The world of crime is a last refuge of the authentic, uncorrupted, spontaneous event.
—Daniel J. Boorstin (1914–2004) American Historian, Academic, Attorney, Writer
Crime is a fact of the human species, a fact of that species alone, but it is above all the secret aspect, impenetrable and hidden. Crime hides, and by far the most terrifying things are those which elude us.
—Georges Bataille (1897–1962) French Essayist, Intellectual
He threatens many that hath injured one.
—Ben Jonson (1572–1637) English Dramatist, Poet, Actor
One crime is everything; two nothing.
—Dorothee Luzy Dotinville (1747–1830) French Dancer, Actress
If poverty is the mother of crimes, want of sense is the father of them.
—Jean de La Bruyere (1645–96) French Satiric Moralist, Author
Crimes, like virtues, are their own rewards.
—George Farquhar (1677–1707) Irish Dramatist
Crime seems to change character when it crosses a bridge or a tunnel. In the city, crime is taken as emblematic of class and race. In the suburbs, though, it’s intimate and psychological—resistant to generalization, a mystery of the individual soul.
—Barbara Ehrenreich (1941–2022) American Social Critic, Essayist
There is a heroism in crime as well as in virtue. Vice and infamy have their altars and their religion.
—William Hazlitt (1778–1830) English Essayist
A crime persevered in a thousand centuries ceases to be a crime, and becomes a virtue. This is the law of custom, and custom supersedes all other forms of law.
—Mark Twain (1835–1910) American Humorist
He who commits injustice is ever made more wretched than he who suffers it.
—Plato (428 BCE–347 BCE) Ancient Greek Philosopher, Mathematician, Educator
All, all is theft, all is unceasing and rigorous competition in nature; the desire to make off with the substance of others is the foremost—the most legitimate—passion nature has bred into us and, without doubt, the most agreeable one.
—Marquis de Sade (1740–1814) French Political leader, Revolutionary, Novelist, Poet, Critic
Almost all crime is due to the repressed desire for aesthetic expression.
—Evelyn Waugh (1903–66) British Novelist, Essayist, Biographer
There is a new billboard outside Time Square. It keeps an up-to minute count of gun-related crimes in New York. Some goofball is going to shoot someone just to see the numbers move.
—David Letterman (b.1947) American TV Personality, Comedian
Abscond. To “move” in a mysterious way, commonly with the property of another.
—Ambrose Bierce (1842–1913) American Short-story Writer, Journalist
Crime is naught but misdirected energy.
—Emma Goldman (1869–1940) Lithuanian-American Anarchist, Feminist
In times of trouble leniency becomes crime.
Like art and politics, gangsterism is a very important avenue of assimilation into society.
—E. L. Doctorow (b.1931) American Writer, Editor, Academic
Crime is terribly revealing. Try and vary your methods as you will, your tastes, your habits, your attitude of mind, and your soul is revealed by your actions.
—Agatha Christie (1890–1976) British Novelist, Short-Story Writer, Playwright
Today more Americans are imprisoned for drug offenses than for property crimes
—George Will (b.1941) American Columnist, Journalist, Writer
Locks keep out only the honest.
Locks keep out only the honest.
Crime generally punishes itself.
—Oliver Goldsmith (1730–74) Irish Novelist, Playwright, Poet
The study of crime begins with the knowledge of oneself. All that you despise, all that you loathe, all that you reject, all that you condemn and seek to convert by punishment springs from you.
—Henry Miller (1891–1980) American Novelist
The wrongdoer is more unfortunate than the man wronged.
—Democritus (c.460–c.370 BCE) Ancient Greek Philosopher
Crime when it succeeds is called virtue.
—Seneca the Younger (Lucius Annaeus Seneca) (c.4 BCE–65 CE) Roman Stoic Philosopher, Statesman, Tragedian
For centuries the death penalty, often accompanied by barbarous refinements, has been trying to hold crime in check; yet crime persists. Why? Because the instincts that are warring in man are not, as the law claims, constant forces in a state of equilibrium.
—Albert Camus (1913–60) Algerian-born French Philosopher, Dramatist, Essayist, Novelist, Author
Many a man is saved from being a thief by finding everything locked up.
—E. W. Howe (1853–1937) American Novelist, Editor
There is no den in the wide world to hide a rogue.—Commit a crime and the earth is made of glass.—Commit a crime, and it seems as if a coat of snow fell on the ground, such as reveals in the woods the track of every partridge, and fox, and squirrel.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
He that is robbed, not wanting what is stolen, him not know t, and he’s not robbed at all.
—William Shakespeare (1564–1616) British Playwright
Great thieves punish little ones.