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Unit 8 Crime, 8C Listening, A life of crime, page 88

Exercise 1

1 a 




5 b 

6 c


Exercise 2

1 He usually buys jewellery.

2 She had a short illness after her holiday.

3 He likes the idea.

4 No, she never made large amounts of money.

5 No.

6 He was employed.



1 Last year, I bought my wife a coat for her birthday – but that was quite unusual. (And she didn’t like it anyway. She took it back to the shop!) I normally get her some earrings, or a necklace – sometimes a ring. That kind of thing, anyway. She says I’ve got good taste!

2 I went to West Africa last summer and when I got back, I didn’t feel well. I had a high temperature and a really bad headache. I thought I had a really nasty tropical disease – but it didn’t last long. I went to see the doctor and she said I probably just caught a cold on the flight home!

3 I’ve tried a few unusual sports in my time, like cave diving and paragliding – but I’ve never tried BASE jumping. It really appeals to me, actually. Although it looks pretty frightening and I’m sure it’s dangerous.

4 When I first left university, I started my own company. It was a computer business – I gave computer advice to people who couldn’t afford a contract with a large company. It went quite well, but I never made large amounts of money. Now I work for a software company in London.

5 When I was a kid, we lived in a fantastic house on the coast. It was only a five minute walk to the beach, and we went there every day after school – even in the winter! But the house didn’t belong to my parents, and when I was about seven or eight, we moved to the city.

6 We spent a few years in Greece when I was a teenager. I went to school there and everything. We lived in a village – because my parents found a beautiful house there and fell in love with it. But I always felt quite different from the other children. My dad had a well-paid job in Athens. So they always thought of us as the rich foreign kids who didn’t speak Greek very well!


Exercise 3

1 were 

2 Not all 

3 well 

4 often

5 did not often have 

6 inside 

7 was not


Exercise 4

Born: 1872

Real name: Arizona

Husband: George

Barker Number of sons: four

Died: 1935



Host Continuing our series on public enemies, I’m talking to Martin Bagwell, an expert on American criminal gangs from the 1930s. And today we’re discussing a fascinating figure called Ma Barker. Was she a well-known figure in her day?

Martin Yes, she certainly was. At that time – in the 1930s – there were quite a few famous criminals in the United States. For example, Bonnie and Clyde, Baby Face Nelson and John Dillinger. The United States government called these people “Public Enemies” because they had committed large numbers of serious crimes. The public were very aware of these people and the newspapers had a lot of stories about them. Although they made up some of the stories!

Host  So they were almost like celebrities.

Martin Yes, they were. They were celebrities really. Remember, these were the days before TV and the Internet. People were fascinated by the lives of these criminals – and sometimes it’s difficult to know which of the stories about them are true and which are false.

Host  So what do we know for sure about Ma Barker?

Martin Well, we know she was born in 1872 and that her name was Arizona – but people called her Arrie. She was married to a man called George Barker and they had four sons. The sons’ names were Herman, Lloyd, Arthur and Fred. Fred was the youngest boy – and he was Ma’s favourite.

Host  And were they a fairly normal family at first?

Martin No, not really. They were very poor. The boys did badly at school and probably never learned to read or write. They were always in trouble with the law.

Host  What did Ma and her husband think of that?

Martin Well, Ma always supported her boys. If they ended up in prison, Ma tried to get them out. But their father, George, had a different opinion and often had disagreements with his wife about their sons. He hated living in a family of criminals – and when the boys grew up into adults, he left. The boys committed crime after crime, including murders and robberies – and Ma Barker was always with them – right until the end.

Host  What happened at the end?

Martin Well, police officers from the FBI were determined to find Ma Barker. One day in January 1935, they found the house where Ma and her favourite son, Fred, were hiding. Fred and Ma refused to give themselves up. There was a gunfight with  the police and neither Fred nor Ma Barker got out of the building alive. After their deaths, Ma Barker became even more famous. The head of the FBI said that Ma Barker had been the most dangerous criminal of the past ten years. Today, though, most experts think that this probably wasn’t true. In fact, it is likely that she never killed anyone – and perhaps did not commit any crimes at all, although she certainly helped her boys to commit them.

Host  Martin Bagwell – thank you.


Exercise 5


2 a / b 

3 a 

4 b 

5 a / b

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