The world had never seen a crime wave quite like it. Starting in early 2011, thieves descended upon dozens of natural-history museums across Europe armed with crowbars, sledgehammers, and tear-gas grenades, interested in only one thing: antique rhinoceros horns. By 2013, they had stolen nearly a hundred horns in all, worth millions of dollars on the international black market. The only thing more unusual than the crimes themselves was the law enforcement's theory about who was responsible: a handful of families from rural Ireland known as the Rathkeale Rovers.
Charles Homans spent six months investigating the thefts, from a museum in Portugal to a courthouse in New York to a village in Ireland's County Limerick. The Dead Zoo Gang is a globe-trotting saga of brazen heists, careening car chases, and shoe-leather detective work, a true-crime story for an era of cultural collision and environmental catastrophe.
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