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Thread: Famous thieves in history

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2005

    Famous thieves in history

    as a possible source of inspiration for future fan missions ?

    Do you have a famous thief in the history of your country, taffers ?
    Here in France our most popular medieval poet led the life of a thief for the major part of his life. His name was François Villon, he was born in the fifteenth century (in 1431) very near Paris and many striking parallels can be drawn between his life and Garrett's : his origin first. Like Garrett, Villon was an orphan child rescued from the streets by a wealthy clerk who endeavoured to give him some education. Later on Villon became a student but, instead of pursuing the promising career he was destined for, very soon took part in the criminal life of the city, became a member of a famous thieves organization called the "Gang des Coquillards" with whom he used to rob monasteries, public offices etc and became involved in streetfighting. Villon frequented criminals of all sorts and prostitutes who, at the time, associated with thieves in order to rob people.
    Villon was arrested many times, sent to jail, tortured and even sentenced to death but, thanks to some powerful and eminent members of the French nobility who appreciated his talents as a poet, he managed to escape the gallows. He was finally sentenced to banishment from Paris for life after having killed a man and, since his trail was lost soon afterwards, we don't know what became of him.
    Villon's "modern" look on the society of his time lies in his way of depicting the people of the streets, the wretchedness of their existence and, like Garrett, he casts a very mocking, cynical and critical eye on the wealthy, the "new rich", the church etc... His poems (one of the most famous is called the "Ballad of the hanged men" show a lot of bittersweet irony and a great sensibility towards the miseries of humankind. Villon also wrote poems in the special slang used among thieves (very hard to understand).

    It's up to you taffers to tell (if you know something) about popular thieves (legendary or otherwise) in your respective countries. And who knows, perhaps their lives could eventually serve as a source of inspiration for future fan missions when imagination dries up.

    Mosley

    Pleased to meet you
    Hope you guess my name

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: staring out to sea
    Funny that this thread has cropped up now. Last week I decided to put my current project on ice for a while, as I needed a break from it. I decided to make a small mission based on a notorious figure from 17th century London called Jonathan Wild. Wild was a Thief-Taker; inotherwords someone who, before a formal police service, was there to bring criminals to justice. Except of course it was he that was behind most of the crime in the city. Organizing the theft, then taking money from the victim to attempt to get the stolen goods back, whilst all the time the thieves were in his mansion somewhere awaiting payment. He was responsible for many murders and executions particlarly amongst thieve's who {like Garrett, or Jack Sheppard who escaped from prison three times} were independants.
    Lucy Moore's book The Thieves Opera was the inspiration. It's only going to be a small mission but it's a lot more fun making this than my other mission.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mosley

    Mosley

    Pleased to meet you
    Hope you guess my name
    is it Mosley?

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2005
    Location: Bulgaria
    Villon? Better Villain.
    Where art thou, villain?

  4. #4
    Moderator
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: UK
    We've got Robin Hood (big on arrows and wearing green hoods and tights, oddly enough for those who know him, my ex mother-in-law's father was a Sheriff of Nottingham!!), Dick Turpin (pistols and horses), British Government. Can't think of anyone else off hand

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Southern Tier NY, USA
    Some mythological archetypes for Thieves are: Mercury (Hermes), Loki, Coyote (Native American), Anasasi, Prometheus, Eris, Gullveig, Morgan Le Fay, Robin Hood, Scheharezade, Scarlett O'Hara, Walter Mitty, Willie Loman (Death of a Salesman).

    Other famous thieves include: Jonah (the Bible), Samson, Mark Antony, H. D. Thoreau, John Wilkes Booth, Lenin, Juan Peron, Al Capone, Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Theodore Roosevelt, Abby Hoffman, Harry Truman, Martin Luther, Rene Descartes, Rosa Parks, Hillary Clinton, Emma Hamilton (mistress of Lord Nelson), Shelley Winters, Will Smith (Fresh Prince), L.L. Cool J, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Sheena Easton, Peter Fonda, Jane Fonda, Walter Matthau, Brad Pitt, Winona Ryder, Ally Sheedy, Phyllis Diller, Roger Moore, DeForest Kelly, Nichelle Nichols, Ellen Degeneres, Ernest Borgnine, Jack Nicholson, Maria Callas


    Source: http://www.wizardrealm.com/metaphysics/thief.html


    I would like to see some names explained like Theodore Roosevelt, DeForest Kelly (Bones From Star Trek ) and Will Smith ??? What did they steal ??
    Last edited by Lightningline; 1st Feb 2006 at 16:30.

