The shocking true story of a Canadian biker turned informant, in the vein of Gangland Undercover and Under and Alone Dave Atwell was a regular suburban Canadian kid who rose to the heights of society, rubbing elbows with billionaires as a personal security specialist before getting involved with some of the country’s most notorious gangsters as a member of first the Para-Dice Riders and then the Hells Angels. He was sergeant at arms for Toronto’s notorious downtown chapter of the Hells Angels, and he saw it all: the drug trafficking, the violence and the structure of the organization. First his involvement with the gang cost him his career in personal security, and then it threatened to cost him everything. Atwell opted to work with the police, becoming the highest-ranking Hells Angel in history to cooperate with law enforcement. Wearing the gang’s colours as a soldier among the men who called him a brother, Atwell reported the Hells Angels’ activities to law enforcement. He risked his life providing valuable information aimed at taking down the club. In the harrowing and revelatory The Hard Way Out, Atwell retraces his days living a dual life as biker and informant, surrounded by major drug trafficking and the violent, paranoid and increasing suspicious bikers who stood to lose their livelihoods and potentially their freedom unless they found the rat they knew was hidden in their midst. Written by bestselling crime author Jerry Langton, this is a high-octane true story that will have you on the edge of your seat.
A frightening look at Mexico's new power elitethe Mexican drug cartels The members of Mexico's drug cartels are among the criminal underworld's most ambitious and ruthless entrepreneurs. Supplanting the once dominant Colombian cartels, the Mexican drug cartels are now the major distributor of heroin and cocaine to the U.S. and Canada. Not only have their drugs crossed north of the border, so have the cartels (in 2009, 230 active Mexican drug cartels have been reported in U.S. cities). In Gangland, bestselling author Jerry Langton details their frightening stranglehold on the economy and daily life of Mexico todayand what it portends for the future of Mexico and its neighbours. Offering a firsthand look from members of law enforcement, politicians, journalists, and people involved in the drug trade in Mexico and Canada, Gangland sheds a harsh light on the multibillion dollar industry that is the drug trade, the territorial wars, and the on-the-street reality for the United States, with the importation of narco-terrorists. With the unstinting realism and keen analysis that have made him an internationally respected journalist, Langton offers the bleak prospects of what a collapsed government in Mexico might lead toa new Mexican warlord state not unlike Somalia. Details the emergence of the Mexican drug cartelsthe transformation of middlemen who ferried drugs from Bolivia and Colombia to the U.S. and Canada into self-styled entrepreneurs Describes how the growth of the cartels led to violent territorial warswith Felipe Calderon declaring war on the cartels in 2006 Offers a frightening look at how much the incursion of the drug cartels has affected American life and business Wachovia and Bank of America have been found guilty of laundering cartel profits An unflinching examination of the world's most lucrativeand deadliestdrug cartel, Gangland lets readers explore, with brutal clarity, the newest front on America's latest war.
Ned Aiken had thought he had seen it all. After dropping out of school to run with one of the Midwest`s most powerful outlaw motorcycle gangs, he spent some time with the Russian mafia - just barely escaping from them alive. But none of that had prepared him for the incredible brutality and reach of the Mexican drug cartels. Kidnapped, beaten and threatened, Ned begins to work with the cartel. Before long, he is shocked at their attitudes toward life, death and crime, but knows the only way he`ll survive is with them. He is an immediate success in the cartel and attracts the attention of his bosses. But before long they realize Ned is worth less to them in Mexico than he is in Texas. They send him back across the border to join the Vatos, a mixed Mexican-American motorcycle gang. He finds himself back in a black leather jacket on a Harley selling drugs and intimidating witnesses. But this time, the stakes are a lot higher.
In a quiet working-class neighborhood in east-end Toronto, on an early winter day in November 2003, Johnathon Madden returned home from school only to be bullied and threatened by is older brother, Kevin; Kevin's friend Tim Ferriman; and another teenager. Johnathon didn't have the strength or size to protect himself against the frenzied attack of his powerful 250-pound brother when the confrontation turned violent and fatal. Sibling violence may be as old as time, but this case is particularly disturbing and unsettling. Kevin Madden had problems. This was not news to his family, teachers, principal, social workers, and psychiatrists, but what drove him to commit murder—and why Johnathon? Why were his friends compelled to take part in the bloodletting? What events were going on behind the scenes that played a part in the tragedy? Jerry Langton, author of bestseller Fallen Angel, sets out to answer those questions and look for the clues that drove Kevin Madden over the edge. Langton reveals shocking testimony from the trials—one of which was declared a mistrial due to the perjury of a witness—and exposes the twisted lives of youth living in a parallel universe where death is met with complacency.
