They achieved notoriety through their crimes. We were privy to every moment of their lives when they were arrested, became media sensations, and were tried and convicted. These criminals paid their debt to society and then got out of jail. What happened after prison?
Alright. So Bigfoot didn't eat my baby. You were lured here. That's what tabloids use every day to suck us in. There was such a paper using headlines like this and it was a supermarket legend in its own right. The Weekly World News was available at every register in every supermarket, right next to The National Enquirer and The Star. Bigfoot was a sure thing to sell papers. Headlines like, "I was Bigfoot's Sex Slave," and "I had Bigfoot's Baby," are going to raise eyebrows. Of course, she had his baby, and she was his sex slave! Is this any different than the fact that Brangelina started breaking up the day after they were married? They had to break up, it was written in The Star. One of The Weekly World News most popular articles is a 2009 bit entitled "How to Sell Your Soul to the Devil." While no longer on newsstands, they are now an e-zine. Part of a well-rounded childhood, you know scaring them half to death, will not be available at the supermarket. You would have to download it for them. What a loss. Parents and children can't have that talk explaining the headline, "Kate Middleton was NOT a Virgin." They can't even begin to enlighten them about how that woman had Bigfoot's baby, or the Israeli merpeople, the six-inch alien, or what the plan is for the alien attack coming in December.
One only has to watch Mr. Robot to get a clue about cybercrime. Elliot's Fsociety is a group of hacktivists who cancel everyone's debt everywhere and chaos ensues. How real is this kind of threat? In the dark world of hacking and the sinister workings of internet fraud, it is a possibility. Right now. It's like the nothing of The Neverending Story; the nothing is coming and it will find you. Hackers like the Shadow Brokers, who first broke to the surface in 2016, are gunning for us all. They successfully stole from the National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013 and held onto the material for three years. The debate about who the Shadow Brokers are rages on. North Korea, Russia, China, a gang like Mr. Robot's—your guess is as good as anybody else's. WannaCry was a ransomware hack that hit like a tsunami especially in the UK. It shackled the National Health Service affecting emergency rooms and operating rooms throughout the country. Security experts found a flaw in the program and used it as a kill switch. They got a total of $139,000 in bitcoins, and it is believed the North Koreans were responsible. The massive extent of WannaCry was possible thanks to the Shadow Brokers, who leaked Windows flaws. Another ransomware attack was enabled by leaks from the Shadow Brokers. Known as Petya, NotPetya, and several other names, it infected the pharmaceutical giant Merck in this country, a Danish shipping company and a Russian oil company. The program had a flaw used to disable it. Investigators determined that these companies were merely a distraction to enable the hackers to hobble Ukraine. It succeeded; the airport, central bank, transit, and the power company were crippled. Kudos to the Shadow Brokers for that malfeasance.
Do you ever get the feeling someone is watching? It's not your imagination, especially if you are in the UK or China. While China has the global record for the most cameras, the UK wins if you count per capita. With an approximate number of 500,000, a typical Brit is on camera 300 times a day. The topic is controversial wherever you go. Is privacy being invaded? CCTV is restricted to public areas where people are not supposed to expect privacy. If people can see you, why not cameras? If you've got nothing to hide, what's the difference, right? Some Americans might take issue after the April 15, 2013, bombing of the Boston Marathon. Brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were known simply as Black Hat and White Hat. CCTV followed their blurred images before, during, and after the two bombs went off, and it led to their arrest.
Today's bank robberies aren't exactly Ocean's Eleven. Truth be told, very few are even like The Handsome Guy Bandit, Steven Milam, who donned a mask to rob banks. Fewer still are robberies like the Battle of North Hollywood, when Larry Phillips Jr. and Emil Mătăsăreanu engaged L.A. police in a devasting street battle.These days, they are the despondent down-on-their-luck average Joes or desperate drug addicts looking for a fix. However, the urgent needs of offenders cause serious problems for banks. Take the case of Stephen Trantel. He was a typical suburban husband and dad. During the economic downfall, he lost his place on the trading floor of the NY Stock Exchange. He pretended to go to work every day, and after trying to cope with the huge expenses of living in a New York City suburb, he decided on robbing a bank for financial relief. He robbed 10, with a total take of $60,000. He was smart. Having researched bank jobs, he figured out that 80 percent of bank robbers get caught because of their use of cars. Many are stolen, witnesses give license plate numbers and descriptions of the car; these were drawbacks he considered. Trantel opted for a nonchalant approach. His car was parked blocks away, usually in an out-of-the-way corner of a parking lot, near a dumpster. Using a cup of coffee as a prop, he'd walk around a bit, then enter the bank leaving the cup on a ledge outside the bank chosen. When he left the bank, Trantel would pick up the cup and saunter away, back to his car where he would change clothes behind the dumpster. Stephen was caught because they found a fingerprint on one of the notes he would hand to a teller. He was arrested in 2004, and released from prison in 2012.