Monday, February 6, 2017

The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne

An interesting documentary about then-80-year-old jewel thief Doris Payne on trial at the time for stealing a ring from Macy's. It goes over her long life of crime. I'm not sure what people think of when they hear "jewel thief'", but she was more shoplifter than cat burglar and had to overcome racism to succeed in this challenging field.

Payne cites racism as her reason for going into jewel theft. As a teenager, her mother took her to buy a watch. The jewelry store owner was very kind until a white customer came in and he wanted her out of there quick but forgot she was still wearing the watch she had tried on. Later, she says she wanted to be a ballerina but was told she couldn't because there were no Black ballerinas.

The second story seems less plausible since she didn't mention having ever studied ballet or having any interest in it.

She's been arrested a couple of times since the movie came out. She probably shouldn't have been involved in the documentary if she was going to continue with her career. It was noted in the movie that times have changed. They have better security than they used to. She kept escaping from jail when she was younger, but at this stage, all she's going to do is rot in prison.

It shows the importance of saving for retirement and paying into Social Security no matter what your job.

Available on Fandor.

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