Ex-Con Larry Lawton Finds Redemption in Rescuing At-Risk Youths

Larry Lawton
Larry Lawton

"Did you see the 'Daily Show' clip?" asks Larry Lawton, the ex-gangster responsible for some of the biggest jewelry heists in American history.

"They were telling me to curse more," laughs Larry Lawton, right, whose body is tattooed with ink from melted chess pieces, applied with a guitar string.

Lawton's story isn't very funny. He robbed $15 million in jewels, a cut always going to the Gambino crime family, and ended up spending 12 harrowing years in federal prison. But today, Lawton runs a program for at-risk kids. People can change, he tells them, as he rips off a button-down shirt to reveal his bulging tattoo-ed arms.