Inside the Criminal Mind season 1, episode 4 recap: ’Crime Lords’


Episode 4 of Netflix series Inside the Criminal Mind explores the phenomenon of crime lords. What motivates them? How do they operate?

As Inside the Criminal Mind begins, crime lords are said to be mixtures of CEO, terrorist and rock star.

Some big names are trotted out like Capone, Gotti, Escobar and El Chapo. Their organizations are called syndicates, cartels, mobs and crime families (although, quite often, they blend in just fine with governments with just the right amount of cash and intimidation).

Inside the Criminal Mind consults Dr. Kostas A. Katsavdakis, a Forensic Psychologist and James A. Gagliano, former FBI Special Agent. In assessing crime bosses, Gagliano suggests a blend of narcissism and anti-establishment ideas lead to crime lords — though it’s debatable to what extent they’re “anti-establishment,” as opposed to only wanting their own establishments.

Katsavdakis says poverty is a factor, as a lack of opportunities may lead to a “black market.” This is obviously even more likely when a person already has selfish and psychopathic traits.

Related Story. Netflix's Inside the Criminal Mind season 1 premiere recap. light

Capone and Escobar — Two Peas in a Pod?

Al Capone was born in Brooklyn in 1899. After getting expelled at age 14 for hitting his teacher in the face, Capone worked regular jobs, such as a bowling alley and a candy shop.

More from Show Snob

However, he met gangster Johnny Torrio and made a killing selling booze during the prohibition era. He had a decent public reputation until the infamous Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre, where he killed seven rival gang members in one fell swoop. Capone was famously jailed for tax evasion (as opposed to a violent crime) and is still a widely known name in gangster lore.

Pablo Escobar, an admirer of Capone, was the son of a peasant farmer. Like Capone, Escobar was eventually expelled from school. According to Inside the Criminal Mind, his criminal beginnings were modest yet strange, including things like stealing and reselling gravestones.

Also like Capone, Pablo Escobar became known for helping people out in his community. Escobar would feed poor people, much like Capone, who started a soup kitchen during the Great Depression.

Essentially, they became modern-day Robin Hoods (though, in many ways, they were also robbing their ‘hoods). As Katsavdakis and Gagliano note, generosity buys silence.

Pablo Escobar became known as “the godfather of cocaine,” earning tens of billions of dollars. He also led an extravagant lifestyle, possessing a private zoo and one of Al Capone’s cars.

He is better known as a narco-terrorist who killed practically anyone who got in his way. In fact, he didn’t just assassinate a man. He would go after their families.

In addition to his brutality, he bribed politicians and law enforcement, as further assurance that they’ll stay in line. Though he was elected to Colombia’s Parliament in 1982, he was ultimately killed fleeing Colombian law enforcement.

Respect Through Fear

Like any brutal regime, a mob or gang accumulates respect through bullying, intimidation, fear and some system of reward and punishment. There is also a hierarchy, with the crime boss at the top also becoming a sort of cult figure.

He (or sometimes even she) will have an underboss, advisers, captains and soldiers. A famous setup like this is La Cosa Nostra — which in Italian means “This thing of ours.”

Like individual gangsters themselves, crime families often start out modestly. Mafiosos were originally honored people in Sicily but became too powerful even for their own good.

The famous New York Italian mob families were the Gambinos, Bonannos, the Genovese, Lucchese’s and Colombos. Inside the Criminal Mind pays special attention to John Gotti, who grew up poor like Capone and Escobar.

Gotti had an unconventional way of attaining power. Going against the rules, Gotti had the Gambino boss Paul Castellano assassinated in 1985. He was known as two different dons: “Dapper Don,” for showing off in public, and the “Teflon Don” because no charge seemed to stick.

However, he was convicted in 1992 and died of throat cancer in 2002. He was by no means the last gangster, of course.

El Chapo and Mogilevich

Joaquin Guzmán, or “El Chapo,” is head of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel. Like so many other gangsters, he started out poor but is now considered one of the biggest drug lords of all time (if not actually surpassing Escobar).

He got his start in crime during the 1980s, but obviously climbed the ladder of excess rather easily. In addition to the stereotypical ruthless gangster stuff, El Chapo escaped from prison three times and is said to run the Sinaloa Cartel seamlessly from prison.

To show how wily he is, he had escaped in a tunnel beneath prison. However, he was put on trial in the United States in 2017.

Finally, Inside the Criminal Mind looks at Russian crime boss Semion Mogilevich. Said to traffic in drugs, weapons, prostitution and to carry out contract murders.

Mogilevich has extensive ties to the business world, gaining a foothold in the banking industry. In 1998, Tamás Boros and 3 bystanders were killed in a car bomb explosion. His crime? He is said to have implicated Mogilevich in illegalities.

Next. 20 best Hulu original series of all-time. dark

Mogilevich is said to still run the Russian Mafia, and it’s believed he is linked to the Russian government!

That’s it for this Inside the Criminal Mind recap! What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!