Kingpins or crime lords are often seen in movies and TV shows living a life of high-stakes and interpersonal drama, but they are also shown in a lighter light, just trying to live their lives like the rest of us.  Well, that’s why when Redwan El-Ghaidouni was murdered outside his own home in the suburbs of London recently, nobody saw it coming.  He was a family man, living in one of the nicest neighborhoods in one of the most inconspicuous lifestyles you could imagine.

His neighbors were amazed at the fact that Redwan was a convicted drug smuggler, not an upstanding businessman who made his millions in more legitimate ways.  But, this is precisely how all the big players of the drug and crime world plan their end-game.  They aspire to have all the typical storybook trappings that many other normal family do; nice car, nice home, beautiful wife, kids, and enough money to retire off of.

The key to any successful crime lord is to be as low key as possible, which includes an even lower key, if possible, exit strategy.  Some  play things by the book and live as modestly as possible, avoiding any and all conflicts with the police.  At the end of the day, no matter how much they imbed themselves into the suburban “soccer mom” lifestyle, you still have to face up to the shit you’ve done.

Apparently, Redwan El-Ghaidouni still had some unsettled business from his old life. The suburban gangster isn’t a new phenomenon. The suburbs have been the playground of “successful businessmen” for decades, for example the notorious crime boss Terry Adams who was found hiding in the posh neighborhood of Mill Hill, Barnet in 2007.

While police focus most their resources and battles on the poorer neighborhoods, real crime seeps through the underbelly of suburbia, like in a bad episode of Weeds.  Except in real life, the drug kingpins are usually more dangerous and less hot.