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A selection of articles by CHRISTOPHER OTHEN, author of 'KATANGA 1960-63: MERCENARIES, SPIES AND THE AFRICAN NATION THAT WAGED WAR ON THE WORLD' and 'FRANCO'S INTERNATIONAL BRIGADES: ADVENTURERS, FASCISTS, AND CHRISTIAN CRUSADERS IN THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR' (amazon.co.uk or amazon.com), about crime, bank robbery, and all the things that happen when men with guns decide they will not obey the law. Stick-ups, shoot-outs, and kidnappings from the beaches of Nice to the sun-bleached streets of Johannesburg.



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CRIME - 1 x Article NEW


A Short History of Russian Roulette in Australia

Earless Gunmen, Vietnamese Gangsters, and a Pool Hall in Footscray c.1987

Another extract from my history of Russian Roulette. This time we're in Australia with gun loving standover man Mark Brandon 'Chopper' Read and the cream of the Melbourne underworld. Did anyone ever win money by playing the suicidal gun game? Chopper did. CHRISTOPHER OTHEN, author of 'FRANCO'S INTERNATIONAL BRIGADES: ADVENTURERS, FASCISTS, AND CHRISTIAN CRUSADERS IN THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR' has the details.


HISTORY - 1 x Article


The Day of the Mkhedrioni

How the Bank Robbing Playwright Jaba Ioseliani and His Gang of Mafia Paramilitaries Made Modern Georgia (1988-1995)

The Soviet Bloc. 1988. The foundations of the communist system are crumbling, nationalist passions are rising, and everyone wants to make money. A good time to start an illegal Georgian nationalist militia with one foot in the Mafia and a taste for leather jackets. Jaba Ioseliani thought so and within four years he was the most powerful man in newly independent Georgia. CHRISTOPHER OTHEN looks at the rise and fall of the Mkhedrioni, the only militia group led by a bank robbing playwright.


CRIME - 1 x Article


A Kidnapping in Poland

History’s Revenge on Bolesław Piasecki, PAX, and the Falanga (1957-58)

Winter in Warsaw. January 1957. A schoolboy on his way home is lured into a taxi. A ransom is demanded. An unusual crime in Communist Poland, made stranger because the boy's father is Bolesław Piasecki, an important man in the establishment. Is it about the money? Or is it something darker, connected to Piasecki's pre-war past when he marched to a different drummer? CHRISTOPHER OTHEN investigates Poland's most notorious unsolved crime.


CRIME - 1 x Article


Whiter Than White

Robbing Banks in Apartheid Era South Africa with Police Captain Andre Stander and his Gang (1977-84)

Andre Stander was a bank robber, a jailbird, and a Captain in the South African Police at the height of apartheid. In the late 1970s he robbed banks in his lunchtime and investigated crimes in the afternoon. Stander’s double life collapsed when he was sent to prison in 1980 but after three years he escaped and launched a new crime wave with a gang recruited behind bars. CHRISTOPHER OTHEN looks at the life and death of a criminal who always thought he was the smartest kêrel in the room.


CRIME - 1 x Article


Sewer Rats

The OAS, the French Underworld, and the 1976 Société Générale Heist

A would-be assassin, a gang of Marseilles crooks, and the biggest bank robbery in French history. In 1976 a hand-picked group of criminals and far-right veterans used the sewers of Nice to break into the Société Générale bank vault. They cleaned out over 30,000,000 francs, leaving police baffled until a jealous wife and a holiday villa provided vital clues. CHRISTOPHER OTHEN demonstrates the best way to rob a French bank. Try not get your feet wet.


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General Franco's International Brigades Book Cover








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Music

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General Franco's International Brigades Book Cover





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