Once upon a time, Detroit was the heart of the American Dream. Most of its residents had good Jobs and drove big American-made cars. The world’s most profitable automobile companies thrived in Detroit and this placed the city at the heart of the global economy. Detroit was the place to go if you were looking for a decent job with a great salary. But as the empire of cars began to crumble, jobs evaporated and this once prosperous city was reduced to becoming the crime capital of America. Detroit’s industrial basin started to die by the early 1950s and this left a pool of unemployed men wandering aimlessly down the city streets.

Between 1965 and 1970 violent crime more than doubled in the United States. By the early 1970s Detroit’s crime rate had tripled that of New York and Chicago. Many factors played an important role in this situation, including the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement. But nowhere was the lack of control more evident than in Detroit, Michigan. As the automotive industry faded and Motown Records fled to Los Angeles, crime soared in Detroit reaching levels that had never been seen before.

A new business— illegal drugs— slowly took over the city’s economy, and thousands watched helplessly as their once prosperous city crumbled and their dreams were flushed down the drain. In 1980 the DEA estimated that drug sales in Detroit exceeded the revenues of Chrysler Motors.

Today Detroit lies in shambles: it is one of the poorest and most violent major city in America. The heart of the American Dream has been shattered. From corrupt narcotics cop Henry Marzett to the infamous Young Boys, Inc, White Boy Rick, and the Best Friends Murder for Hire Gang, listen to the stories of the kingpins and killers that also called Detroit home and who became the Henry Fords and Lee Iacoccas of a new generation. What happens when CEOs and politicians fail in their plans? A tragedy called Detroit.

Rollin: The Rise Of The Drug Economy In Detroit (Documentary)