The self-incrimination chapter ends with several minutes of silence and a beautiful sunset.

Not that it matters, but these two character designs were loosely based on my own parents (a fighter pilot and a stewardess in real life — they hardly ever robbed banks).mom&dad Happy Birthday, Mom! (Not that either of them read this.)

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There are now 36 comments... what are your thoughts?
  1. Oddstar says

    So is Jack her husband? Or is she an adulteress as well as a thief? Or was she never married at all? I noticed that her rap sheet listed several aliases, including “Miss Bunbury” (emphasis added), so maybe “Mrs.” was just an alias or cover.

    Also, if the Maguffin was just a worthless trinket, why did Tziz want it in the first place? The story “started with a summons from the Big Cheese.” Havran must have made his deal with the feds after that, because how could he have known that Tziz would approach him when he went to the feds? But if Tziz summoned him first, he must have already have known that the “famous Maguffin” was in the bank’s vault. So how could using a worthless trinket in its place ever have worked?

    Lastly, we are going to see these characters again, right?

    • Best guess — The deal happened before the summons. Havran fed the information about the Macguffin to the Big Cheese after the deal, either directly or through rumormongering from a trustworthy source (“*You* know my reputation — so do *they*.”). When the Big Cheese summons them all, Havran is chosen because he was the source of the info.

  2. Rufus Shinra says

    1) Called it!
    2) It’s awesome!
    3) Please, please show us these characters again!

    • Are you planning a chapter on extradition?
      They’re both still on the hook for murder, aren’t they? Even if the “heist” that resulted in the dead baby was a sting?

      • She’s on the run, as usual, and they are probably going to get conviced she killed him, so he’s off the hook if he stays low.

      • Well, something to keep in mind is that the relevant extradition laws would be those of the country they’re in.

        That said, a chapter on extradition as it applies to ‘someone who’s in the US and committed crimes in Australia’ might be interesting.

          • Well, I used Australia as an example mostly because I live there. :P

            But I was thinking in the more general case, really. Basically, were there any special legal cases that applied if someone was being extradited out of America.

            (It’s no great surprise that the relevant treaty is simple, given the good relationships our respective countries have… as far as any legal document can be ‘simple’, mind)

  3. Raen says

    I’ve got to say, for a comic about law and order, you really make your crooks likable.

    • Some crooks are likable. It’s an advantage to have people like you when you’re trying to cheat or mislead them.

      • I hate to say it, but I don’t like them. I don’t like it when bad guys when; it really peeves me off. I don’t know why I get emotional over fictional things like this, but I do. I may be staying away from this site for a while now so I can forget about it.

      • Have you ever maintained a relationship with any of the people you’ve gotten off, or do you always just go your separate ways afterward?

      • No, they aren’t. You know who are just folks?

        The working poor. People who work hard for barely enough to live on, living on margins so thin that nobody would willingly put up with it if they had an alternative.

        All it takes is _one_ encounter with _your_ idea of “oh, they’re just folks” and they can be left with a life in ruins. And since they can’t afford the protections available to the rich, they’re the preferred prey.

        I’ll save my fellow-feeling for people who don’t bring down ruination upon the innocent.

        • I think that what Nathan meant by “just folks” wasn’t that criminals are good people who you should treat the same as anyone else. It seems like he’s saying that most criminals don’t look or act differently from normal people (when they aren’t committing crimes).

          • Well, now, you’re talking about tyrannous government. Which is a slightly different issue than sympathy for private citizens who commit felony-level _malum in se_.

            Getting rid of the bloody redcoats takes a bit more organizing and effort than convincing a _malum in se_ crook to lie down and be a good crook. Fortunately, as the central government slowly collapses under its own weight, local tyrants will have less and less ability to summon enough jack-booted thugs to trample the stiff-neck’ed.

            • This is what leads to your Robin Hood Scenario. If memory serves during the 30’s there were some very popular bank robbers. The banks were so hated for their policies at the time that people who stole from the banks could be seen as hero’s of the people.

