CRIME: Tough Guy

He was left on the Sawicki doorstep in Chicago when he was three days old. The Sawickis christened him Bernard. He soon got a different name for himself—Knifey. "Bernie has always been a bad boy," said Anna Sawicki. "I'm sorry I ever took him in—he'd be better off dead." Once he told his foster mother: "Don't ever put a hand on me, or I'll knock your teeth out."

His foster father used to beat him regularly, but Knifey didn't care. He was a tough guy.

Three years ago, when the cops first caught Knifey stealing, they listed him as a boy...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!