Next Episode of Wartime Crime is
While the battlefields of WWII were a stage for acts of heroism, strategic cunning, and horrific atrocities, conditions on the home front seemed more stable. Yet from bombed-out London to occupied France, the war enabled one thing to flourish - crime.
When the U.S. military takes over the German Kronberg Castle in 1945 for an officer's club, a scandalous affair between a Women's Army Corps Captain and U.S. Army Colonel ensues, resulting in one of the most elaborate treasure heists of all time, the Hesse Crown Jewel Robbery.
In pre-war America, street gangs were on the rise. The California media stirred up panic about young Mexicans and Latinos. When WWII began, racial tensions increased, and they were quickly portrayed as a significant threat, leading to a racial boiling point.
In Nazi Germany and Britain, the blackouts were a necessity for defending lives and property from enemy bombing but proved a useful tool for predatory criminals, allowing two serial killers who used the absolute darkness to prey upon victims. Paul Ogorzow was the S-Bahn Murderer in Berlin, Germany in 1941-1942. Gordon Cummins was the Blackout Ripper in London, England in 1942.
Incensed by their treatment under Mussolini's regime and anxious to re-establish their European criminal network, Mafiosi including incarcerated kingpin Charles "Lucky" Luciano offered their full support to American intelligence officers.
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