              In the end we must separate law and ethics. Good governments try to make one mirror the other, but they cannot do it perfectly because they are imposing order. (Though I think we all agree this is preferable to the alternatives.)

            • Not really related to legal issues, but I think I’ll have to disagree with your hypothesis on the result of a weakening central government. Chinese history in particular has demonstrated this over and over again – a weak central government means strong local tyrants. Without a powerful central force to keep them in check, it’s easy for bandits, strongmen, and warlords to seize local control. Power ends up going to SOMEBODY, and when that power is up for grabs it tends to flow towards those who are most ruthless, most driven, and most ambitious through sheer dint of outcompeting everyone else before they even realize there IS a competition.

        • …right, because everyone Mr. Burney defends is guilty, and every law a person may break should result in criminal charges. Yeah.

          • Also as a thought, stealing from the poor does not make much sense. They do not have much to take.

            There is an interesting demand/difficulty calculation when performing crime for profit. The most poor are uneducated and often poorly protected by local law enforcement, but have very little to take. The rich have a lot to take, but can afford security and can afford things like private investigators and very good legal counsel when working to recover their property and help ensure evidence gathered is usable by a prosecutor later.

            So reward increases as risk increases. Knowing your skills as a crook and how much risk you can manage is key.

            • Stealing a meaningful amount of money from the rich is kind of impossible for a normal person. The rich keep most of their net worth in bank deposits and financial assets. Rich people who have underground vaults full of gold bullion in their basements only exist in cartoons. Banks are insured by the federal government. So even if you successfully rob a bank the government just reimburses all of the depositors for any losses up to $250,000. So the bank robber still makes money but the government losses money rather than the depositors, except for deposits larger than the insured amount. You can’t really steal financial assets that only exist as entries in a ledger, at least not as far as I know. The closest thing that you can do to that is committing fraud and/or insider trading in a financial transaction. Doing those things, especially to a rich person with access to accountants, lawyers, and other advisers requires a working knowledge of the financial system. Having that knowledge usually means that the perpetrator is rich themselves, or at least upper-middle class.

              • The poor feed on the poor, the rich feed on the rich.

                After all the definition of an amount of money worth breaking the law for changes depending on your economic background.

                How many times does someone stick up a convenience store and walk away with more than $300 dollars? You have to have a low threshold to steal from them.

          • Yes, there is undeniable correlation between crime and poverty, but it does not necessitate causation. It could be just as easily explained through the correlation of intelligence. That is, there is a high correlation between “the smarter you are, the more money you have,” and when you apply that to the correlation with money and crime, it could be that smarter people just don’t get convicted as often.

            • That is a real possibility. However, we cannot investigate it empirically. It is impossible to measure the number of cases where the perpetrator escaped justice through their comparatively high intelligence because in those cases we usually do not know the true identity of the perpetrator. I find it more plausible that the more intelligent members of the population are better able to understand and manipulate the law, and are thus more likely to use the law for their own personal gain rather than break the law for their own personal gain.

  4. Hmmmm. Overly elaborate scheme; the police trying to keep up and almost, but not quite doing so; an obsessive amount of detail about the law and legal matters, with emphasis on the things you wish were different but aren’t so they get exploited; a Caribbean island; and a plot that can be summed up easily in one quick phrase – “The MacGuffin”

    I’m on to your secret webcomic hobby, Mr. Grisham.

  5. Robert Montrose says

    Awww, look, they really do love each other. Well, you know what they say, thick as thieves!

    Now I’m just waiting for the inevitable fanfics about our criminal couple to emerge.

  6. KW says

    “they hardly ever robbed banks”.

    Hmmm… this implies they did at least twice…

  7. Ann Onymous says

    So what doesn’t make sense after the two plot twists is why Mrs. Flavors told Jack she’d be keeping the MacGuffin, thus inciting Bahr’s anger. Why would she do that if it was worthless and they were working together and everything. Was it just to look realistic in front of Bahr (and the cops, should they show up right then, which they did)?

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