Reddin Belk, Pallad City Post
[Archived Article: Published 3 Months Ago]

Mayor Hynden Neville has promised an end to organized crime in Pallad City, but the past week only served to further highlight the grim disparity between campaign promises and reality. On Monday an armored truck carrying an estimated $40 to $60 million worth of diamonds, gems, and assorted jewels was hijacked, both drivers brutally murdered in the process. All evidence points to the involvement of the Provincia crime syndicate, but no arrests have yet been made. On Tuesday night reports of a shootout between the Provincia and Grazio syndicates at the Garland Fishing District left four dead and three in critical condition—all innocent bystanders, no individuals with ties to the mob were injured. Nine arrests were made in connection with the shooting, but all suspects have been released due to insufficient evidence and lack of witnesses. On Wednesday the murder trial of Provincia underboss Marlo Ansalia was thrown out when key witnesses failed to show—this was after a parade of jurors blatantly refused to take part in the trial, citing fear of retaliation from the syndicate. Eight members of the Rossi crime family were found on Friday in the Ardus District, each nearly mutilated beyond recognition—all signs pointing to the sadistic tactics of the Provincia.

Boasting an international presence, the last decade has seen the Provincia syndicate firmly root their feet in Pallad City. With a lengthy list of crimes that include murder, arson, coercion, extortion, counterfeiting, protection rackets, arms/drug running and, recently, even reports of human trafficking, the Provincia are seemingly expanding their activities as law enforcement agencies falter at every turn. What makes the Provincia more threatening than other syndicates, like the Grazio and Rossi families, is their tendency to resort to sadism and torture. Victims’ remains are often found in such horrific condition that it has become the Provincia’s calling card. It’s reported that the fate of those who either betray or steal from the syndicate are even worse, with victims being viciously tortured for days or even weeks before being executed.

The Pallad City Police Department claims that they’ve made progress on certain key cases against the Provincia, but all evidence points to the contrary. Mayor Neville announced last month that a special task force has been assigned to syndicate investigations; at present, any tangible results have been few and far between. If there are any ongoing investigations or if a designated task force is pursuing members of known crime organizations, it certainly has done little to curtail the recent explosion of Provincia activity and ease public concerns.

The White Wraith. Story by Midnight. Art by Leonel Walbr.