Richest Female Criminals: Thelma Wright
The world of crime is often believed to be a man’s world, except history proves otherwise. In this series we bring you some of the Richest Female Criminals known. We begin with the Queen Pen herself.
In the age-old tale of ‘good girl meets bad boy’, Thelma Wright of Philadelphia was just such a girl. An average Catholic young girl, she met and fell in love with her future husband Jackie Wright. Their love affair was incredible. Straight out of a movie. Unfortunately there was no happy ending for this couple.
Jackie made a living as a bulk heroine supplier. What is more, a successful one at that. This made him powerful and especially so with his ties to the infamous Black Mafia – a notorious gang known for murdering cops.
With all that power, he certainly attracted the wrong attention.
Four years after the birth of their son, Jackie Wright was found murdered. His body wrapped in a rug with a bullet lodged in his skull. His wife Thelma was left with their young son and a booming heroine business. With no other choice, she stepped into her husband’s position.
“He took care of us, loved his son. If he was around, nothing could happen,” Thelma later revealed, “People are assuming Jackie left me all this money. Nope. I got this child. I can’t lay down and die, so we just resumed business as normal. Made a lot of money. A lot of money”.
Thelma Wright became the main supplier between Los Angeles and Philadelphia of both heroin and cocaine. It is estimated that this ‘female’ drug lord brought in over $400 000 each month. Her success earned her the highest respect from her male peers. Despite her success and reputation, the darker side of the drug world crept closer and closer.
A NEW LOOK ON LIFE
It wasn’t until five years after her husband’s murder that Thelma gave up the wealthy life of a drug lord. The decision came after she was caught in the crossfire of a lethal shootout. In this situation and with one of her higher ranking clients who was taken into custody, her mind was made up.
Today, Thelma Wright is a motivational speaker after turning her life around.
“When I go around and I speak to people, I’m letting them know that you need to stay away from this game. You’re not going to win. It is a ‘no win.’ Two options: death or jail. That’s it. There’s nothing else … Looking back on it now, I did what I did to survive, to take care of myself and my son. Would I do it again? No. No, absolutely not.”
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