Victorian thief who
formed a criminal network that stretched from New York to London, Paris, and
even South Africa; a criminal who hated violence, who ran his crime syndicate like a
family business and was unswervingly loyal to his employees. Bank raids,
safecracking, and train robberies provided the American-born Worth the
wherewithal to establish himself as Henry J. Raymond in 1870s London. A Mayfair
gentleman by day, Worth continued his life of crime by night; at the pinnacle of
his career, Worth stole a priceless portrait of the Duchess of Devon which he
kept--at times under the mattress of his bed--for 20 years.
Arthur Conan Doyle fictionalized him as the superhuman Professor
Moriarty, and the popular press luridly chronicled his daring heists, though the
police never managed to convict him of anything major until he was nearly 50.
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