The murder of his dissident republican father six years ago should have been a wake-up call for Warren Crossan - the drug dealer gunned down outside his family's west Belfast home.
He knew better than most that the punishment for crossing powerful gangland figures is often death. But like a moth to the flame, the lure of the quick wealth criminality can bring proved irresistible to the 28-year-old.
Now his mother prepares to bury her son in the same grave as her husband Tommy - both the victims of killings with roots south of the border.
Warren Crossan was an up and coming young drug dealer when his father was shot dead at the family's diesel yard on the Springfield Road in west Belfast.
Rival dissident republicans pulled the trigger in a row over stolen cash, encouraged by figures from Dublin.
Tommy Crossan had at one stage been the leader of the Continuity IRA in Belfast and viewed himself as untouchable.
But by the time of his Good Friday 2014 killing, any political ideology he held had been abandoned.
Pounds - hundreds of thousands of them made through extorting drug dealers and businesses - were now more important than republican principles.
After being expelled from the Continuity IRA, he was an easy target for dissident enemies who wanted him dead.
Rather than learn harsh lessons in the aftermath of the brutal killing, his son Warren further immersed himself in crime.
He moved from St James - the fiercely republican area of west Belfast where he grew up - to the village of Crumlin, Co Antrim, to avoid the same gangs that took his father's life.
From there, the young dad ran a used car sales business that traded in high-end vehicles which was a front for laundering cocaine money.
Crossan was not among Northern Ireland's drugs kingpins, although he acted as such. He was mid-level and, at the time of his killing, was out on court bail charged with attempting to smuggle £180,000 worth of cocaine across the border in a van fitted with fake interior panels.
It was Crossan's desire to move to the next level of criminality that cost him his life.
In April, he agreed to a plan that would lure feared Dublin hitman Robbie Lawlor to the Ardoyne area of north Belfast to collect a drugs debt.
When the contract killer arrived at the property on Etna Drive, he was shot dead by a gunman lying in wait. Crossan provided the getaway car and had been communicating with Lawlor in the hours before the attack.
His reward should have been part of a £50,000 bounty which was seized by gardai when they arrested two Limerick women - a city to which he has family ties - the following day.
Since then, Crossan has been a marked man with associates of Lawlor vowing revenge and naming him in graffiti spray-painted in Dublin. They caught up with him on Saturday outside his mother's home on Rodney Parade, shooting him six times as he begged for his life. Warren Crossan died at the same spot where he led his father Tommy's funeral procession six years ago.
Two generations of the same family murdered by gangs led from Dublin having believed their own hype, and taking on criminals operating at a much higher and more ruthless level.