Bad Days for Goodfellas

Tetsuya Shiroo woke up that morning and got himself a gun. Before the day was over, he allegedly used it to murder Iccho Itoh, the mayor of the southwestern Japanese city of Nagasaki, outside his campaign office. While the April 17 shooting first appeared to be an assassination, it soon emerged that Shiroo, a 59-year-old yakuza (gangster) with ties to Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan's largest criminal syndicate, seemed motivated less by politics than by a petty personal grievance. He blamed a minor car accident on city construction work and wanted $17,000 in damages from the Nagasaki government. The result was absurd:...

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