Rogues | Patrick Radden Keefe

Summary of: Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and Crooks
By: Patrick Radden Keefe


Take a peek into the world of criminals, both notorious and unassuming, as we explore Patrick Radden Keefe’s ‘Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and Crooks’. This fascinating collection of tales delves into the lives of individuals like Willem Holleeder, a Dutch mobster who wreaked havoc with his brutal crimes; Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, the head of the Sinaloa Cartel dodging capture with extreme caution; and Amy Bishop, an academic with no criminal record who became a mass shooter. As you venture into these stories, we aim to divulge the motivations, dilemmas, and consequences faced by these individuals, taking you on a captivating journey through the darker side of human nature.

Bound by Misery

Astrid Holleeder’s loyalty to her criminal brother, Willem, was tested when she discovered he had murdered their brother-in-law. Despite years of shielding him from the justice system, Astrid knew she had to turn him in. Her actions cost her everything, including contact with her brother, but she had to face the consequences of being complicit in his crimes. Eventually, Willem was apprehended thanks to Astrid’s testimony.

El Chapo: The Rise and Fall of a Drug Lord

This article delves into the life of one of the world’s most notorious drug traffickers, Joaquín Guzmán Loera – or El Chapo. He was the head of the Sinaloa Cartel, one of the most powerful drug cartels in Mexico, and was responsible for half the illegal drugs that make their way to the US each year. The article explores the measures he took to evade capture by the police, such as burrowing tunnels and having a network of confidantes. It also highlights how he let down his defenses, which ultimately led to his capture. The article discusses how Guzmán was beloved by many people in his native region for investing in shops, restaurants, and sports facilities. It speculates on the reasons why he began to spend more time in the city, let his guard down, and ultimately got caught by the Mexican marines with the assistance of US investigators.

Amy Bishop: A Ticking Time Bomb

Amy Bishop, a middle-aged academic, shocked her colleagues when she pulled out a shotgun and killed three of them in a staff meeting. This incident sparked investigation into her motive, as she had no criminal record and appeared to be a normal mother of four in a happy marriage. One theory suggested that she was bitter about being denied tenure, but new information came to light that shed a different light on her behavior. The police chief of Braintree, Massachusetts revealed that Bishop had killed her younger brother several decades before, but the incident had been ruled accidental. A more likely theory proposed by author Keefe suggested that Bishop may have intended to confront her father with the gun, accidentally killing her brother instead. Despite the lack of clarity on what transpired, the evidence suggests that Bishop was a “ticking time bomb” that eventually detonated.

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