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Wild Cowboys: Urban Marauders & the Forces of Order / Edition 1

Wild Cowboys: Urban Marauders & the Forces of Order / Edition 1

by Robert Jackall


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Four bullet-torn bodies in a drug-ridden South Bronx alley. A college boy shot in the head on the West Side Highway. A wild shootout on the streets of Washington Heights, home of New York City's immigrant Dominican community and hub of the eastern seaboard's drug trade. All seemingly separate acts of violence. But investigators discover a pattern to the mayhem, with links to scores of assaults and murders throughout the city.

In this bloody urban saga, Robert Jackall recounts how street cops, detectives, and prosecutors pieced together a puzzle-like story of narcotics trafficking, money laundering, and murders for hire, all centered on a vicious gang of Dominican youths known as the Wild Cowboys. These boyhood friends, operators of a lucrative crack business in the Bronx, routinely pistol-whipped their workers, murdered rivals, shot or slashed witnesses to their crimes, and eventually turned on one another in a deadly civil war. Jackall chronicles the crime-scene investigations, frantic car chases, street arrests at gunpoint, interviews with informants, and knuckle-breaking plea bargaining that culminated in prison terms for more than forty gang members.

But he also tells a cautionary tale--one of a society with irreconcilable differences, fraught with self-doubt and moral ambivalence, where the institutional logics of law and bureaucracy often have perverse outcomes. A society where the forces of order battle not just violent criminals but elites seemingly aligned with forces of disorder: community activists who grab any pretext to further narrow causes; intellectuals who romanticize criminals; judges who refuse to lock up dangerous men; federal prosecutors who relish nailing cops more than crooks; and politicians who pander to the worst of our society behind rhetorics of social justice and moral probity. In such an up-for-grabs world, whose order will prevail?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674018389
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 10/31/2005
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 272,143
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Robert Jackall has done several years of fieldwork with New York City police detectives and prosecutors, among whom he is known as “The Professor.” He is Class of 1956 Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Williams College.

Table of Contents


A Quad in the Bronx

A Death on the Highway

Fort "Yo No Se!"

Uptown Murders

Cracking the Case

Lenny's Boys

The Takedown

Downtown Justice

Urban Badlands

Troubled Order


Cast of Characters



Notes on Sources




Police Precincts in New York City

Beekman Avenue, Bronx

40th Precinct, Bronx

Mott Haven Neighborhood, Bronx

34th Precinct, Manhattan

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Wild Cowboys: Urban Marauders & the Forces of Order 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I lived in te surrounding area most of my childhood and part of my adult live. I grew up with most if not all of the people in this book. These were decent human beings at one point. I knew and heard about the actions and incidents that the people I knew and went to school with and spoke to on a day to day basis.I even came into contact personally and spoke to some on a level that at this point I never knew they were even capable of the crimes they committed. I was really shocked and appauled that someone could be so malicious and cantanizing to innocent people they grew up with and even loved at one point. This is a must read if you lived on Cypress 138,139,140,141 or Oak Terrace,Beekman up near Sheridan or The West Side of the Bx. Most of the upper pt of Manhattan or even pts unknown......u know wats up!! My daughter's father got caught up but he had enough sense not to run with this crew.My hearts go out to all who got caught in the didnt deserve to go throughthe torture or pain u endured during this tying time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you know of the south bronx, this is a must read! If you are not this gives you a little insight on how community's are being bombarded by the drug trade.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book really explains the horror of what these criminials did concerning the immense amount of crack they sold in broadway, st.nick, amsterdam, wadsworth, and fort wash. Washington Heights put crack on the map.