the Great Recession, African Americans were 30% more likely than other workers to be employed in the public sector.

    But Table 3 surprised me. It shows the greater likelihood a black worker is in the public sector by sex. The average is ~30% from above. Roughly speaking that breaks down to 35-40% for men and 22-23% for women.

    Here is the full conclusion:

    This research brief documents that the public sector plays a unique role in the labor market outcomes for the Black community. The public sector is the largest employer of Black workers; there is a greater likelihood that a Black worker will be employed in the public sector compared to a non-Black worker; wages earned by Blacks in that industry are higher than those earned by Blacks in other sectors; and inequality within an industry is less in the public sector compared to other industries. It is important to note that this data reflects the national workforce; it is a plausible assumption that in many cities where Blacks are a larger proportion of the general population and a larger proportion of the workforce, the importance of the public sector to Black employment prospects will rise. Consequently, any analysis of the impact to society of additional layoffs in the public sector as a strategy to address the fiscal crisis should take into account the disproportionate impact that reductions in government employment have on the Black community.

    FWIW Appendix C indicates that nurse and bus driver are probably a bit above the black median job (and that is ignoring those without full time employment).

    Appendix D is an interesting look at public sector median wages vs. overall median wages by industry and race.

    Appendix B gives a rank order of employment in various industries by race.

  111. @YetAnotherAnon

    Hard to play the dementia card when your party leader is Nancy Pelosi

  112. Tex says:

    Vikings were multiracial? Well, from my reading of the Jomsviking Saga, that legendary brotherhood of mercenaries and pirates included Danes, Welsh, and Wends. That would make them a mix of the Nordic, Celtic, and Slavic races. A real rainbow coalition all the way from fair-skinned to pale. Another triumph of diversity that.

    Personally, I am multiracial as well. I’m Anglo AND Saxon.

    • LOL: Redneck farmer
  113. Anonymous[392] • Disclaimer says:

    Same with the gang that robbed Kim Kardashian.

    I remember this happened just after she said she supported Trump. Odd that.

  114. Jack D says:
    @Art Deco

    If you exclude all the blacks who don’t get their income from the government in one way or another (welfare, military, incarceration, civil service employment, sectors such as hospitals and nursing homes which are paid for largely with government (Medicare and Medicaid) funds, non-profits that are funded by government grants, people with jobs that they aren’t really qualified for because they were hired under AA quotas, minority contractor set-asides, etc.) there are about 5 black people left who actually work in the private sector and earn a middle class or above market wage. All of black prosperity in America, such as it is, is entirely a creature of government. This is why blacks are so wedded to the Democrat Party – they know that without this massive thumb on the scale they would be back cleaning white people’s houses as their main career option.

    • Agree: Jim Don Bob
  115. @istevefan

    “Odin was played by a very nice black guy”-P. J. O’Rourke

  116. Jack D says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    The guy is 36 years old. He’s a youthful looking 36 but didn’t anyone at the test centers (aside from the guys who had been paid off) notice that he looked kind of long in the tooth for a high school student?

  117. Barnard says:

    Despite the fact that real Viking history was multicultural, academic medieval studies have historically been to blame for the upholding of that imaginary past.

    Do they mean Norwegian, Swedish and Danish by multicultural? They throw in that Vikings are “multiracial” with no evidence whatsoever. Were they 0.1% non white?

  118. Why is kidnapping for ransom so rare in the United States in the 21st Century?

    1. Too difficult to pull off w/o being identified.
    2. Too difficult to get the ransom w/o being identified.
    3. Other crimes pay better.

  119. kihowi says:

    What happened to the perfectly good word “burgling”?

  120. @Jack D

    cleaning white people’s houses as their main career option.

    Also “aspiring rapper” and professional athlete.

  121. njguy73 says:
    @Ray P

    Three words: Frank. Sinatra. Junior.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Flip
  122. Late to this party but it seems like these days kidnapping for ransom might just be extremely difficult to get away with in the US.

  123. Logan says:

    Maybe the potential kidnappers read Man on Fire by A. J. Quinnell. And quite rightly decided they did NOT want to go there.

