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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Swindler. Saviour. Mobster. Spy?

Available on Apple podcasts / / Podcasts

Since 2013, Giovanni Di Stefano—who has been called “the lawyer for the unloyal” and “the devil’s advocate”—has been in jail serving a 14-year sentence for fraud and money laundering. The podcast Swindler. Saviour. Mobster. Spy?, hosted by the journalist Calum McCrae, goes back to Di Stefano’s glory years, and the events that earned him those descriptors. McCrae tells the story with the help of Di Stefano’s son, Michael, who inherited a hard drive of his father’s correspondences and legal files. Michael understands that his father has questionable morals—among his clients were Saddam Hussein, Harold Shipman (“the most prolific serial killer in modern history”), and Gary Glitter (a 1970s rock star charged with pedophilia). Yet he still loves his dad. Together, McCrae and Michael trace Di Stefano’s trajectory from a tiny town in Italy, where he traveled by donkey, to the worldwide notoriety brought by teaming up with dictators, war criminals, and killers. Thanks to Di Stefano’s son, the podcast is more sentimental than most true crime stories. —J.D.

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