Don King Ran A Gambling Empire And Got Away With Murder
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Don King is already kind of known as a criminal, what with all the accusations of fight fixing and money laundering. However, before he was a big name in the boxing world, King ran a crime empire that would rival that of a Marvel villain. From an early age, he was able to memorize huge amounts of numerical information, a talent that he used to work as a gambling scammer. Soon, he had illegal gambling dens all over Cleveland, and earned nicknames like "The Numbers Czar" and "Kingpin."
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"Ol' Troll Doll Hair" came later.
In 1954, a man named Hillary Brown supposedly tried to rob one of King's gambling dens. There was a shootout, and King killed the man. He was tried for the crime, but the judge ruled that King had killed in self-defense. However, in 1966, King got into another altercation, this time with a young drug addict named Sam Garrett, over the matter of an unsettled debt, and he beat the man to death.
King was tried again, but he spent a fortune bribing witnesses, and nobody showed up at the trial to testify against him. The jury returned a verdict of second-degree murder, but the judge quickly announced that he was reducing it to manslaughter. He presumably left the courthouse carrying a comically large bag with a dollar sign on it.
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Poor guy probably had to downsize from three mansions to two to afford all that justice.
According to King, prison provided him with the education he'd missed out on all his life. He said, "I didn't serve time; I made time serve me!" When he got out, King went "straight," which is the most relative way that term has ever been used.
Aaron Short is a freelance writer currently studying at Napier University, which is waaaay better than Edinburgh University. Honest.
Not surprisingly, Hollywood is loaded with plenty of "reformed" criminals. Like Chuck Berry's habit of recording women in the bathroom, which you can read about in 21 Beloved Famous People Everyone Forgets Did Awful Things. Or the time Johnny Cash almost erased an entire species from existence. See what we mean in 7 Beloved Celebrities And The Awful Shit You Forgot They Did.
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