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 Lord of the Skies" Pt. 2: Amado Carrillo Fuentes
Under his leadership, the Juarez Cartel became one of the most powerful narcotics enterprises in Mexico - but it also caught unwanted attention from authorities on both sides of the border. In 1997, the caution and creativity that launched the "Lord of the Skies" to success would also prove to be Amado Carillo Fuentes’ downfall.Sponsors!Pair of Thieves - Get 20% off your first order when you go to PairOfThieves.com/KING.
"The Lord of the Skies" Pt. 1: Amado Carrillo Fuentes
The nephew of one of Mexico's first major drug kingpins, Amado Carrillo Fuentes, learned the narcotics trade from the best and brightest. By the time he took control in Ciudad Juarez in the late '80s, he knew exactly what to do - and what not to do - to ensure his reign didn't come to a premature end.Parcasters - Criminal organizations are built on trust, but occasionally a mole will infiltrate the group. How do spies achieve this? Find out on Espionage! A new episode released today at parcast.com/espionage
In this new podcast, we dive into cases resulting in acquittal or exoneration, examining the crimes, trials, and verdicts that make us ask the question: what defines guilt? If you enjoy true crime, courtroom drama, and high stakes storytelling, you won’t want to miss an episode of NOT GUILTY. Subscribe today on Spotify, or wherever you get your shows!In this clip we introduce the unsolved murder of Bonnie Lee Bakley, and the suspicious actions of her husband, actor Robert Blake.
After a hit job gone awry in 1932, 23-year-old Vincent Coll found himself in the crosshairs of the New York Police - as well as several of the most powerful organized crime outfits. Instead of accepting an early retirement, he kept pushing his luck and stirring up trouble, even as nearly every crime group in the city wanted him dead.Parcasters - Check out our new show today! We cover the most intriguing exoneration and acquittal cases in Not Guilty, now available at parcast.com/notguilty
When mobsters wanted a particularly ruthless job done in the 1920s and 30s, their go-to man was Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll. Vincent would kidnap or kill anyone, from Hell's Angels leader "Big Frenchy" DeMange to Broadway singer Rudy Vallee. Parcasters - Did you catch Unexplained Mysteries yesterday? You won’t want to miss the case of the disappearing genius, Physicist Ettore Majorana, a supposed time traveler! Available now at parcast.com/unexplained
As Griselda's closest ranks of family and associates turn into a list of enemies and rivals, she flees from Miami to California to escape the heat. But even as the law started to close in on Griselda's operation in the mid-'80s, she wasn't going to go down without a fight.Parcasters - You won’t want to miss our new show, Espionage! Subscribe today for the most incredible spy stories you have ever heard! Available now at parcast.com/espionage
After a DEA investigation forced Griselda Blanco to flee New York City in 1975, she returned to her hometown of Medellin, Colombia to run her cocaine operation from the shadows. There, she met a protege who would soon become her deadliest rival: Pablo Escobar.Parcasters - The US government needed a way to turn public opinion in favor of conflict with Cuba during the Cold War. You know about the Bay of Pigs incident, but do you know about Operation Northwoods? Check it out now: parcast.com/conspiracy
The woman who would become one of Colombia's first major cocaine traffickers in the 1970s got her start as a criminal at age 11, kidnapping neighborhood children for ransom. This brand of ruthlessness and violence would become Griselda Blanco’s signature whenever she was crossed, even by her own husbands.Parcasters - Check out our new show, Survival! In our first episode we covered Shin Dong-hyuk’s escape from a North Korean internment camp. Available now at parcast.com/survival
By the time this 70-year-old Afghan kingpin stood trial in 2012, Haji Bagcho had been moving drugs for nearly five decades and responsible for twenty percent of the entire world's heroin supply. He didn't climb to the top on his own: he had some help from both the CIA and the Taliban.Parcasters - Thank you so much for listening! Check out Extraterrestrial if you’re looking for a another perspective on things at parcast.com/extraterrestrial
“Black Mafia Family” Pt. 2: Demetrius and Terry Flenory
Even while he was building his nationwide drug empire, Demetrius Flenory never gave up on his childhood dream of becoming a hip-hop artist and producer. After a shooting at an Atlanta nightclub in 2003, the law started closing in and his chances of going legit started slipping away.Parcasters - All caught up with Kingpins? Try out our new show, Crimes of Passion! Check it out: parcast.com/passion
“Black Mafia Family” Pt. 1: Demetrius and Terry Flenory
Growing up in poverty in Detroit, brothers Demetrius and Terry Flenory started dealing drugs to keep the family afloat before they were even old enough to drive. In 1989, Demetrius moved to Atlanta to expand his cocaine empire nationwide. He became a fixture of the city's nightlife scene, catching the attention of rappers like Young Jeezy...and DEA agents like Jack Harvey.Parcasters - To learn about an iconic event in American history, check out our our new episode on John McCain on HOSTAGE, wherever you get your shows. Listen now at parcast.com/hostage
“Cali Cartel” Pt. 4: The Rodríguez Orejuela Brothers
As Colombia descended into chaos in the late 1980s, the Orejuela Brothers knew there was only one way to save the Cali Cartel from crumbling: get rid of Pablo Escobar for good. They didn't anticipate that by bringing down their rival, they'd only be setting the stage for their own inevitable fall.