  124. @njguy73

    Was Frank Sinatra Jr. a real kidnapping or was it faked? Roger McGrath was in highschool with Frank Jr., but I can’t remember the outcome.

    • Replies: @prosa123
    , @Anonymous
    , @njguy73
  125. prosa123 says:
    @Steve Sailer

    At their trial the kidnappers claimed that Frank Jr. had set it up as a way of boosting his fledgling career, but after Frank Jr. died a few years ago the one surviving kidnapper said it actually had been a real, albeit largely bungled, scheme.

  126. guest says:

    Nonsense. CBS could edit the interview any way it wanted, to make him look like a genius do-gooder or the most dangerous man in the world. Any non-moron knows that.

    Also, first nationalist president? What does that mean? Do they imagine one from Washington to Obama recognized believed in America as a nation? Has anyone read a word T.R., for instance, wrote?

  127. guest says:
    @Mr. Anon

    There was a famous case in Minnesota in the early 70s. Virginia Piper, daughter of the wealthy Piper family, was kidnapped and returned after $1 million in ransom was paid. The bulk of which was never recovered, despite two men being convicted of the kidnapping.

    However, they were later acquitted on appeal, I think. So it remains officially unsolved.

    When you read about these unsolved ransom kidnapping cases, the bad guys usually get away when for whatever reason they don’t touch the money.

  128. guest says:

    How trustworthy is this Wikipedia entry? Frank Sinatra, Jr. isn’t even on it.

  129. guest says:

    “Revising history back to where it was after we revised it first, so the bad revisitionists don’t get all the revisionist fun. “

  130. You’ve not kept up with the modern ways of kidnappings and ransom payments.

    The US gave approval for a $4Bn IMF loan to Ecuador.

    Assange is delivered.

  131. guest says:
    @Oleaginous Outrager

    Well, Vikings did kill Muslims, didn’t they?

    Or wait, did they spread Islamic culture after “encountering” the more advanced peoples of the Mediterranean and Near East? Which allowed Northern Europoe to enjoy Enlightenment centuries later or whatever?

    No, no. Vikings *were* Muslim. And everyone else under the sun. I forgot.

    • Replies: @Dtbb
    , @Pericles
  132. Flip says:

    “I will splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the wind.”

    -John F. Kennedy

  133. Flip says:
    @Alec Leamas (hard at work)

    Jamie Dimon previously said that he was “barely a Democrat.” Maybe this tips him over.

  134. guest says:

    Don’t ask why I know this, but Banderas publicized a genetic test on tv and it said he was almost all European, a bit Jordanian, and 7% Mexican. (Which I assume means mestizo, which would also contain European blood.)

    So the advertisers could cling onto that 7% in addition to the fact that he speaks Spanish. (Natch, considering he is Spanish.)

    • Replies: @Cortes
  135. Flip says:

    Eddie Lampert of Sears was kidnapped but talked them into letting him go after two days.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  136. Alden says:

    7th grade English. I’ll never forget that story.

  137. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:

    It’s still remembered in Kansas City. Man and woman were gassed together in the Missouri gas chamber.

  138. Anon[877] • Disclaimer says:
    @Mr. Anon

    If you were kidnapped, I’d mortgage the house to pay the ransom.

  139. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    It was real.

    Dean Torrence, the Dean of Jan (a he) and Dean, was rumored to be involved. He never got arrested but his music career went to shit as Big Frank was not too happy with him. He later was successful as a record cover designer, but he was viewed as sort of tainted. I saw him singing with a put-together surf and turf band with a couple of Beach Boys and a couple other hangers-on at a shopping mall once. I think Blondie Chaplin was in this outfit, I’d never heard of him before. Now he’s basically an unofficial Rolling Stone.

    FS Jr. was a pedantic and annoying pain in the ass but he was not stupid. Opinionated as all hell. Few people really liked him but he had had a crummy life, his dad doted on the girls and ignored him. He basically threw his life away trying to be the one thing he could never be-Frank Sinatra. There was only one of those and he was not it. Probably should have been a doctor, lawyer or airline pilot.

