Taking Justice Into Their Own Hands
Who is that masked man? Phoenix Jones considers himself a superhero in Seattle. Discover why he’s out to fight crime, & get the scoop on other vigilantes.
The search for justice has sparked, for good and bad, a tradition of citizens taking the law into their own hands. From the “superhero” who patrols Seattle streets to armed Colombians who possibly assassinated a drug lord, these famous vigilantes pushed their cause and the envelope.
Seattle police don’t condone the 22-year-old and other costume-clad Rain City Superheroes risking their personal safety to fight crime and do good deeds.
The 58-year-old Colorado resident with an ordinary job traveled to Pakistan with a goal that has evaded global authorities: capture the world’s most wanted terrorist.
Known for his distinctive headgear, Sliwa founded a volunteer neighborhood-safety group that now has 143 chapters around the world.
Sampat Pal Devi
Dubbed the “pink vigilantes” for the color of their traditional Indian saris, the group Sampat started to combat domestic violence in this developing area.
The Bald Knobbers
In 1880s Missouri, citizens of a then-lawless and violent county formed the Bald Knobbers, a controversial gang of men who decided to impose justice.
“Subway vigilante” Goetz, who is white, shot four black teenagers in 1984 who had allegedly accosted him on a New York City subway. He was charged with a serious crime.
Instead of people, Capt. Watson and his Sea Shepherd crew sail the high seas to protect wildlife, notably by attempting to disrupt whaling.
Afghan authorities convicted Idema, an American, of hostage-taking and torture for operating a prison for alleged terror suspects in a house in Kabul.
Ruby took the law into his own hands and killed Lee Harvey Oswald.
To stop illegal immigration into the United States, Schwilk founded a controversial San Diego group in 2005.
“We just took out our pool cues and started flailing,” Rev. Broshears told Time magazine about one of his vigilante group’s 1970s attempts to thwart gay-bashing.
Inmon confessed to the vigilante murders of three residents of rural eastern Arizona because of what he perceived as moral or legal offenses.
The Arizona resident founded his band of patriots to “secure U.S. borders and coastal boundaries against unlawful and unauthorized entry.”