Segments in this Video

1984 (18:26)


In Newark, New Jersey, Rob Steffey and his friends make money by committing robberies and selling the items. They say they make more money than with real jobs.

6 Months Later (02:25)

Freddie Rodriguez's wife and children left him, and he struggles to stay off drugs. Steffey had another child with a different woman, Deliris Vasquez, but his girlfriend Angela feels like she cannot be jealous.

1986 (03:35)

Michael McGrath refused to show up for a court hearing and is arrested and sentenced to seven years in prison. Rodriguez is back on drugs, taking more than 20 pills a day.

9 Months Later (01:12)

Rodriguez is arrested and wished he never started doing drugs. Steffey has started doing drugs and regrets his life decisions.

1988 (00:40)

McGrath is serving his sentence at East Jersey State Prison. He decides to drop out of the documentary.

1992 (05:41)

Rodriguez is serving a 10-year sentence at Southern State Prison. Vasquez is doing sex work to support her drug addiction. Steffey is at Albert Wagner Correctional Facility, but close to being paroled.

5 Weeks Later (12:06)

Steffey is released from jail and finds a job at a car lot. Rodriguez is released but is scared about going home. Steffey and Vasquez renew their relationship.

3 Months Later (07:47)

Steffey gets in trouble with his parole officer because of his drug use. Rodriguez and Vasquez are doing and selling drugs together, while Vasquez's kids are around.

2 Days Later (03:23)

Rodriguez has a meeting with his parole officer and fakes his drug test. He and Vasquez send the kids out of the car so they can do drugs. Steffey gets drunk at a strip club.

3 Months Later (05:17)

Rodriguez gets an AIDS test; he is positive for HIV. Steffey gets a warning from the police. Vasquez's kids try to convince her to not leave and buy drugs.

1994 (02:31)

Rodriguez is sentenced to 15 years for armed robbery. Steffey is living in an abandoned building and using drugs heavily.

2000 (05:04)

Rodriguez is in his seventh year at Riverfront State Prison. Steffey is serving a sentence at South Woods State Prison for armed robbery. Vasquez is at Essex County Jail and her kids come to visit.

4 Months Later (23:46)

Steffey has been released from jail and gets a job as a stock person at a grocery store. Rodriguez is released after 10 years; his parole officer is strict. Vasquez returns home from a drug treatment center but starts using drugs again.

2 Month Later (12:40)

Steffey lost his job and is looking for a new one as his parole ends. Rodriguez is back on drugs and has a warrant out for his arrest. Vasquez is using again, but Steffey has remained clean.

3 Years Later (00:32)

Rodriguez has died three years after going to prison. He had said it was unlikely he would survive the sentence.

2002 (01:56)

Steffey was found dead with a syringe in his leg. His autopsy determines it was a heroin overdose.

2010 (01:07)

Vasquez is clean after 17 years on drugs. She gives drug prevention talks.

2019 (06:16)

Vasquez has her first Mother's Day since her mom died. Her kids are doing well, and her son is a police officer. Vasquez won the Newark Citizen of the Year Award for her drug prevention work.

2020 (04:16)

COVID-19 shut down Vasquez's drug support services. After being clean for 13 years, she overdoses and dies.

Credits: Life of Crime, 1984-2020 (01:50)

Credits: Life of Crime, 1984-2020

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Life of Crime, 1984-2020

3-Year Streaming Price: $199.95



Life of Crime: 1984-2020, is the culmination of 36 years of work from multiple Emmy Award-winning producer/director Jon Alpert (HBO’s “Baghdad ER”). The epic documentary tells the full story of three friends from Newark, New Jersey whose lives have been defined by and torn apart by their addictions. With unfettered access, the film bears witness to each of their journeys in and out of prison, rehab, and in occasional jobs as they struggle to end the vicious cycles of drug use and to connect with the families they left behind. Life of Crime: 1984-2020 is directed by Jon Alpert; edited by Patrick McMahon, ACE; field producer and audio Rosalina Ramos; assistant editor and conforming editor Naomi Mizoguchi; music composed by Residente. For HBO: senior producer, Tina Nguyen; executive producers, Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller.

Length: 121 minutes

Item#: BVL280727

Copyright date: ©2021

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