In 1932 four gangsters set out to kill their friend and failed five times in a row

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We enjoyed this. My daughter and I now listen to Futility Closet on the way to and from school, and she loves it. This morning we started listening to the one about the Voynich Manuscript, but didn’t finish before we got to school. As she was getting out of the car, she said, “Dad, don’t listen to this without me.” Awesome.


I look forward to the Coen Brothers adaptation in which the group of hapless killers accidentally pick each other off one by one in a vain attempt to whack the guy with the insurance policy.


Sam O’nella’s telling of this story is fucking hilarious.

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Not yet listened to the podcast, but if you fail spectacularly at gangster-ing, does that even earn you the right to call yourself a gangster?

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Read about this in The Poisoner’s Handbook. Gem of a book about the development of forensic science.

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