For the record, gangsters are not role models, kids. Even though they’re interesting to study, they ain’t cool. They’re thieves, liars, and murderers. Hollywood likes to portray them as antiheroes, but they are no hero you’d want to know. That does not take away from the train-crashing-into-a-schoolbus quality of their lives. It’s so hard to look away, despite all the tragedy we know comes with the story. What’s even crazier is these guys never saw themselves as bad guys. Like everyone else, they looked themselves in the mirror every single day believing they were victims of the system, treated unfairly in an unfair system of rules. These shots capture hauntingly humanizing moments in their lives we don’t often see.
25. Pablo Escobar
Okay, to be fair, if you’ve been watching Netflix’ series “Narcos,” you’re familiar with a fake version of this image. The bad guy of seasons one and two is Pablo Escobar, the notorious cocaine kingpin of Colombia from the ‘80s and ‘90s. He’s the guy responsible for a lot of bad stuff: making widespread cocaine usage normal, the bulk of the current drug war, and (both directly and indirectly) a lot of people’s deaths. Once upon a time, before they shot him dead, he was worth about $40-million a week. Of course, that’s all speculative as he hid much of his cash.
24. Escobar’s Actual Wealth
How much money Escobar made was difficult to figure out. Money to Escobar was a different thing than for the average working stiff. Unlike legitimate earners, he couldn’t put it in a savings account. That didn’t stop him from buying private jets, like the one he bought for flying his money around. That’s right, his money had its own jet. One time, to keep his daughter warm, Escobar burned a barrel of cash, somewhere around $2-million in bills.