From the 1950s to the 1970s, from Bar Harbor to Boca Raton, the ragtag crew known as the K&A gang robbed wealthy suburban residences with assembly-line skills of breaking, entering, and bagging the loot—be it a rare coin collection or priceless paintings. "It was hard to imagine a more unlikely crew of successful thieves," writes Allen Hornblum about the gang. "Far from urbane…[they were] a two-fisted, beer-guzzling, ear and nose-biting group of blue-collar hoodlums from a working-class section of Philadelphia called Kensington." The gang's success infuriated homeowners up and down the east coast, while baffling police. But K&A ringleader Junior Kripplebauer had a different view. About North Carolina, his favorite place, he says, "The state was like a drive-thru bank [only] you just made withdrawals." Confessions of a Second Story Man follows the gang as they move in and out of homes, courtrooms, and prisons, and even go on the run. Hornblum tells the strange but true story through interviews, police records, and historical research. Readers will marvel at the techniques of Junior, who became one of the FBI's most wanted men, and his wife Mickie—who would don her black wig and go out and rob a few houses on her own when she was bored—as well as other crew members, Harry Stocker, Effie Burowski, and "Billie Blew" McClurg. Finally, Hornblum describes the transformation of the K&A gang from a group of thieves to working in conjunction with the Mafia to a gang that also sold drugs. It is a compelling read about a fascinating bunch of hoodlums.
Biographies-Memoirs, Historical, United-States,