Miami is the fictional home of Dexter, Michael Weston and Horatio Caine, so it makes sense that some truly messed up crime goes down in the real 305. Still, it's astounding how the Magic City steps up year after year to deliver acts so depraved and bizarre they make Jeff Lindsay blush.
The past twelve months have been a banner year for Miami-Dade crimes, from cement injecting faux surgeons to elaborate Russian crime plots to illicit taxidermy. Click through for five of Miami's most insane crimes this past year.
5. The Ilegally Taxidermying Artist
Enrique Gomez de Molina turned heads at Art Basel satellite fairs with his bizarre amalgamations of taxidermied animal parts, selling one piece for a nifty $10,000 at Scope. But federal agents say Gomez de Molina's works were made using illegally imported exotic animal body parts, from Java kingfishers to slow loris to birds of paradise. He was charged with illegally smuggling in the animal parts, and threatened with up to a $250,000 fine and jail time.
4. Russian Oligarchs' Murderous Fight For An Island
Fisher Island has on-and-off been ranked as America's most expensive zip code. The island off South Beach is reachable only by ferry and is loaded with millionaires' condos. But what few knew until reading New Times writer Gus Garcia-Roberts' jaw-dropping feature a few months ago was that the 216-acre isle has become a pawn in a deadly fight between two Russian billionaire, with accusations of poisonings, KGB-style threats and a kidnapping to Belarus that drew in Hilary Clinton to resolve the affair.
3. Ex-Cop Drugs Models To Make Rape Porn
Lavont Flanders and Emerson Callum claimed to run a modeling agency out of Miami Gardens and flew in dozens of models to Miami, supposedly to shoot video for their clients. When the women got to town, though, Flanders and Callum slipped drugs into their drinks, raped the women on film, and then sold the videotapes of the assaults at porn shops around Miami. Even more F'd up: Flanders is an ex-Miami Beach cop, once paid to patrol the streets. Both men were convicted in federal court.
2. Fake Doctor Injects Fix-A-Flat Into Unwitting Patients' Asses
Oneil Morris sold her clients -- mostly men hoping to make the surgical transition to become women -- on a tempting offer: She could give them under-the-table sillicon injections for a fraction of the price the procedure usually costs. Unfortunately for those who let her stick a needle in their ass, police say Morris was actually injecting them with a gruesome mix of superglue, cement and Fix-A-Flat. Honestly, they should probably have run the other direction as soon as they saw what Morris had done to her own body, as seen in this now infamous police-station picture:
1. Russian Gang Sets Up Fake Clubs To Rob Tourists
What could possibly top Morris' cement-glue medical rampage? How about an elaborate plot by Russian gangsters to set up fake clubs in South Beach, then use hot Eastern European "B-Girls" to lure in wealthy tourists so their credit cards could be pillaged? Federal prosecutors charged 14 this past year -- including a prominent Sunny Isles Beach businessman who'd recently run for mayor -- with doing just that. They say dozens of victims were lured to the bogus clubs, possibly drugged, and then discovered only upon returning home that they'd charged up tens of thousands for a few bottles of champagne.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.