James “Whitey” Bulger became a kingpin because he was a ruthless killer—and because he masterfully exploited his side gig as an FBI informant. These are the two truths hammered home in Black Mass, which studies a singular criminal career and yet feels disappointingly generic.
They robbed banks, committed kidnappings, and killed cops. Their ranks included a Public Enemy #1 who taught Charles Manson how to play guitar. Though the legend that a matriarch led them into battle is largely untrue, the Barker/Karpis Gang lived up to the most fearsome aspects of its reputation.
It was December 1946, and 19-year-old Pearl Lusk was approached by a good-looking man in the Times Square subway station. He was a detective, he told the gullible lass, and he needed her help solving a case. Could she snap a photograph of a suspected thief with this unusual, uh, camera?
A former Marine Corps marksmanship instructor has an interesting theory on why gangsters (in the movies or maybe even in real life) decide to shoot their guns sideways: it's actually a good idea in theory to quickly aim a firearm.