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Black Mafia was the most feared force in Philadelphia’s criminal Black underworld. One of the most ambitious criminal enterprises in the history of Black America, the group extorted, hustled, plundered and murdered with impunity. It also maneuvered skillfully through many worlds, shielding itself inside the Nation of Islam, conning politicians and other leaders, and devising multiple layers of protection and cover.Read More
“King” Larry Hoover is the architect of Chicago’s largest and most powerful street organization, the Gangster Disciples. This installment presents a complex portrait of a complex man, including interviews with federal prosecutors, former associates of the Gangster Disciples, Larry Hoover’s son, his wife - and Hoover himself.Read More
Before he was old enough to shave, “Little Melvin” Williams possessed a genius I.Q. and was a prodigy in the gambling haunts and alleyways along glittering Pennsylvania Avenue. His exploits helped inspire the hit series “The Wire.” On this episode of ‘American Gangster’ he tells his story, his way.Read More
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In October, 2002, the ‘D.C. Snipers’ introduced a new kind of terror to the US. public. For three weeks, the killers shot people at random - ordinary citizens doing the most mundane things - shopping, pumping gas, waiting for a bus. John Muhammad, 42, was a deranged dad on a mission to get back his kids. Lee Boyd Malvo, 17, was a homeless juvenile desperate for a father – who John Muhammad methodically transformed into a boy soldier.Read More
Frank Lucas is the subject of a blockbuster movie, also titled "American Gangster," starring Denzel Washington as Lucas and Russell Crowe as the detective and prosecutor Ritchie Roberts, who helped bring him to justice. In this episode of BET's "American Gangster," Lucas faces the camera himself and tells his story – with an assist from the real Ritchie Roberts.Read More
Felix Mitchell, Jr. was Oakland, California’s first major heroin kingpin – and in 1986 he had the funeral to prove it. TV cameras rolled as Felix’s body was transported in a horse-drawn carriage through the streets of East Oakland before awestruck local residents, with 17 Rolls Royces following in procession. Twenty years later, rappers Too Short and Yukmouth, former rival Mickey Moore, former Oakland mayor Elihu Harris, and others help "American Gangster" revisit the life and times of Felix Michell Jr.Read More
Before there were Crips and Bloods, there were the Blackstone Rangers – and Jeff Fort was the group's leader. Starting as a small group of teens from the Woodlawn neighborhood of Chicago, the Rangers absorbed countless rival gangs based largely on Fort’s remarkable leadership and organizing abilities. In 1986, Fort was tried for promising to commit acts of domestic terrorism in return for money from Libyan dictator Moammar Khadafy. He was found guilty and sentenced to 80 years, which he’s currently serving in a maximum security federal prison.Read More
In the 1970s, Charles “Chaz” Williams went well beyond traditional hustles by robbing over 60 banks in several states. Decades later, Chaz - or Slim as he is known on the streets - takes ‘American Gangster’ on a personal tour of his life’s journey, including how he continued his bank-robbing escapades after going to jail under the blanket protection of the prison work release program.Read More
To many in his home town of Washington D.C., he was public enemy No. 1 during his 1980s reign as the city’s biggest cocaine and crack dealer. However, Rayful Edmond III says he was only trying to help his family live a better life and enjoy the finer things life had to offer.Read More
Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff's long, strange journey led him to form a Queens-based drug ring, The Supreme Team. Once released from prison he became a friend and associate of music entrepreneur Irv "Gotti" Lorenzo, and re-invented himself as a movie producer with "Crime Partners," the first Goines novel to be made into a film, and featuring Snoop Dogg, Ice-T, and Ja Rule. However, his newfound career ended abruptly when he was charged and convicted for ordering deadly hits on two rivals, and sentenced to life in prison without parole.Read More