If 2016 was indeed all bad, we can’t say we didn’t do our part.
The bad guys we covered, however, weren’t only shitheads — they were a little more complicated than that. No one more so than Bradley A. Birkenfeld, the UBS director-turned-whistleblower who did time — more than three years in federal prison — for exposing the ways in which UBS aided and abetted tax evasion. Or our anonymous Uber pirate, who went off-app to skirt the system in an attempt to make a little more cash than it would allow, and almost killed a man in the process. The same for the reformed Chicago coke dealer who took a tour of his old stomping grounds on the city’s Southwest Side — more out of guilt than curiosity — to see how he might have contributed to the violence that’s overwhelmed many of the neighborhoods there.
We even found that Freddy Krueger could be a swell guy — and a hell of a water skier. (And no, it wasn’t just a dream.)
Sometimes, too, anger and the other emotions that can lead to bad shit are more of a temporary state of mind (or chemically influenced) than a true reflection of someone’s personality. And sometimes bad shit just happens — like in the case of the Ohio State medical student who walked into a campus bar one night in 2006 and was never seen again, or the 20something guest at a coastal Washington hotel whose mysterious death internet sleuths have been attempting to solve for a decade.
That’s not to say every bad boy we profiled in 2016 was three-dimensional. Joey Salads, the Johnny Knoxville of the Alt-Right, is mainly just a giant cock who’s a little confused as to the point he’s trying to make. Definite troll, maybe terrorist Joshua Ryne Goldberg also falls into this category — despite his lawyer’s claims to the contrary.
Here’s the good news, though: It’s almost certain that there will be a lot fewer Dicks in the future.
The Best of Our 2016 Bad Boys and True Crime Coverage:
- I Won $104 Million for Blowing the Whistle on My Company—But Somehow I Was the Only One Who Went to…
- I Was an Uber Pirate
- This Is What ‘Narcos’ Is Like in Real Life
- What It’s Like to Be the Other Famous Freddy Krueger
- Inside the Mind of an Angry Drunk
- A Guy Walks Into a Bar — and Is Never Seen Again
- The Strange Case of the Man With No Name
- Joey Salads Is the Alt-Right’s Johnny Knoxville
- How to Prosecute an Internet Troll
- Where Did All the Dicks Go?