Sunday, April 7, 2013

Dealing With People From The Dark Side

I was reading the recent sad DEA news release and the ABC News report, New York Doctor Charged as Head of $10 Million Oxycodone Ring. According to an excerpt from the ABC News report -
Investigators said 41 members of Pennsylvania "drug crews" were among those arrested in connection with the case. Officers seized a total of 28 firearms from them. "The firearms recovered in this case also highlight how the gun violence associated with cocaine and heroin trafficking is now the muscle in the illegal oxycodone trade,"..
Of course, I'm always intrigued with these type of criminal schemes and what could possibly possess educated, responsible, well-paid, white-collar healthcare professionals already living comfortable lives, to embrace the dark side of human nature? Is greed that powerful of a force?

Although I often share news reports about the [allegedly in this case] failings of those who've taken an oath to do no harm, I thought it was important to point out this one case to remind us that visiting the dark side requires dealing with people who've spent their entire lives in the dark side, and who are seriously darker than we could ever think of being.

It's not only having to worry about the risks of getting caught by the police, convicted in a court of law, and serving long prison sentences often associated with turning to the dark side. There's also the more serious risks and consequences that come from dealing with the shady people that we enlist to help us perpetrate our unethical and illegal schemes. They're not the soft, white-collar criminal types.

Some of these people are hardened violent criminal psychopaths.

Would you trust them with your life? For instance -

Do you remember Michael J. Kerkowski, a pharmacist who in the early 2000s ran afoul of the law by selling controlled substances to drug users and others without prescriptions? In order to perpetrate his crimes, Kerkowski enlisted convicted criminals Hugo Selenski and Paul Weakly to enable him, under the mistaken assumption that they were unconditionally trustworthy.

But Weakly and Kerkowski had other plans. They decided that even more money could be made by torturing, robbing, and murdering Kerkowski (and his unwitting girlfriend), taking the illegal profits for themselves, and then burying their bodies in his back yard. Pretty gruesome, huh? And now, over ten years later, the courts are still trying to convict Selenski for their murders.

And then there was the pharmacist whose schemes for buying stolen prescription drugs caused him to become a victim of one of America's most-prolific serial killers, Richard Kuklinski: The Iceman, a psychopath whose violent crimes paralleled those of America's first known serial killer.

Paul Hoffman, a pharmacist, was suckered into a scheme to buy stolen Tagamet® for pennies on the dollar from Kuklinski when he disappeared in the spring of 1982. Kuklinski never really had the stolen drugs and murdered Hoffman after he showed-up with the cash. A year later, his car was found in the rented warehouse that Kuklinski used for his car theft racket. Hoffman’s body was never found.

Kuklinski later confessed to this murder [begins at minute 27:50 of documentary], saying he first shot Hoffman but that he didn’t die immediately, so he finished him off by using a tire iron. He then shoved Hoffman’s body into a 55-gallon drum and left it near Harry's Corner Luncheonette, in New Jersey. He periodically checked on the drum to see if had been discovered, and eventually it disappeared.

So, now that we're reading more reports of firearms and underworld "muscle" being involved in what were formerly simple white-collar crimes of healthcare fraud, is taking a short visit to the dark side and entrusting the people you'll find there worth the risk? How much is enough? Be happy with what you've got and don't turn on the people who trust you with their lives, or it may just happen to you.


  1. Well, looks like Hollywood recently made a movie about Richard Kuklinski, entitled what else? The Iceman. Due out this June. Probably not a good "date" movie.

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