Feb 1, 2016
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

Colombia Deals With the Weighty Legacy of a Crime Lord – The Hippos of Pablo Escobar

Pablo Escobar HipposAt the height of his power, Pablo Escobar controlled over 80% of the cocaine flowing into the United States. His organization spent over $1,000 dollars a week on rubber bands to hold the cash it stored in warehouses, and over a million dollars was written off every year as “spoilage” due to the rats that chewed the pallets of money he housed in dark, damp warehouses of Colombia.

He owned houses all over the world, was the center of the richest criminal empire that ever existed, and at his prime he was listed as one of the wealthiest men in the world, with an organization worth over $30 billion dollars.

He was known as the “King of Cocaine” and is considered to be the most successful criminal in history. He was also killed by the Colombian National Police on the rooftop of a middle-class barrio with a bullet hole in his leg, another in his chest, and a third in his ear.

But this story isn’t about Pablo Escobar’s success or his sins. It is about the wages of those sins.

In this case, thousands of pounds of wages, and all in African Hippopotamus flesh.
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Jan 21, 2016
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

Noir Factory Podcast Case #008: Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Noir Factory Podcast“Break the rules and you go to prison. Break the prison rules and you go to Alcatraz.”-Anonymous

Sitting about a mile and a half off San Francisco in the middle of a bitter, inhospitable California bay, Alcatraz Island is a lot like many other pieces of bay area real estate. Many have claimed ownership and many court battles were waged over ownership.

But unlike other prime pieces of San Francisco real estate, few have wanted to call it home. The Island, Alcatraz Island, is also known as “The Rock.” And those who did call it home didn’t care for the experience.

The island, one of a group of small islands sitting in the bay, was known to the Native American population of the area but was not inhabited by them.
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Dec 24, 2015
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

Noir Factory Podcast #007: The Great Christmas Bank Heist

NF Episode 7 The Great Christmas Bank Heist(This first appeared as the blogpost “The Great Santa Claus Bank Robbery – An A.P.B. On Old Saint Nick”)

As a crispness fills the air and the scent of gingerbread begins to waft from the kitchen, one only has to pull on an ugly sweater and curl up with a tablet to find some old-fashioned, weird Christmas crime.

And as always, Texas is as good a place to start as any.

In 1929 banks in Texas fell victim to robbers almost daily, and it was with an eye to protect what was theirs that the Texas Bankers Association offered a reward of $5,000 to anyone who killed a bank robber in the course of a crime.
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Dec 21, 2015
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

Noir Factory Christmas Special

Noir Factory Christmas BonusMerry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Noir Factory…You Mugs!

Our bonus two-part Christmas story staring the Noir Factory’s unnamed detective. Consider this bit of fiction a break from our normal programming.

Next time, we’ll be back with a real-life bad Santa, but in the meantime, spike some eggnog and enjoy….


When I was a kid Christmas was a big thing. My brothers and I used to hang stockings up near the fireplace, sing songs, and pretend to sleep while mom and pop gave Santa a helping hand.

Sometime around three in the morning we managed to actually fall asleep, and when we woke we found a Christmas tree flush with presents that, while maybe weren’t what we’d asked for, were exactly what we wanted. Pop took the day off and mom cooked a goose.
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Dec 9, 2015
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

Noir Factory Podcast #006: The Subject of Fingerprints

fingerprintsIt’s hard to tell where exactly the story begins because there was no huge discovery.

At the tips of your fingers there are marks. Loops and swirls, whorls and arches. It was kind of like telling the world that you were the first to discover… your belly button.

It just didn’t go over well, but unlike your belly button, the patterns on the tips of fingers meant more than just a physical oddity. The patterns on your fingers tell a story.

But yeah, I guess so does your belly button.

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