    • Replies: @Flip
    , @William Badwhite
  140. Alden says:
    @Anonymous Jew

    The median blacks like bus drivers often, very often have thug relatives and friends. Working with a lot of affirmative black women one hears all about their family affairs. Baby daddy in the state max security prison, always taking off work for son’s court appearances, what did you do this weekend? Whites do home maintainaince, shopping kids activities. The black women are visiting their significant others in prison in the weekends.
    Often jail guards have relatives in the jail. Court bailiffs and clerks have family members appearing in their criminal courts.

    It’s unusual to find a black, even the most respectable who doesn’t have criminal family members

  141. @Flip

    He can’t even stand up to Mayor Pete.

    That’s a hard no.

  142. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:

    Sears would have been better off if they had kept him. Talk about a retail idiot.

    Sears will be, like Mont’gy Wards and FW Woolworths, shut down even though it could be turned around because the corporate types just don’t feel it’s worth the bother and/or are really stupid.

    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
  143. duncsbaby says:

    Surely ‘unlike in other Latin American countries’? Okay give it 5 years.

    See Steve’s previous post about how the southwest U.S. would be different if it was still part of Mexico.

    God Bless James K. Polk.

    But, as you say, give it 5 years. I already have dudes giving me attitude because I don’t speak Spanish & I live close to Canada.

  144. Flip says:

    He basically threw his life away trying to be the one thing he could never be-Frank Sinatra. There was only one of those and he was not it. Probably should have been a doctor, lawyer or airline pilot

    Or a law school graduate journalist like his half-brother.

  145. Cortes says:

    Banderas raises a number of flags, not the least of which relates to the sublime Valle-Inclán:

    The first, and perhaps the best of the Novels of the Dictator.

  146. J.Ross says: • Website

    Yeah yeah yeah and Uhh … bama was the most articulate man who ever lived. How is anybody falling for this?

  147. KunioKun says:

    Here is a Vice episode from the days before Vice turned into complete trash on Mexico and the Mormons:

    At one point in it a black truck drives by and the Mormons accompanying Vice mention that those are the people who murdered their brothers. Everybody seems to know who the gangsters are, but nobody does anything to them.

    I read somewhere that most kidnappings are for very small ransoms. In the U.S. the punishment for kidnapping is high relative to the money you can make from it. Plus, if you are smart enough to kidnap somebody and make the trade for the ransom without getting caught you are probably smart enough to get simple job that will make you the same or better money without getting you killed or put in jail. A job at McDonald’s for example would be better than the kidnapping game.

    One of the points made in the Vice episode is that NAFTA wrecked northern Mexico’s economy and left lots of people with few options for work so lots of them join drug gangs and kidnapping gangs. I don’t know enough about economics to know if that is true, but I have heard it several times. I should read up on it sometime.

  148. duncsbaby says:
    @Anonymous Jew

    I thought it had been agreed upon by all that TD was a gay white Canadian male assistant professor of gender studies? Oh well, I shall go back to drinking cheap watery drinks.

  149. Mr. Anon says:
    @Abelard Lindsey

    It was the Hindenburg kidnaping case, as well as bank robberies that spurred the creation of the FBI.

    Ah yes, the Hindenburg kidnapping. I remember it well. He was abducted by Gerhart Hauptman. It changed the course of German history. And naturalist theater too.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  150. D.B. Cooper: Speaking as a former skydiver, we always presumed he would be found. His skeleton would be found still in the harness. He jumps at night into a deep forest with no lighted landing zone.
    The worst imaginable jump possible. Either that or the hypothermia would get him. That can kill qiuckly. remember the money has not been spent.

  151. Mr. Anon says:
    @Daniel H

    The friends of Eddie Coyle is an excellent movie.

    Agree. It’s underrated. I think it ranks up there with The French Connection and other gritty crime dramas of the era.

  152. tsotha says:
    @Mr. Anon

    In a country like the US the kidnappers really have no way of reliably obfuscating the money trail. For it to be successful I suspect you’d have to do the money part using bitcoin and mob connections in, say, Kazakhstan, and having a separate team in the US for the actual abduction and release. That seems like a lot of risk and trouble when you could probably make more with ransomware.

