Forget Pain & Gain: Ten Other Real-Life Miami Capers That Should Be Made Into Movies
With Michael Bay's big-screen adaptation of Pain & Gain opening atop the box office this weekend, masses of moviegoers discovered what Miamians already knew: Pete Collins' tale of bodybuilders gone bad is one hell of a great yarn.
But the Sun Gym Gang's capers barely scratch the surface of Miami's real-life, made-for-movies madness. The Magic City rolls out of bed, rubs its eyes, and then picks better stories out of its teeth than most cities can manufacture in a decade. Here are ten other true Miami tales that deserve a Hollywood treatment:
Willy Falcon and Sal Magluta's Cocaine Empire
Cue the humble beginnings, with a pair of friends dropping out of Miami Beach High School together, and flash to the pair at the top of their game, when they amassed more than $2 billion by smuggling 75-plus pounds of coke to the U.S. at the height of the Cocaine Cowboys era. Just to top it off, once the feds finally moved in, the pair mounted one of the most astounding legal defenses in history to avoid jail time for years. Legal thriller, drug smuggling romp, buddy comedy -- it's all there. The story's so boss the boys at Rakontur are already working up Willy and Sal's tale for Cocaine Cowboys 3.
The Hack Pack
Led by Albert Gonzalez, a charismatic hacker who called himself "soupnazi" and made his name by cracking NASA's security codes when he was still a teenager, a brilliant squad of wayward Miami computer youths engineered the biggest identity theft in history, and partied away tens of thousands on drugs, strippers and parties. Until it all fell apart into decades-long prison terms, massive fines, and, for one member, a bullet through the head. It's "Rounders" meets "Oceans 11" with a dark ending, and it really happened.