Walter Stadnick is not an imposing man. At five-foot-four, his face and arms scarred by fire in a motorcycle accident, he would not spring to mind as a leader of Canada's most notorious biker gang, the Hells Angels. yet through sheer guts and determination, intelligence and luck, this Hamilton-born youth who had the nickname of "Nurget" rose in the Hells Angels ranks to become national president. Not only did he lead the Angels through the violent war with their rivals the rock machine in Montreal in the Nineties, Stadnick saw opportunity to grow the Hells Angels into a national criminal gang. he was a visionary--and a highly successful one. Bikers are not known for their fondness for rival gangs. Stadnick and the Angels fought and defeated rival gangs, or used power of persuasion to patch them over. As Stadnick's influence spread, law enforcement took notice of the growing presence of the Angels in Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia. However, Stadnick's success did not come without a price. Arrested and charged with 13 counts of first-degree murder, stadnick beat the murder charges but was convicted of gangsterism and is currently serving time. Fallen Angel details one man's improbable rise to power in one of the world's most violent organizations, while shedding light on how this enigmatic and dangerous biker gang operated and why it remains so powerful.
Set in the a rust-belt city called Springfield, USA, Biker traces the career trajectory of Ned "Crash" Aiken, a small-time high-school drug dealer who rises quickly through the ranks of a major biker gang. He sees the wisdom in migrating to the ranks of the Sons of Satan, a powerful OMG that is busy expanding their territory, either by patch-over or by killing the competition. Aiken proves himself a natural leader and in a few years is overseeing business involving millions of dollars and life-and-death decisions. Through Aiken's rise to power, the inner sanctum of the outlaw motorcycle gang is revealed. The power structure; the operations; strategic decisions made around rival gangs; dealing with the weak and traitorous; colluding with native Americans and Canadians to smuggle guns, drugs, prostitutes and contraband into Canada. As the reader discovers, the OMG is not the romantic free-wheeling beer-fest world as portrayed by bikers, but a scummy existence that draws social outcasts like moths to a flame. Biker is frank and realistic, conveying a brutal reality but one that continues to be sought after and idolized, and read about, because it is a world that continues to fascinate those on the outside looking in.
The inside story of the street war between Canada's most violent biker gangs-the Outlaws and the Hell's Angels Once bikers who road together, Mario Parente and Walter Stadnick, are now mortal enemies, chiefs, respectively, of the Outlaws and Hell's Angels, embroiled in a bloody turf war over control of the lucrative drug, prostitution, and vice markets in Ontario's Golden Horseshoe. Written with the cooperation of Mario Parente, Showdown describes the biker gang equivalent of the Godfather, the violent power shifts as Satan's Choice, a rival gang falls into disarray, and as Parente gears up to protect Southwest Ontario from Stadnick's vision of making the Hell's Angels the largest criminal biker gang in Canada. A gang's-eye look at the 2006 Shedden Massacre, where eight men were slaughtered An account that lets Mario Parente go on the record with his story of the biker wars With frightening and compelling detail, Showdown lets readers experience firsthand the personalities and day-to-day workings behind the brutal and deadly rivalries that mark one piece of Canada's criminal underworld.
Jerry Langton is a veteran journalist whose work has appeared in the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, Maclean’s, Daily News (New York) and many other publications. Set in the rust-belt city of Springfield, USA, Biker traces the career trajectory of Ned “Crash” Aiken, a small-time high-school drug dealer who rises quickly through the ranks of a major biker gang. Through the story of Aiken’s climb to power, the inner sanctum of the outlaw motorcycle gang is revealed. Biker is frank and realistic, conveying a brutal world that continues to be sought after and idolized. Outlaw Biker is the sequel to the bestselling Biker. Exploring the world of Russian and eastern European organized crime syndicates, Outlaw Biker shows how these groups have established an unshakeable grip on crime in North America through the use of fear tactics and overwhelming violence. First as a drug and weapons runner for the Russian mafia, and then as a respected and vital part of a Midwestern gang, Ned Aiken again becomes deeply involved in organized crime. Ned Aiken thought he had seen it all. After dropping out of school to run with one of the Midwest’s most powerful outlaw motorcycle gangs, he spent some time with the Russian mafia—just barely escaping from them alive. But as revealed in Dead Biker, none of that would prepared him for the incredible reach and brutality of the Mexican drug cartels.
From the bestselling author of The Hard Way Out and for fans of Sons of Anarchy comes a new book that reveals the cold, dark and dirty secrets of the biker underworld Hells Angels. Bandidos. Outlaws. Vagos. What would you do if a biker sat beside you in a bar? What about if a group of leather-and-denim-clad tough guys established a clubhouse in your neighbourhood? Television and movies glamourize bikers as freedom fighters, men who do things their own way, brothers in arms who party all the time and ride Harleys to escape everyday life, while news reports paint them as criminals, responsible for drug trafficking, brutal assaults and murder. That paradox, each side true in its own way, is what makes outlaw motorcycle gangs so very fascinating. What really goes on behind those heavily secured steel clubhouse doors? In The Secret Life of Bikers, bestselling crime author Jerry Langton tells the stories of the men who live the biker life as they have never been told before. Langton has interviewed many bikers over the past decade and shares their stories in these pages, often in their own words. He has also interviewed members of law enforcement to hear the biker story from the other side of the ledger. All told, this book offers highly unique and often bloody insights into the everyday workings of motorcycle clubs: the club hierarchy, the clubhouse, the parties, the initiation rituals, the brawls, the bodies and the brotherhood of blood.
