My name is Wes Denham. I write books and newspaper columns on criminal justice and criminal defense. As an investigator for criminal defense attorneys, I spent years in the jails and prisons of Florida and Georgia interviewing felony defendants—murderers, child molesters, con men, robbers, drug dealers, whores, wife beaters and shooters for hire. Some were insane; most weren’t.
Crime City is about criminal justice, or the lack thereof, as it actually happens, not as it appears in the polemics of pundits and politicians or as enumerated by the mad quants of the Department of Justice Bureau of Criminal Statistics in their West Virginia fortress.
I live in Police Zone I in the Murder Capital of Florida. When the sun sets, the Chinese AKs blast into the night and the “nines” crackle like popcorn in the pan. Now and then you hear the boom of a .50 caliber. Here even kids and the church ladies can identify guns by the sound.
Now and then I hear the chatter guns roar, tires screech, then the screams of the wounded and dying. The cops never catch the hitters who are smart enough to work alone then flip the gun into the St. Johns River as they roar over five convenient bridges. There must be enough iron at the bottom of that ship channel to light up a magnetometer on Mars.
If you open the windows at night, you go to sleep to feet shuffling on concrete, men and demons animatedly conversing, and drunks weeping on curbs. These are the dark sounds of the dark sides of American cities that nice people don’t want to know about but should.
Thank you for reading Crime City. For subscribers there are bonus videos, practical guides for avoiding unnecessary arrest, and information on what is, and what is not, a criminal defense. (Hint: It is not “as seen on TV”) If you, a family member or a friend get tossed into The Can, this will be helpful.
Wes Denham spent years as a criminal defense investigator and Spanish translator in Florida and Georgia jails and prisons. He is the author of Arrested, a consumer guide to criminal defense, and Arrest-Proof Yourself, a guide to avoiding unnecessary arrest. He studied at the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela and the Instituto Internacional de Madrid. He was graduated from Princeton University.