Imprisoned in 1973 for drug crimes, he continued to oversee Chicago’s Gangster Disciples from his prison cell. Hoover used his time in prison to educate himself on politics and history. The Pontiac Prison Library provided a place for him to formulate a new plan: take the Gangster Disciples from street gang to political powerhouse.
With Kate Leonard & Howell Hargett
Undeniable power. Unbelievable stories. Unlikely origins. Kingpins follows the rise and fall of rulers of the underworld. Every Friday, we examine the leaders of organized crime rings, and how money and power corrupted and changed their communities. What makes a kingpin or queenpin, and how can we stop them? Kingpins is part of the Parcast Network, and a production of Cutler Media. New episodes release on Fridays.
The leader of one of Chicago's most dangerous gangs in the 1970s, Larry Hoover was only 23 when he was sent to a maximum-security prison. The police thought they’d taken one of Chicago’s most dangerous gang leaders out of the game, but they’d only given him a new territory to reign, and 3,200 new inmates to recruit.
This powerful Kingpin was responsible for the drug epidemic that gave D.C. the reputation as the “murder capital” of the U.S. Edmond’s infamous trial in 1989, required the jury to sit behind bulletproof glass for their protection.
He was the youngest drug lord in D.C. history and began selling drugs at the ripe old age of 9-years-old. By the mid-1980s, Rayful Edmond III controlled 60 percent of the drugs that came into the city and was making $300 million annually. But this would only be the beginning of his legendary reign.
After her husband's murder in 1986, Thelma stepped in and took over a nationwide drug operation, moving cocaine and heroin from LA to Philadelphia. She had no idea what she was getting herself into. Wright enjoyed the lavish lifestyle the drug trade afforded, but would soon learn the consequences of engaging with the criminal underworld.
For years, this queenpin watched from the shadows while her husband built a drug empire. After tragedy struck in 1986, Thelma was thrust into the center of the action navigating a bi-coastal drug trade between Philadelphia and Los Angeles.
He rose from nothing to become the drug-smuggling, secret-selling, military dictator of Panama throughout the 1980s. However, it turns out he had a great deal of help from the American CIA.
How did Manuel Noriega rise from nothing to become the drug-smuggling, secret-selling, military dictator of Panama? He had a great deal of help from the American CIA.
After the death of his boss, Bumpy Johnson in 1968, Frank Lucas is ready to capitalize on the open market. Originally a small-time dealer on the streets of Harlem, he becomes one of the most successful heroin dealers of all time.
Moving from North Carolina to New York City, Frank Lucas engaged in petty crime and pool hustling before he began smuggling drugs using coffins of dead American servicemen in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He cut out the middleman and bought heroin directly from the source.
This vicious leader had very little regard for human life it it stood in the way of his business. Pablo Acosta Villarreal commanded a 500 person operation on both sides of the border before his downfall and death in 1987.
He repaired schools, paid medical bills for the poor and elderly, in exchange for one thing: control. The whole town protected him. But who was the man that brought him down?
In the early years of the Mexican drug world, there were no cartels - there were only kingpins. The border region was a lawless desert governed by bloody shootouts, crooked cops, and folk-hero bandits. And to rule an old-fashioned frontier, it takes an old-fashioned outlaw.
After 13 years as a Mafia hit man, he found himself in the crosshairs of the New Jersey Police. There was only one thing left to do: slaughter every last one of his friends before they got the chance to turn on him.
He killed over a hundred people before the police had even heard his name. So when the Mafia needed a body to drop without getting their hands dirty, there was only one man to call. Richard Kuklinski was quick, vicious, and utterly invisible.
Violence. Corruption. Decadence. Kingpins and Queenpins live heightened lives. This new podcast tells their unbelievable stories. Kingpins tracks the rise and fall of the notorious, presenting bizarre and captivating tales from the underworld. Along the way, the hosts profile the insane people, skewed relationships, and pressure-cooker environments behind organized crime. What's it really like to live like a Kingpin? Tune in to Kingpins every Friday. Kingpins is part of the Parcast Network and is a Cutler Media Production.