Blessed are the wicked

Charles 2 Comments

We all acknowledge the link between sex and death – but what is it that links crime with death? A really good gangster funeral is a sight to see. These guys do not go incognito into that good night. Having shunned any sort of limelight all their lives, this is when they step out from the shadows.

Power talks. As does popularity. Most societies cherish their Krays and Capones.

Here’s a corker from Taiwan:

Gangster Lee Chao-hsiung died last month of liver cancer at the age of 73. He was accorded a 108-car procession and 2,000 chanting Buddhist monks and nuns. Twenty thousand spectators lined the route for a mile. A leading light of the Bamboo Union, Taiwan’s largest gang, brought 500 mobsters with him. The leader of the Heavenly Way mob brought another 500. The head of the Four Seas brought 300, and there were delegations from Japan’s yakuza and the Hong Kong and Macau triads.

The funeral was organised by the Speaker of Taiwan’s legislature.

Full account here.

Any thoughts?


  1. Charles

    What’s remarkable here is that this public acknowledgement of loss and reassuring (not if you’re a cop or extorted shop owner)show of continuity is important enough to risk being identified as a member of the organized crime group.

    Those of us who may be more law-abiding also have this need. We need to show in a public manner that this person mattered, that the loss matters, and that our association with the person matters enough for us to be present at the services. The public acknowledgement of group ties strengthens the group and its individuals. And what is the risk for us? Missing an afternoon at work, or a round of golf?

    You can learn a lot from a gangster!

  2. Charles

    Public acknowledgement. Yes, well put, Pat.

    Over here, the Kray funerals caused a drop in the number of people opting for a horse-drawn hearse. Too gangstery, they thought. So the discreditable can confer discredit even after death. I’m relieved to say that none of our hoodlums has yet opted for natural burial.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>