  6. #6
    Moderator
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: UK
    Show off!!

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2003
    Location: Cambridgeshire UK
    Literary ones include Raffles, Bill Sykes and the Artful Dodger.

  8. #8
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: Yangon, Burma
    The US has Bonnie and Clyde, the most famous bank-robbing couple at the turn of the century ... Billy the Kid, Billy Miner (the famous train robber), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, I mean, all the old west outlaws were essentially thieves.

    My favorite comic book, Lupin III, spoofs 2 "historical" thieves.

    One was a Japanese legendary thief named Goemon, sort of a medieval samurai-thief, stoic, somber, and superhuman ability.
    The lead character is Arsene Lupin III, the supposed grandson of the 19th Century (fictional) French thief Arsene Lupin (featured in Gaetane's FMs), originally from a French comic but about as much a personality as Sherlock Holmes, I guess. Oh, and I guess you could add Moriarty, Holmes's nemisis.

    Once you get into literature, the field really opens up.

    Oh, don't forget the French author/criminal Jean Genet, which Sartre wrote a brilliant biography on, capturing the very core of being a thief. It should be required reading around here.
    Last edited by demagogue; 1st Feb 2006 at 20:28.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Southern Tier NY, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by ffox
    Literary ones include Raffles, Bill Sykes and the Artful Dodger.
    As writers, Thieves enjoy writing fiction, enabling them to create fantastic worlds and situations. They are excellent storytellers, and people overlook their untruthfulness in recounting a tale because the fantasy they create is so delightful. They are less adept at writing nonfiction, because of their innate tendency to embellish (and, also, because they find it patently boring). Obviously, Thieves make great children's authors because of this wonderful knack of creating fantasy. Some famous Thief authors are: Anita Loos, Lewis Carroll, Mark Twain, J. Barrie (author of Peter Pan), Roald Dahl, the brothers Grimm, and James Thurber (author of Walter Mitty).


    I guess you could add some famous mobsters: Al Capone,Bugsy Malone, John Gottie and countless others.

    David Brankle: The Famous Gentelman Bank Robber 43 Banks

    Mr. Ronald Biggs: The Great Train Robbery in England in the 1960's

    Rassul brothers: Tomb Robbers

    I am not trying to show off..I just find some thief history quite facinating and sometimes surpriseing.
    Last edited by Lightningline; 1st Feb 2006 at 16:55.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Location: AROUND AQUIDNECK ISLAND RI
    Robert Wagner and Stephanie Powers ( it takes a thief ) early 70's TV show.

    There was this cat burglar and his partner who spent many years in jail and finally talked about his thieving days I think to 60 mins. These 2 robbed very rich people while they were home eating diner. Can't remember when or where I saw it but within the last year and was very fasinating
    Last edited by BLACKJACKER; 1st Feb 2006 at 17:09. Reason: Pol;itical in nature not what we're here for no politics nor religion but pure thieving

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Wow ! that's quite amazing thank you for your interesting replies

    Madwolf

    Doesn't it remind you of a
    spoiler:
    famous song ?


    Mosley

    Pleased to meet you
    Hope you guess my name

  12. #12
    Moderator
    Registered: May 2000
    Location: Thunder Bay, On., Canada
    I saw that show too, Blackjacker and I couldn't believe the nerve they had to rob places while the people were home! It was fascinating and frightening at the same time. (Though they'd have no interest in my little hovel. LOL!)

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2003
    Location: Cambridgeshire UK
    Quote Originally Posted by Mosley
    Hope you guess my name
    That's very old hat indeed. Check out Rumplestiltskin and Calaf (from Turandot).

    Nessun Dorma

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: The Netherlands
    Off course there'll be a lot of "famous" thiefs in the Netherlands, but I can't remember them right now.
    But I know I had a "vision" when I played ????
    I can't remember the name of the FM, where there are children , living underground, in tunnels and sewers, wanting to kill me, burping and calling me names .....

    I don't want to joke about this one, because it was a serious reminder of Dutroux! He was the "villain", among others .......

    I gues you all heard of him as well! He lived in Belgium, but relatively speaking: in my neigboorhood and hyjacked a lot of young girls, took advantage of them and then let them starve in a (dungeon) cellar.
    He will be convicted, I'm sure, but if you read all these newspaper articles: it's REALLY AWFULL !

