An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





Stripped of ethical rationalizations and philosophical pretensions, a crime is anything that a group in power chooses to prohibit.


Freda Adler (1934-, American author)


Organized crime in America takes in over forty billion dollars a year. This is quite a profitable sum, especially when one consider that the Mafia spends very little for office supplies.


Woody Allen (1935-, American director, screenwriter, actor, comedian)


Abscond. To "move" in a mysterious way, commonly with the property of another.


Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914, American author, editor, journalist, "The Devil's Dictionary")


No punishment has ever possessed enough power of deterrence to prevent the commission of crimes. On the contrary, whatever the punishment, once a specific crime has appeared for the first time, its reappearance is more likely than its initial emergence could ever have been.


Hannah Arendt (1906-1975, German-born American political philosopher)


Every rascal is not a thief, but every thief is a rascal.


Aristotle (BC 384-322, Greek philosopher)


Crime is a fact of the human species, a fact of that species alone, but it is, above all, the secret aspect, impenetrable and hidden. Crime hides, and by far the most terrifying things are those which elude us.


Georges Bataille (1897-1962, French novelist, critic)


Want of money and the distress of a thief can never be alleged as the cause of his thieving, for many honest people endure greater hardships with fortitude. We must therefore seek the cause elsewhere than in want of money, for that is the miser's passion, not the thief's.


William Blake (1757-1827, British poet, painter)


The infectiousness of crime is like that of the plague.


Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821, French general, emperor)


The world of crime is a last refuge of the authentic, uncorrupted, spontaneous event.


Daniel J. Boorstin (1914-2004, American historian)


The thief. Once committed beyond a certain point he should not worry himself too much about not being a thief any more. Thieving is God's message to him. Let him try and be a good thief.


Samuel Butler (1612-1680, British poet, satirist)


For centuries the death penalty, often accompanied by barbarous refinements, has been trying to hold crime in check; yet crime persists. Why? Because the instincts that are warring in man are not, as the law claims, constant forces in a state of equilibrium.


Albert Camus (1913-1960, French existential writer)


The fear of burglars is not only the fear of being robbed, but also the fear of a sudden and unexpected clutch out of the darkness.


Elias Canetti (1905-1994, Austrian novelist, philosopher)


My rackets are run on strictly American lines and they're going to stay that way.


Al Capone (1899-1947, American gangster)


Crime is terribly revealing. Try and vary your methods as you will, your tastes, your habits, your attitude of mind, and your soul is revealed by your actions.


Agatha Christie (1891-1976, British mystery writer)


Slums may well be breeding-grounds of crime, but middle-class suburbs are incubators of apathy and delirium.


Cyril Connolly (1903-1974, British critic)


One crime is everything, two is nothing.


Madame Dorothe Deluzy (1747-1830, French actress)


The wrongdoer is more unfortunate than the man wronged.


Democritus (c.460-370 BC, Greek philosopher)


Like art and politics, gangsterism is a very important avenue of assimilation into society.


E. L. Doctorow (1931-, American novelist)


There is no society known where a more or less developed criminality is not found under different forms. No people exists whose morality is not daily infringed upon. We must therefore call crime necessary and declare that it cannot be non-existent, that the fundamental conditions of social organization, as they are understood, logically imply it.


Emile Durkheim (1858-1917, French sociologist)


Crime seems to change character when it crosses a bridge or a tunnel. In the city, crime is taken as emblematic of class and race. In the suburbs, though, it's intimate and psychological -- resistant to generalization, a mystery of the individual soul.


Barbara Ehrenreich (1941-, American author, columnist)


The man who is admired for the ingenuity of his larceny is almost always rediscovering some earlier form of fraud. The basic forms are all known, have all been practiced. The manners of capitalism improve. The morals may not.


John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-, American economist)


We cannot be sure that we ought not to regard the most criminal country as that which in some aspects possesses the highest civilization.


Havelock Ellis (1859-1939, British psychologist)


Commit a crime, and the earth is made of glass.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


Crime and punishment grow out of one stem. Punishment is a fruit that, unsuspected, ripens with the flower of the pleasure that concealed it.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


One usually dies because one is alone, or because one has got into something over one's head. One often dies because one does not have the right alliances, because one is not given support. In Sicily the Mafia kills the servants of the State that the State has not been able to protect.


Giovanni Falcone


Crime expands according to our willingness to put up with it.


Barry J. Farber (American trainer, speaker, author)


Crimes, like virtues, are their own rewards.


George Farquhar (c.1677-1707, Irish playwright)


The lyricism of marginality may find inspiration in the image of the "outlaw," the great social nomad, who prowls on the confines of a docile, frightened order.


Michel Foucault (1926-1984, French essayist, philosopher)


Crimes of which a people is ashamed constitute its real history. The same is true of man.


Jean Genet (1910-1986, French playwright, novelist)


Repudiating the virtues of your world, criminals hopelessly agree to organize a forbidden universe. They agree to live in it. The air there is nauseating: they can breathe it.


Jean Genet (1910-1986, French playwright, novelist)


How vainly shall we endeavor to repress crime by our barbarous punishment of the poorer class of criminals so long as children are reared in the brutalizing influences of poverty, so long as the bite of want drives men to crime.


Henry George (1839-1897, American social reformer, economist)


There is no crime of which I do not deem myself capable.


Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist)


Crime is naught but misdirected energy.


Emma Goldman (1869-1940, American anarchist)


Crime generally punishes itself.


Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774, Anglo-Irish author, poet, playwright)


There is a heroism in crime as well as in virtue. Vice and infamy have their altars and their religion.


William Hazlitt (1778-1830, British essayist)


There is a heroism in crime as well as in virtue. Vice and infamy have their altars and their religion.


William Hazlitt (1778-1830, British essayist)


We are often deterred from crime by the disgrace of others.


Horace (BC 65-8, Italian poet)


After all, crime is only a left-handed form of human endeavor.


John Huston (1906-1987, American film director)


He threatens many that hath injured one.


Ben Jonson (1573-1637, British dramatist, poet)


Many commit the same crime with a different destiny; one bears a cross as the price of his villainy, another wears a crown.


(Decimus Junius Juvenalis) Juvenal (c.55-c.130, Roman satirical poet)


Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is also true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on.


John F. Kennedy (1917-1963, American President (35th))


Squeeze human nature into the straitjacket of criminal justice and crime will appear.


Karl Kraus (1874-1936, Austrian satirist)


There are crimes that become innocent and even glorious by their brilliancy, number, or excess; and therefore, it happens that public robbery is called "financial skill," and the unjust capture of provinces is called "a conquest."


Francois De La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680, French classical writer)


There are crimes which become innocent and even glorious through their splendor, number and excess.


Francois De La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680, French classical writer)


We may live without friends; we may live without books. But civilized men cannot live without cooks.


Owen Meredith (1831-1891, British politician, poet)


The study of crime begins with the knowledge of oneself. All that you despise, all that you loathe, all that you reject, all that you condemn and seek to convert by punishment springs from you.


Henry Miller (1891-1980, American author)


The crime problem in New York is getting really serious. The other day the Statue of Liberty had both hands up.


Jay Leno (1950-, American TV show host)


There is a new billboard outside Time Square. It keeps an up-to minute count of gun-related crimes in New York. Some goofball is going to shoot someone just to see the numbers move.


David Letterman (1947-, American TV personality)


He reminds me of the man who murdered both his parents, and then when the sentence was about to be pronounced, pleaded for mercy on the grounds that he was orphan.


Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865, American President (16th))


Not failure, but low aim, is crime.


James Russell Lowell (1819-1891, American poet, critic, editor)


The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor.


H. L. Mencken (1880-1956, American editor, author, critic, humorist)


He who commits injustice is ever made more wretched than he who suffers it.


Plato (BC 427?-347?, Greek philosopher)


A burglar who respects his art always takes his time before taking anything else.


Henry O. Porter (1862-1910, American short-story writer)


Save a thief from the gallows and he will cut your throat.


French Proverb (Sayings of French origin)


Set a thief to catch a thief.


French Proverb (Sayings of French origin)


Locks keep out only the honest.


Jewish Proverb (Sayings of Jewish origin)


He 63 ways of getting money, the most common, most honorable ones being staling, thieving, and robbing.


Francois Rabelais (1495-1553, French satirist, physician, and humanist)


Small crimes always precede great ones.


Jean Racine (1639-1699, French dramatist)


Crime is a logical extension of the sort of behavior that is often considered perfectly respectable in legitimate business.


Robert Rice


The faults of the burglar are the qualities of the financier.


George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950, Irish-born British dramatist)


All, all is theft, all is unceasing and rigorous competition in nature; the desire to make off with the substance of others is the foremost -- the most legitimate -- passion nature has bred into us and, without doubt, the most agreeable one.


Marquis De Sade (1740-1814, French author)


It is certain that stealing nourishes courage, strength, skill, tact, in a word, all the virtues useful to a republican system and consequently to our own. Lay partiality aside, and answer me: is theft, whose effect is to distribute wealth more evenly, to be branded as a wrong in our day, under our government which aims at equality? Plainly, the answer is no.


Marquis De Sade (1740-1814, French author)


A person with predatory instincts who has not sufficient capital to form a corporation.


Howard Scott


Crime, when it succeeds, is called virtue.


Marcus Annaeus Seneca (BC 3-65 AD, Roman philosopher, dramatist, statesman)


He has committed the crime who profits by it.


Marcus Annaeus Seneca (BC 3-65 AD, Roman philosopher, dramatist, statesman)


One crime has to be concealed by another.


Marcus Annaeus Seneca (BC 3-65 AD, Roman philosopher, dramatist, statesman)


He that is robbed, not wanting what is stolen, let him not know it, and he's not robbed at all.


William Shakespeare (1564-1616, British poet, playwright, actor)


A crime persevered in a thousand centuries ceases to be a crime, and becomes a virtue. This is the law of custom, and custom supersedes all other forms of law.


Mark Twain (1835-1910, American humorist, writer)


All criminals turn preachers under the gallows.


Author Unknown


Great thieves punish little ones.


Author Unknown


In times of trouble, leniency becomes crime.


Author Unknown


From a single crime know the nation.


Virgil (c. 70 - 19 BC, Roman poet)


Today more Americans are imprisoned for drug offenses than for property crimes


George F. Will (1941-, American political columnist)


Almost all crime is due to the repressed desire for aesthetic expression.


Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966, British novelist)


Crime and bad lives are the measure of a State's failure.  All crime in the end is the crime of the community.


H.G. Wells (1866-1946, British-born American author)


The greatest crime in the world is not developing your potential. When you do what you do best, you are helping not only yourself, but the world.


Roger Williams (1603-1683, American founder of Rhode Island)


The truth of the matter is that muggers are very interesting people.


Michael Winner


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