Author Archive

The Castle on Biscayne Bay

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In Miami’s Coconut Grove neighborhood, not far from where Interstate 95 ends and US 1 begins its journey south connecting the Keys to the mainland, stands an Italianate castle and gardens with one… Continue reading

America’s Largest Castle

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The word castle usually engenders images of European historical structures designed for military defense or to house nobility and royalty, places like mad King Ludwig II’s Neuschwanstein in Bavaria and England’s Warwick Castle.… Continue reading

Glitz, Glamour, and Gambling: an American in Havana

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He stood only five feet, five inches in height with a slight frame. From his appearance, one might have assumed he was a baker, deli owner, or banker. He was smart enough to… Continue reading

Gangsters on the Gold Coast: Scarface Comes to Miami

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The Gold Coast. The Magic City. South Beach. Lincoln Road. Few places among America’s urban centers possess as much mystique as the narrow strip of land lying between the Atlantic Ocean and the… Continue reading

History of American Crime: Gangsters on the Gold Coast, Part II

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Speakeasies & Rum Runners   America’s great experiment with a national ban on the consumption of alcohol, while well intentioned, was a well-documented abysmal failure. When the Volstead Act (passed to carry out… Continue reading

History of American Crime: Gangsters on the Gold Coast, Part I

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                           Gangsters on the Gold Coast: Setting the Stage Visitors to Florida’s southern Atlantic coast understand why it is also known… Continue reading

History of American Crime: Coming to America

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The United States is truly a nation of immigrants. To live in the New World is to ultimately have arrived from another shore. Geneticists and other scientists studying the human genome have shown… Continue reading

History of American Crime: Mafia Origins

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The American and Italian Mafia organizations may be separate entities today, but they share common roots planted deeply in the soil of southern Italy. It is their Sicilian roots that are the subject… Continue reading

History of American Crime: Getting Organized

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Director Martin Scorsese’s 2002 blockbuster film, Gangs of New York, introduced viewers to a bit of history that does not get much space in school textbooks. If organized crime and gangs get any mention… Continue reading

History of American Crime: Murder and the Public in the 19th Century

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From the truly heinous to the seriously ridiculous, antisocial human activity has been codified in the New World since colonial times. And as human nature has not changed all that much since Cain… Continue reading