    I'd wish he would have played Thief FM's ..........................................!!!

    Gloria Creep
    There're angels who playThief and angels who don't ........ both go to heaven ............
    Dare to join .............

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: The Netherlands
    I forgot: WE here (in the Netherlands) got a whole "Thief" scenario of our own: with Mabel Wisse Smit!

    DÓ imagine: This intriging girl has had an affair with a lowlife gangster, who killed several people ánd who got killed by the same lowlife people (the gangster I mean) .............
    She changed her name into a "better" one !!! the one of her (rich) stephfather ..... !!!
    She married (two years ago) into our queens family, with one of her sons (BECAUSE: he would be gay!!!?), now being pregnant of his second child ....(....which we'll all be paying for, taxwise, I gues) .........

    eh.........??? Things got out in the open áfter the knowledge of the marriage !?....???


    I'm being tolerant here ............ but I DON'T BELIEVE THIS AT ALL!!!!

    Nót after all I've seen!!!


    and this is NO fiction: It's al true!!!

    I REALLY could make a mission of this .........if I just know now how to use Dromed .........

    Gloria Creep
    Last edited by Gloria Creep; 1st Feb 2006 at 20:29.
    There're angels who playThief and angels who don't ........ both go to heaven ............
    Dare to join .............

  16. #16
    New Member
    Registered: Oct 2005
    I can't say that in the USA we have famous "Thieves". Certainly famous gangsters, mafia, bank robbers, criminals etc, but not your stealthy B&E, burglar types.

    There was a great show on the Discovery Channel called "It takes a Thief" where two guys (ex-thieves who've done time) would stake a house out, waiting till the owners came home if they weren't. They would then get the owner's permission to set up cameras all over the house and then sit in the camera van with the homeowner while one guy broke in and robbed them silly in less than 10 minutes.

    It was a very interesting show.

    However, I think Black Bart takes the cake as for famous thieves. Very well mannered as he robbed people. Reportedly extremely well educated.

  17. #17
    FW:FW:FW: SO TRUE!!!
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: Seaside, Oregon

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Nuremberg, Germany
    Erm, ... i remember Winona Ryder in the headlines a few years ago...

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2005
    Location: Not Kansas
    Unfortunately she wasn't very good at it.

  20. #20
    Moderator
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: UK
    Only joking Lightningline Quite a collection on that page most of which I knew nothing about. You live and learn.

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Sorry, I had no time to reply sooner, taffers. It's been great fun for me to read all your posts and thanks a bunch for your cooperation and all the research done, I really appreciated


    Madwolf :

    I am very much looking forward to your next "thievy" fan mission

    FFox :

    You've got it all wrong about my signature It's not as old fashioned as Turandot

    Never heard of "Sympathy for the devil " by Sir Mick Jagger ?

    "Please allow me to introduce myself
    I am a man of wealth and taste etc

    Refrain " Pleased to meet you
    Hope you guess my name
    But what's puzzling you
    Is the nature of my game "

    (lol)



    Mosley

  22. #22
    Moderator
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: UK
    I knew I knew what it was but I couldn't remember more than your two lines Mosley, just hummed it every time I read it.

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: staring out to sea
    [QUOTE=Lightningline} Ernest Borgnine, Maria Callas

    [/QUOTE]

    Ernest Borgnine? Are you sure? Maria Callas??

    I got the reference Mosley though I'm more of a fan of the Stone Roses than the Stones.

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: 37.941, -122.485
    Quote Originally Posted by Lightningline
    Other famous thieves include: Helen Keller
    Source: http://www.wizardrealm.com/metaphysics/thief.html
    Helen Keller? The page's author has an unusual definition of Thieves; so unusual that calling the group Grapefruits or Wankel Rotary Engines would have been just as relevant.

    "The Thief Soul group is characterized by bringing in that which is new. Thieves work best with that which is not, rather than that which is. By their very nature, Thieves work against the crystallization of society by constantly challenging reality and finding alternative methods for performing action. If there is a loophole, an escape clause, or a back door anywhere, you can bet a Thief will find it."

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: The Netherlands
    Perhaps I'm totally wrong, but Queen's Freddy Mercury made a song (Barcelona) with Maria Callas.
    ???

    Ape Drape: I saw that show here also.
    And we have a Dutch show, just like that

    How about the famous story of Bonnie and Clyde....?!

    Gloria Creep
    There're angels who playThief and angels who don't ........ both go to heaven ............
    Dare to join .............

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