“Cali Cartel” Pt. 3: The Rodríguez Orejuela Brothers
The Brothers infiltrated the streets of New York City and built the infrastructure for one of the United States’ largest cocaine rings in the 80s. Never getting caught by a local or federal enforcement officer, the Orejuela brothers thought they could continue their operation unscathed. However, more was happening behind-the-scenes than they ever knew. Parcasters - Brotherly love brought the Cali Cartel to the heights of the drug running world, learn more about criminal siblings with our new show CRIMES OF PASSION. Listen now at parcast.com/passion
“Cali Cartel” Pt. 2: The Rodríguez Orejuela Brothers
At the height of their power, Gilberto and Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela were bringing in one million dollars a week by smuggling cocaine into New York City. In the 1980s, a war broke out between the Cali Cartel and the Medellin Cartel. Officials struggled to track down the notorious kingpins.Parcasters - Be sure to check out our newest podcast Extraterrestrial! It’s out of this world! Listen at parcast.com/extraterrestrial
“Cali Cartel” Pt. 1: The Rodríguez Orejuela Brothers
The two brothers that made up half of the Cali Cartel in Colombia, Gilberto and Miguel Orejuela became the leaders of one of the world’s most successful cocaine cartels in the 1970s. Most of the cocaine in New York City at the time was delivered by this massive operation that stretched from Bolivia to Peru. Parcasters - Be sure to check out Parcast’s newest show Extraterrestrial! Listen at parcast.com/extraterrestrial
One of the most powerful men in Chicago, Big Jim’s businesses ranged from brothels and opium dens to upscale dining. His political influence in the early 1900s helped shape the way American organized crime operated for decades to come. Nobody could take down Big Jim… but that doesn’t mean they didn’t try. Parcasters - Take a trip from Chicago to New Hampshire and learn about the alien abduction of Barney and Betty Hill on our new show Extraterrestrial. Listen at parcast.com/extraterrestrial.
He had come from nothing, and yet had risen to become Chicago’s most feared and respected crime lord. Everybody knew Diamond Jim, and not just for his jewelry and that flashy three-piece suit he always wore. By 1914, Jim Colosimo controlled more than a 100 businesses in Chicago’s Red Light District. Parcasters - Once you’re finished with “Diamond Jim” you’ll want to learn about fate of Chicago native Alan Berg on this week’s episode of Assassinations. Listen now at parcast.com/assassinations
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.Parcasters - Hear Hercules as you’ve never heard him before on this week’s episode of Mythology!
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.Parcast News - Be sure to check out Parcast’s first fictional crime show MIND’S EYE at Parcast.com/MindsEye!
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. Sponsors!Audible - Listen to “Evil Has A Name” only on Audible. Listen now at Audible.com/EvilKingpins.
“Gangster Queen of Philadelphia” Pt. 2: Thelma Wright
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.Parcast Network - Check out our new show Mythology at https://www.parcast.com/mythology.
“Gangster Queen of Philadelphia” Pt. 1: Thelma Wright
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. Parcast - Check out our brand new podcast Mythology at https://www.parcast.com/mythology
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.Sponsors!Audible - Get 3 months of Audible for just $6.95 a month by going to Audible.com/KINGPINS or text KINGPINS to 500 500.
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.Sponsors!Parcast - Rate, review and subscribe to our new show Assassinations which premieres November 19th!
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. Sponsors!Parcast - Rate, review, and subscribe to our new podcast Hostage!
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.