Modern-Day Robin Hoods

Robin Hood. Original artwork for Look and Learn (issue yet to be identified).
Related eBooks

We all know Robin Hood as an English folklore character who stole from the rich and gave it to the poor. The story of Robin Hood has been told many times with several varying twist and turns.

According to legend, he was born in the 1100’s and the earliest surviving Robin Hood ballads date from the mid-15th century. Rather than getting into the ‘truth about robin hood’ the purpose here is to establish modern examples that embody the Robin Hood spirit.

Robin Hood hunted animals only the “Kind” was allowed to hunt. He murdered authority figures. He beheaded them. He was better with a bow than anyone, as a teenager. He was,above all else, an outlaw. The King wanted him dead and he derived energy from the ‘lower’ class of citizens that he bravely served. With that, here are some people who reflect one of the most popular archetypes known around the world.

Phoolan Devi
08th-phoolan-so_09_2048235e Phoolan Devi was nicknamed India’s Bandit Queen, was only a young girl when she became a dacoit, roaming the countryside with a gang of bandits. She and her lover, Vikram, championed banditry as a way of fighting economic inequality in post-colonial India.

They were violent but cited Durga and Mahatma Gandhi as influences. At 18 she was kidnapped for several weeks, enduring sexual abuse and her lover was murdered. On Valentines Day, 1981, she dragged 30 high-status men out of their homes and ordered them to be shot, killing 22 of them.

The mass murder sent shockwaves throughout India. She went on to target other high-status men who were known to abuse their children. Eventually she negotiated her own surrender and in exchange her parents obtained land and her brother got a job. 8,000 people showed up for her arrest and cheered her on. She was a hero of the lower-class citizens. After serving 11 years in prison, she was released and then elected to the Indian Parliament.

Salvatore Giuliano
SalvatoreGiuliano Salvatore Giuliano was born in Sicily in 1922 and raised by peasant farmers in a rural village. His older brother as drafted by the Italian military in 1935, so he quit school and helped his father with the land. He started trading food on the black marketing.

Eventually he was confronted by two police officers who want to know where the grain came from. He shot one man and wounded him, then fled.

At this point Giuliano was all in for the life of banditry. Depending on what story to believe, he founded a small army between 50 to 600 men. 10 years passed, more than 100 police officers were killed and 30 rich elite victims were kidnapped, with Guilian accruing more than $1million.

He targeted the rich and the rich targeted him. 2,000 men were sent throughout the country to find him and in 1950 they found and executed him on the spot.

Stories persisted that he faked his own death. Authorities have since exhumed the body of the bandit and have concluded that it is 90% likely the remains are indeed those of the Sicilian outlaw. He became subject of his own film in 1962 and inspiring Mario Puzo’s character of Michael Corleone in book and film adaptations of The Godfather and The Sicilian.

Dr. Ozel Clifford Brazil
lead_large Dr. Ozel Clifford Brazil made it his goal to get as many kids off the street and into college as he could. Even if it meant committing fraud.

Brazil fudged finances for families who would otherwise have trouble applying for financial aid.

Even though the judge in Brazil’s case knew he had the best of intentions, he gave the minister three and a half years in federal prison and $716,000 in restitution to the United States government. The judge stated:

“I mean, even if he is Robin Hood, it’s still a crime.”

Jesús Malverde
jesus-malverde-6835 Jesús Malverde was a known for being the Mexican Robin Hood until he was gunned down by the police in 1909. Drug lords love this dude, who’s shrines are said to help protect from the police.

According to James H. Creechan, a Canadian sociologist and adjunct professor at the Autonomous University of Sinaloa in Culiacán:

“The drug guys go to the shrine and ask for assistance and come back in big cars and with stacks of money to give thanks.”

Leonarda Emilia
download Leonarda Emilia was an indigenous Mexican woman who was who hell bent on revenge after her lover, a French soldier, was executed by the Mexican Government. From then on, she became “La Carambada,” a bandit who robbed from the elite – dressed as a man –to give to the less fortunate.

Emilia had a little trick to help her escape. Every time she robbed someone, sheexposed her breasts to shame her victims with the knowledge that a woman attacked them. Her flashing trick worked for a while until she was shot down by the police.

Edward Snowden
Edward_Snowden-2 Edward Snowden is one of the more controversial people on this list. He is currently exiled to Russia for stealing information that was deemed private by the U.S. Government and distributing it to the public. The main source of information that he provided to the masses is that the NSA (National Security Association) is listening in on all sources of communication within the United States as what they deem a “safety precaution” for potential terrorist activities. Many see him as a traitor and many see him as a martyr and symbol for the government slowly violating basic privacy rights of all citizens. He may not have given the masses money or food but he did give them a sense of questioning authority and knowledge of what is going on around them.

Hamza Bendelladj
hamzabendelladj Hamza Bendelladj is an Algerian hacker who gained notoriety for hacking into many well-known U.S. banks and businesses and stealing money.Depending on who you ask, Hamza Bendelladj is either a Robin Hood-esque hero or a cyber-age hoodlum.

The 27-year-old Algerian computer science graduate was sentenced to 15 years in a US court for using a computer virus to steal money from more than 200 American banks and financial institutions. He then reportedly gave millions of dollars to Palestinian charities.

Bendelladj, who is alleged to be the co-creator of a banking trojan horse called SpyEye, was indicted in absentia by US authorities in 2011. The program – a malware toolkit that saw its popularity peak between 2009 and 2011 – is believed to have infected more than 1.4 million computers in the US and elsewhere, according to Wired, a San Francisco-based technology magazine. The software enabled users to steal login information for online financial accounts, which they then pillaged.

US authorities say Bendelladj and other SpyEye users were responsible for building a huge network, or “botnet”, of infected computers that they regularly hijacked for financial and personal information. Bendelladj is also accused of using the information gathered to steal money from banks.

While the court documents make no references as to how the cash was spent, several reports online claimed that Bendelladj used the money to fund various Palestinian charities – information that made him a hero in the eyes of many.

“Boss Yu”
unknown Dubbed “Boss Yu” by his friends and colleagues, 27-year old Yu was known as being a kind hearted philanthropist who donated to local welfare houses and other charity organizations. The public found out another side to Yu when authorities arrested him on burglary charges in December 2014.

It all started when residents in high-rise buildings started reporting missing items, such as gold necklaces, rings, bracelets and tablet computers. Investigators concluded that the robber crept into houses via gas conduits to steal more than $80,802 worth of property.

It was also discovered that Yu had been living in a five-star hotel for months, no doubt funded by the treasures of the crimes that he confessed to.

Hey, if you’re going to play Robin Hood, you might as well give to yourself first, right “Boss Yu”?

Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo
sanchez_gordillo Mayor Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo of Marinaleda, Spain has had enough. In August 2012, the Andalusian mayor and his supporters took part in at least two raids on local supermarkets. Gordillo shouted encouraging words from a megaphone outside while supporters filled up shopping carts of food inside.

In an area of Spain where a third of the workforce is unemployed, people are facing tough times. The mayor proclaimed, “There are people who don’t have enough to eat. In the 21st century, this is an absolute disgrace.”

Seven labor union activists were arrested for taking part in the raids, but Gordillo is protected by political immunity