The 1970s and 1980s were a tumultuous time in hard drugs and the criminal masters that dealt them. It wasn’t just a time that was awash with movies on the subjects, classics we’ve all come to respect like Scarface.
Those stories were based on the reality unfolding around everyone, particularly in Miami and New York.
That’s where the image of the ruthless drug kingpin, the deadly force of nature with a white powdered nose, came from. But the real kingpins were a bit different.
Some weren’t even Kings. One of the most infamous and prolific drug lords of the era wholly mismatched every interpretation Hollywood could give.
She was, by all accounts, an old Hispanic lady, a curmudgeonly grandma, who led a regime of blood, death, and cocaine from Colombia to New York and Miami.
She was known as the La Madrina – The Cocaine Godmother. She even had a fear-striking name: Griselda Blanco.
10 /10 Kid Criminal
Griselda was born in Colombia, in the city of Cartagena, but her mother moved her to Medellin when she was just three years old, where her life of crime began. She started pickpocketing to get by.
She ran away from home when she was 9 to escape her mother’s boyfriend and his abusive ways.
When she was just 11, she allegedly kidnapped, ransomed, and shot a child from one of the more upscale neighborhoods, showing that she was ruthless and cunning enough to escape even from a young age.
9 /10 Setting Up
Griselda had a rocky relationship with an unknown man, another criminal, at home. She had three children.
She double-timed as a prostitute and a hardcore criminal until even that life became too tame for her.
Her husband died – which is rumored to be her doing through a hired hit – and she remarried to Alberto Bravo, who introduced her to her future career of cocaine trafficking. She picked it up like it was natural.