    In the mid 1980s Congress created a whole host of new crimes around currency, ostensibly to fight drug trafficking, but mostly, I suspect, to reduce tax evasion. Big suitcases full of cash are now a big neon “arrest me” sign. If you want a good laugh watch the 1968 Steve McQueen/Faye Dunaway movie The Thomas Crown Affair. After the protagonist robs a bank he boards a commercial plane with a suitcase full of cash and casually deposits the money at a Swiss bank. Count the ways you couldn’t do that today.

    I used to play a lot of poker, and I knew people who carried quite a lot of cash. Occasionally the cops would discover someone on the way to a game (at a legal venue) and… steal his money. There’s no other way to put it. In the absence of evidence of a crime, if you have more than a few thousand on you the cops will take it and refuse to give it back.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    , @Paleo Liberal
  153. Dtbb says:

    The Rus worked with muslims in the slave trade and also were mercenaries for them.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  154. @Anonymous

    one thing he could never be-Frank Sinatra. There was only one of those and he was not it. Probably should have been a doctor, lawyer or airline pilot.

    Dean Martin’s son became a fighter pilot (California Air National Guard). Lots of people think the ANG is a weekend warrior thing (it mostly is) but a number of those units deployed to Vietnam. Also today all refueling tankers are now Guard units. The flying requirements (something like 8 missions per month, which doesn’t sound like a lot until you realize its Saturday and Sunday every month and if the WX is bad or the jet is down for maintenance you still owe them a day) are fairly onerous.

    He (call sign “Dino) was killed leaving March AFB in an F4, unfortunately he killed his WSO as well. Guys that knew him suspected he was fiddling with the radar (the backseater’s job) during the instrument departure (the wx was bad, they were in a snow storm) but nobody knows for sure. One thing that is for sure is they felt no pain – hitting a sheer granite cliff at over 450 knots would be just like a light switch being flicked off.

    He was respected in the F4 community. A guy I know fairly well was at Red Flag with a USAF active duty F4 squadron in the early 80’s and “Dino” was on their team. If guys in the F4 community were passing thru LA he would make a call or two and get them into parties at the Playboy Mansion.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Joe Stalin
  155. prosa123 says:

    For example the best known ransom of recent time was hijacker DB Cooper made the familiar-from-fiction demand of non-sequentially numbered small bills.

    Of all the many Cooper suspects, one of the very best is a university librarian named Barbara Dayton, who was born Bobby Dayton and underwent one of the country’s first transgender procedures a couple of years before the hijacking. Many years later Dayton bragged to several people that she had reverted to her former male identity to carry out the hijacking, knowing that as a woman she’d never be a suspect. She quickly stopped her bragging once she learned that the statute of limitations hadn’t run out.

    Several factors make it quite possible that Dayton’s bragging was the real deal. It was evident that Cooper the hijacker was knowledgeable about aviation, had extensive parachuting experience, and was familiar with the geography of the Puget Sound area. Dayton matched perfectly in all three respects. She was known to have had a grudge against the airline industry due to her inability to get hired, and according to everyone who knew her had a bold, risk-taking personality. Finally, there’s reason to believe that Dayton would have resembled the hijacker if she had a man’s haircut and was dressed in men’s clothing. While Dayton was a couple inches shorter than the lowest estimates of Cooper’s height, all of those estimates were based on the hijacker’s seated height, and a person’s seated height does not always indicate standing height particularly well.

    • Replies: @Pericles
  156. @Alden

    The elder Robert Greenlease was 65 when Bobby was born. He never would have guessed that he’d outlive his only (natural) son by a dozen years.

  157. Guillermo del Toro

    “Bill Bull”?

  158. @Anonymous

    I once knew an AT&T Long Lines guy who said from his Network Management terminal he could see if any particular telephone number was transiting the AT&T long distance network.

    Years ago, the US government asked telco long distance switch manufacturers for the ability to monitor overseas telephone calls using the extant service observation features already existing in the switching fabric. Allegedly, this was because of drug smuggling.

