3 criminals I secretly admire

When I was a student I had the idea of organizing a party with Breathalyzer tests at the door so no girls could get in unless they were drunk enough. Had to cancel when my tutor threatened to report me.

Guess I should have tried it at university rather than junior high.


I put that memory into my “evil but clever” file. A recent addition to that file came from reader Rakesh Umar.

A jailbird broke out of a high security prison and trekked overnight to another prison where he told guards to lock him up again.

Convict Pankaj Pahade, 22, explained that he was bored at Narsingpur prison in Madhya Pradesh, India, so he decided to transfer himself to Chhindwara jail, which was more convenient for his family to visit, the Times of India reported.

Evil but clever, right? He broke the law but was kind of admirable.


Just like a recent case in New York, in which a man in a wheelchair successfully robbed a bank.

The awkward thing was that the news item was shown to me by a child.

“Cool,” I said. “This shows that you should never let a disability get in the way of following your dream.”

“So it’s all right to rob banks?” she asked.

“ONLY if it is following your dream,” I said, realizing I was on shaky moral ground there.


To be honest, I don’t approve of all that “follow your dream” stuff, after waking up from one in which I had carrot-colored hair and lived in a land of giant killer rabbits.


A third criminal I secretly admire was a guy who robbed a bank cash delivery van in 2008 in Monroe, Washington, wearing jeans, a blue shirt and a yellow safety vest.

He grabbed bags of money and ran.

Security guards were instantly on his tail—but he had earlier placed an ad in advertising website Craigslist offering cash to job-seeking men to meet near the bank at exactly that time wearing jeans, a blue shirt and a yellow safety vest.

Police were astonished, as EVERYONE looked exactly like the perp.

Come on, even the Dalai Lama would root for that villain, right?


These days I’m an adult moralist so one branch of bad guys I don't admire are philanderers.

Example: A woman in Japan took out a lawsuit over her husband’s affair with a nightclub hostess, according to my correspondent from that country.

A Tokyo District Court judge bizarrely ruled that “business arrangements” were excluded from anti-adultery laws.

So if you’re having an illicit love affair in Japan, you know have to make sure you pay cash to each other after every tryst.

“This totally takes the romance out of it,” said the reporter, who did not want to be named, in case people got the wrong idea AKA (also known as) the right idea. His interest in the case was purely professional.


But karma gets philanderers in the end.

Reader Chun Kin-ming sent me a report about a guy named Yuan who had a car accident in China’s Hunan province.

Seventeen weeping women turned up to announce they were his “one and only” girlfriend. “Cops arrested him but they’re probably also asking for advice on how to charm women,” said Chun.


SEVENTEEN women. It all sounds like too much trouble.

These days, “follow your dreams” has a new meaning for me: turn over and go back to sleep. Good night.