A new paper has found that criminal masterminds have been engaging in creating future henchmen starting at the earliest ages - Kindergarten.

Suitable candidates are carefully placed in Kindergarten where they develop vast academic and social networks so that when they begin their lives of crime, they have friends in all the right places. 

The finding happened serendipitously. The scholars were looking to show that economic disadvantage led to a life of crime, but they came across something more sinister. In tracking the histories of criminal overlords they found a commonality that couldn't be denied - a dramatic spike in criminals who had turned five years old 60 days after the school cutoff date for Kindergarten. That loose thread began to be pulled upon and they soon discovered that some children were being "red-shirted" (a term taken from sports, where a freshman will not play their first year, to preserve four years of sports eligibility when they are stronger, faster, etc.) to the next year. This made them bigger and more mature, where they succeeded academically and socially and became comfortable manipulating their peers.  

This red-shirting primarily happened with boys

"That makes sense," said lead author M. Chef, a professor in Public Policy at Duke Wayne University. "When is the last time you saw a female Godfather? We believe this is the first compelling evidence of a causal link between criminal overlords and Kindergarten." 

Because of this advantage, they were model students, outperforming peers. Then they turned 16, the first age when many students can legally drop out of school, and an alarming number did so and began their lives of crime. 

"It was hidden in plain sight," said Chef. "Like Al Capone, who was wealthy but paid no taxes, these families seemed to live in poverty, but really they are La Famiglia. They have cleverly manipulated the system so that compassionate taxpayers overspend trying to help them. Once that facade is no longer needed, they leave the school system behind but are now well-connected in both worlds."

Business leaders were shocked, because they have devoted a great deal of time and money to making sure what they thought were disadvantaged children had an equal chance. "I have a hard time believing this could be true," said philanthropist and business leader Wilson Fisk. "I dropped out, but because high school was a drag, not to become a criminal."

"How could we have been so blind?" asked co-author and attorney Matthew Murdock.

Citation: "Regression-Discontinuity Analysis of Kindergarten And Criminal Mastermind Representation," by M. Chef and Matthew Murdock. Forthcoming in Hell's Kitchen Journal Of Applied Education, April 1, 2015.