  159. njguy73 says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Was Frank Sinatra Jr. a real kidnapping or was it faked? Roger McGrath was in highschool with Frank Jr., but I can’t remember the outcome.

  160. @Jack D

    They were doing reasonably well for themselves before the Munchausen by Proxy white saviors came in and fouled everything up (supercharged by LBJ’s evil genius). Who knows what they could do if cut free of the burden of nice white women?

  161. @Mr. Anon

    The plot was to make their get-away in a stolen Zeppelin.

  162. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @William Badwhite

    Right, I know people who knew him and he was from all accounts a first rate aviator and human being. His death was what really killed his father, he was never the same after that. Frank Sinatra’s mother was killed in a Lear crash in roughly the same vicinity if I recall.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  163. J.Ross says: • Website

    This, it’s a less exciting version of Steve’s argument that law enforcement has effectively if not permanently or completely obviated serial killing.

  164. Anonymous[392] • Disclaimer says:

    Vikings and Muslims both regarded Christian Europeans as enemies, especially the Franks. We hear a lot about Charlemagne’s crusades against the Muslims, but his crusades against the pagans of Germany are less well known, although they were far more bloody. The Franks also deliberately destroyed and desecrated the holy sites of the pagans and slaughtered their holy men.

    The Vikings, no less than the Muslims, were waging a holy war.

  165. @Anonymous

    San Gorgonio? That’s a big mountain. When I hiked it in the 1970s there was plane wreckage on the Dry Lake Trail.

  166. @William Badwhite

    I remember him being arrested for having a machine gun, so definitely a gun person.

  167. @tsotha

    I believe what you said about the cops stealing the money.

    There was a famous case in the late eighties or early nineties when a bunch of senior citizen wise guys from
    Jersey robbed a poker club in Manhattan (the Mayfair Club). I knew some people who were there during the robbery, and I got some estimates as to how much money was stolen.

    The cops found the thieves, and supposedly returned the money. From the estimates as to how much money was stolen, and how much was recovered, the cops kept at least 90-95% of the money.

    One of the thieves made the mistake of traveling into NYC while out on bail. He disappeared. His decomposing body was found a few weeks later in the trunk of a car in an Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn. I actually won a bet by predicting that hit.

  168. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:

    Monkey Ward stills exists online:

    Their prices seem ridiculous.

  169. Pericles says:
    @The goy in the striped pajamas

    Also, you can’t buy big things like cars and real estate with cash anymore.

    You can’t buy a condo in New York or Miami anymore? That used to be the approved way to launder money.

    Maybe the future is kidnapping for bitcoins?

    Large-scale data kidnapping for bitcoin is already here.

  170. Pericles says:

    Woodrow Wilson did some of his best work while drooling in a chair after a debilitating stroke (1919-1921), so don’t worry.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  171. Pericles says:

    one of the very best is a university librarian named Barbara Dayton, who was born Bobby Dayton and underwent one of the country’s first transgender procedures

    Finally, there’s reason to believe that Dayton would have resembled the hijacker if she had a man’s haircut and was dressed in men’s clothing. …

    Yeah, I wonder why. You had me at ‘transgender’.

  172. Pericles says:

    Vikings used to work for Muslims: the Varangian guard. But it seems unlikely they brought a lot of swarthy bastards back with them.

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
  173. George says:

    It is possible that the wealthy have hired experts to make them more difficult to kidnap.

    Kidnap and Ransom Insurance


    What happens if your kidnap insurance specialist goes bust? Don’t worry.

  174. Biff says:

    I mean, she kidnapped herself man. I mean, she’s gotta feed the monkey. Come on, get real.

    The Dude

  175. @Alden

    There is a fourth and fifth side here as well: the state’s and the child’s.

    The modren state enters the dispute offering enormous cash and prizes to one side to dispossess the other side. Naturally truth is an early casualty. Justice dies shortly thereafter.

    The child may have an opinion, but is rarely asked. I happen to know a woman whose father “abducted” (reclaimed) her and her sister from their mother during a custody dispute and raised them in another jurisdiction. Thirty years later, the woman had no doubts that her father did the right thing in not letting her somewhat crazy mother have her and her sister. Both ladies are well adjusted, productive citizens today, no thanks to the state and judicial system.

