In this episode, I interview Synova Cantrell about her book, Unorganized Crime: You Don’t Have to be Italian To Be a Wiseguy. Synova formed a friendship with a professional criminal named Sidney Heard and chronicled his flamboyant life in Unorganized Crime. Synova Cantrel is a prolific author who has written seven true crime books (click here to see them) and one on how to write and sell your book. In addition, she conducts a series of classes on how to write and sell your book and is available for consultation to new authors.
Sidney Heard grew up in Chicago and learned the ways of the Outfit at an early age. he will move south to Amarillo Texas where he did not have to compete with an established organized crime ring. He became a well-known arsonist and con artist. His most significant crime came after he read about a large theft of South African Krugerrands. He seized the opportunity and counterfeited thousands of dollars worth of Krugerrands. He started moving them into the market by giving the impression he was selling the counterfeits at a big discount because they were part of the recent theft. He even used them to trade with Mexican drug dealers for cocaine. This gold scandal grossed him over a quarter of a million dollars. He will eventually work as a federal informant and be part of the most famous Supreme Court decision ever decided in criminal law, Gideon v. Wainwright.
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