Forget Pain & Gain: Ten Other Real-Life Miami Capers That Should Be Made Into Movies

Categories: Listicles

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.

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How about the serial killer (in training) - red-headed prep cook at News Café who was caught dismembering a young Venezuelan girl in the bath tub studio apartment?

Dude had been in prison since he was 18 and almost killed a girl out in the Glades...She managed to crawl a few miles before being rescued. After 12 years in prison, he gets a gig "cutting" veggies and stuff at the News.




Sunshine Noir... I love that. 


Let's not forget the story of Michael Kovach, who smuggled a spectacular new orchid discovery through the Miami airport & wound up dragging Selby Gardens in Sarasota into an international scandal. For details, see "The Scent of Scandal," the only book classified as "True Crime/Gardening." 



The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the death sentence for a South Beach man convicted of strangling a Southridge High senior, then dismembering her body and flushing her flesh down the toilet.

Michael D. Seibert, 42, was convicted of the March 1998 murder of Karolay Adrianza after a night of beer drinking and cocaine snorting in the man's South Beach apartment.

The brutal murder case shocked South Florida, especially because Seibert had earlier been convicted of kidnapping and bludgeoning a British tourist, but served only 10 years of a 30-year prison sentence.

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