  176. @Pericles

    The Varangians worked for the Byzantines, who were Orthodox Christians. They did fight against the Fourth Crusaders when those Crusaders decided to sack Constantinople on their way to the Holy Land.

    When the Muslims sacked Constantinople, the Varangian Guard ceased to exist. The Ottomans already had their own imperial bodyguards in the Janissaries.

    • Replies: @Pericles
  177. @Anon

    Which ones are new and how can you tell?

  178. @Pericles

    The Edith Wilson administration was only topped by the Laura Bush administration (Katrina-Palin).

    • Replies: @Pericles
  179. @Anonymous

    Watching Trump face down and dismantle every powerful interest in the US while being threatened investigated, risking assassination, has been stunning to any objective observer.

    Sadly, the powerful interests have faced Trump down, not vice versa. They have not been dismantled. The swamp has not been drained. The wall has not been built.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  180. @vinny

    Bank robberies don’t much make the news these days, but they still happen. We don’t hear about them because the news media decided not to publicize for fear of encouraging others. Possibly the same for ransom kidnappings.

    Interesting – yes, the media sometimes act as responsible citizens. This makes it all the more remarkable that, as this website has shown many times, the media promote BLM news, and suppress SBPDL news.

    If only they’d be so quiet on hate hoaxes!

    They stick to the same pattern even if the news is fake!

  181. Brutusale says:

    Is this still considered a kidnapping?

    • Replies: @guest
  182. Pericles says:

    The Edith Wilson administration was only topped by the Laura Bush administration (Katrina-Palin).

    Doesn’t Melania have a steely glint in her eye? She’s ready to step up.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  183. Pericles says:
    @Almost Missouri

    Right you are, I wonder where I got the muslims from.

    The Janissaries were as we all know enslaved (and converted) Christian children. Yet another thing for Whites to consider.

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
  184. @James N. Kennett

    No sign of the fat lady yet. Stay tuned.

  185. guest says:
    @Ray P

    There was Patty Hearst, but the SLA didn’t ask for ransom in a traditional sense. They wanted the family to spend like half a million feeding the hungry in California, or some nonsense.

  186. guest says:

    Yes. People were convicted of the crime.

  187. @IQ Realist

    Over the short term do the things any practical mayor would do: build new detention centers at the border; expand the capacities at the ports of entry; expand the number of judge teams, to speed through the backlog; create an orderly release procedure coordinated with humanitarian agencies; increase the number of counselors so refugees can navigate the system; vet children in their home countries for refugee status so they don’t have to make a fruitless trip.

    Right on bro! The question is why Trump’s advisors are not telling him this is the way to go.

    If the country is full, there should also be an all out initiative to promote contraception and abortion so that Americans do not have to go hungry.

  188. There was a recent kidnapping in California and regardless of whether one thinks it was a hoax or not,it does raise the interesting question of whether sex trafficking of minors should not be classified as a kind of kidnapping. Apparently it has been enough of a problem to lead to legislation that has stopped Craigslist and other Web sites from publishing personal ads.

  189. @Pericles

    Doesn’t Melania have a steely glint in her eye?

    Pretty sure that’s for Jared.

  190. @Pericles

    Yeah, I was going to include another paragraph about the institutionalized child kidnapping that underpinned the Janissary Corps, but I post here too much already.

  191. @John

    I agree that rich Colombians still fear kidnapping and often travel by helicopter or light airplane.

    That said, I have observed rich people in Colombia and Brazil employ an interesting variation. They will take some non-descript motor vehicle to their ranch or other large land-holding but use aircraft to return. The latter involves a quick turn around on the ground.

    Guerillas and gangsters long ago realized that the landing of an aircraft meant the padrone had just arrived and that they would have at least 24 hours or so to break in and grab him. So, the rich guys learned to use their helicopters for the return trip and to keep the rotor running between landing and taking off again.

  192. @Anonymous Jew

    BTW: Am I the only one that’s certain Tiny Duck is a woman? I’m going with purple hair and fat.

    Much like ed realist, TD is a man who argues like a woman.

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