When WildBlue Press publishes Craig McGuire’s second book, BROOKLYN’S MOST WANTED: Ranking the Top 100 Most Notorious Criminals, Crooks and Creeps from the County of the Kings you could say it wraps a project the author has been working on most of his life.
No, McGuire is not a crime lord, con artist, crooked cop, career criminal or corrupt politician–all of whom are featured in his work. But like most Brooklyn natives, he may know one or two.
Everyone has a story in Brooklyn, that’s what makes it so special, says the former Brooklyn beat reporter turned author. “Doesn’t matter where we grew up, Coney Island, Brownsville, Gravesend, wherever, we all have a friend of a friend of a friend or a family member who was connected or sent to the can. Brooklyn is funny like that.”
Raised right around the block from Sammy “The Bull” Gravano, McGuire grew up listening to the tales of the Italian gangsters. Gambino Godfather Paul “Big Paul” Castellano was the actual godfather, in the religious sense, to a friend of his sister Susan. And when Hollywood heavy Steven Segal scouted locations for an authentic Brooklyn Mafia backdrop for his 1991 gangster flick “Out for Justice,” he chose the Italian social club where McGuire’s grandfather played cards.
He recalls all the old stories, like when “Son of Sam” terrified the entire neighborhood, so much that the women of 77th Street changed their hair styles en masse, because the serial killer preferred brunettes. Years later, the “Son of Sal” copycat killer returned to the same stomping grounds, less than a mile away.
As a beat reporter for several years for Courier Life Publications for several years, which publishes many popular Brooklyn weeklies (Bay News, /bay Ridge Courier, Kings Courier, Canarsie Digest, etc.) McGuire interviewed Carl Krueger, Anthony Wiener and other corrupt politicians featured in this work long before they fell.
Then the morning of December 8, 1993, the day after Colin Ferguson opened fire on a crowded Long Island Rail Road commuter train, The Bay News dispatched McGuire to the mass-murderer’s Flatbush apartment to interview startled neighbors. “I remember a crowd of teenagers swarming me, begging me to take their pictures and tell their stories,” McGuire said. “Like I said, everyone in Brooklyn has a good story to tell.” Obviously, Ferguson is also featured on this list, but sorry, you’ll have to read the book to see how he ranked.
These are just some of the many influences and stories that motivated McGuire to not only profile, but rank the top 100 from bad to worst, as part of a proprietary Brooklyn’s Most Wanted Index analyzing criminal activity, socio-economic type, notoriety, relation to Brooklyn and more for a final score that’s far from conjecture—though it will undoubtedly spark debate.
Founder of Brooklyn Creative Partners, McGuire’s first book Beyond the Ides–Why March is the Unluckiest Month of All was published in 2015. This is his second published book.
For a full list of titles, clips and downloads, please visit By Craig McGuire.
Craig is a product of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and a lifelong resident of Brooklyn and New York City.
Want More Info on Ranking Methodology? List of 34 indicators and more details available upon request by contacting WildBlue Press at [email protected]
To contact Craig, please email [email protected]