The Youngest Gangster
Because of my Dallas roots, I’ll occasionally browse The Observer, my favorite local newspaper. It’s the hipster rag that’s vastly more interesting than the soporific Dallas Morning News. This week, I saw a brief mention of a man that was being extradited back to Texas from the United Kingdom. Among other things, he’s wanted for crimes committed in Texas almost a decade ago. The man’s age was what struck me. He’s 28.
Doug Havard was a wealthy schoolkid at the high-end Winston School in Dallas. He graduated the salutatorian. He was co-captain of the football team. Senior class president. He reportedly has an I.Q. of 148 and got all As, but he was street smart, too. His dad paid him $80,000 a year while in high school to help out around his office. Got into SMU (Harvard turned him down). Lots of whitebread rich kids in Dallas fit that profile. But not a lot of them (allegedly) raid drug dealers’ apartments in stolen FBI body armor, flee the country, are rumored to have Russian Mafia ties and end up awaiting extradition in an English pokey.
During his tender, formative years in Big D, Havard allegedly peddled drugs, dealt arms, ran at least one identity theft ring, stole untold amounts of merchandise from retail stores, routinely made counterfeit Texas and California driver’s licenses for underage college students, laundered money via Cayman bank accounts, reportedly burgled FBI property (for the body armor), and was implicated in the date rape of an SMU co-ed. After he skipped bail and fled to Europe, he (supposedly) graduated to forging passports, a colossal no-no.
The Observer pieces are lengthy, but worth the read. I’ve never seen anything like this. Or maybe I have: One officer said of Havard, “I liken the kid to the guy in the movie Catch Me If You Can.”