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Leave no trace

September 21, 2018

In 1934, John Dillinger was one of America’s most wanted. He was in hiding in Chicago and looking for a way to escape arrest. He turned to plastic surgery, hoping to transform his face and erase his former identity. His lawyer introduced him to Wilhelm Loeser, a German-born physician involved in the narcotics trade. Loeser agreed to change Dillinger’s face and fingertips for $5,000. To modify Dillinger’s prints, Loeser cut away the outer layer of skin, the epidermis, and treated the fingertips with hydrochloric acid. He then scraped away the remaining visible ridges. Dillinger could not use his hands for days, ...

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The Don of Silicon Valley

Joe Cerrito died on September 7, 1978, from a heart attack at age 67. He was a successful businessman in…

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Joe Gallo’s ‘Crazy’ celebrity status

Though Joseph Gallo was only in his early 40s when he was gunned down, his status in American popular culture…

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The first mobster in Las Vegas: Part 3

Last of three parts On June 20, 1929, Jim Ferguson, the king of the Las Vegas bootleggers, took the stand…

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The first mobster in Las Vegas: Part 2

Second of three parts The year 1928 initially looked good from Jim Ferguson’s standpoint. The “King of the Tenderloin” in…

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The first mobster in Las Vegas: Part 1

First of three parts In the 1920s and ’30s, the U.S. government considered him a “menace to society.” Nevada law…

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Mexican cartels prey on migrants from Central America

Each year, hundreds of thousands of migrants who enter Mexico from three Central American countries are at risk of rape,…

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‘A shiny mark of incorruptibility’

Good stories usually have five key elements: a likable protagonist who selflessly rises to the occasion; a malevolent antagonist seeking…

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