Outlaw Biker is the sequel to the bestselling Biker by Jerry Langton. In Outlaw Biker, Langton explores the world of Russian and eastern European organized crime syndicates and how they have established an unshakeable grip on crime in North America through the use of overwhelming violence and fear tactics. Biker ended with protagonist Ned Aiken in a witness protection program, but tempted by the lure of easy money. In Outlaw Biker, he succumbs to it. First as a drug and weapon runner for the Russian Mafia, then as a respected and vital part of a Midwestern gang, Aiken again becomes deeply involved in organized crime. In it, he must avoid the dangers posed by law enforcement, the bikers he ratted on in the previous book as well as ambitious members of his own gang. Through his experiences, the reader is not only engrossed by the exciting storyline, but also informed of how these gangs work and the threat they represent. From its violent beginning to its shocking conclusion, Outlaw Biker is a thrilling and revealing look at a subject many are interested in, but few know much about. Langton is in contact with a number of members of law enforcement in North America and Eastern Europe who have dealt with these gangs. And he has even convinced three former members of Eastern European crime organizations - two Russian and one Ukrainian - to share their experiences with him. With the success of portrayals of Eastern European crime organizations in films like Eastern Promises, Ronin and The Dark Knight, television shows like The Sopranos, books such as McMafia and even video games like Grand Theft Auto, interest in these groups is spreading.
Jerry Langton is a veteran journalist whose work has appeared in the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, Maclean’s, Daily News (New York) and many other publications. Showdown tells the inside story of the street war between Canada’s most violent biker gangs—the Outlaws and the Hells Angels. Once bikers who rode together, Mario Parente and Walter Stadnick are now mortal enemies embroiled in a bloody turf war over the lucrative drug, prostitution and vice markets in Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe. Walter Stadnick is not an imposing man. At five-foot-four, his face and arms scarred by fire in a motorcycle accident, he would not spring to mind as leader of Canada’s most notorious biker gang, the Hells Angels. But not only did he lead the Angels through the violent war with their rivals, the Rock Machine, in Montreal in the nineties, Stadnick also saw an opportunity to grow the Hells Angels into a national criminal gang. Fallen Angel details one man’s improbable rise to power in one of the world’s most violent organizations, while shedding light on how this enigmatic and dangerous biker gang operated and why it remains so powerful. The members of Mexico’s drug cartels are among the criminal underworld’s most ambitious and ruthless entrepreneurs. Supplanting the once-dominant Colombian cartels, the Mexican drug cartels are now the primary distributors of heroin and cocaine into the U.S. and Canada. In Gangland, bestselling author Jerry Langton details their frightening stranglehold on the economy and daily life of Mexico today and what it portends for the future of Mexico and its neighbours.
Glamour, excitement, and money were thrust upon Miami in the late 1970s. Seemingly overnight, it transformed from a sleepy Southern town famous only for its retirees, to an exciting mix of wealth, style, and violence. It was the Cocaine Era, when mountains of cash, bricks of coke, and men with assault rifles changed everything. And it changed the people living there, as well. Kevin Pedersen and Alex DeCubas, a couple of local boys who met at a Little League game, became best friends and star high school wrestling teammates. They were even featured in Sports Illustrated. Alex, who was so big and powerful that he wasn't allowed to play football with the other kids, was on his way to bigger things, possibly the Olympics, when a series of tragedies derailed his dreams. Instead, he used his natural strength and ferocity to start robbing drug dealers and selling what he took. Before long, he caught the eyes of the Colombians and became the biggest home-grown cocaine dealer in the United States. Kevin, half Alex's size, became a wrestling champion through self-discipline, hard work, and drive. After graduating from West Point, he saw his family life deteriorate because of drugs. After divorcing his coke-addicted wife, he came close to suicide until his mind changed. He realized America's enemy wasn't Iran or Russia or any other country, it was drugs. He went to work for the DEA, and on his first day, Kevin found out that his old friend, Alex, was their primary target. And, years later, after the pair faced conflict, personal turmoil, and (for Alex) a long prison sentence, the pair reunited and teamed up to do what they perhaps always should have--coaching high school wrestling together. Full Circle is the remarkable true story of two best friends, their relationship torn apart by the "War on Drugs" as each was put into opposite sides of the conflict.
On the night of April 7, 2006, eight members of the motorcycle gang the Bandidos were killed execution style and left in a farmer's field near London, Ontario. The brutal slaying, the largest mass killing in Canada's history, was reported as the work of a rival motorcycle gang. The Shedden Massacre instantly made international headlines, as did the sensational murder trial that followed. In Bloody Justice, readers are taken to the very night of the crime itself, to the key players and perpetrators, to the events leading to the slayings—and inside a trial that let a killer go free. Reflecting the author's painstaking research, attendance at the trials, and jailhouse interviews with one of the convicted, Bloody Justice outlines a fascinating case that is very much at odds with the prosecution's.
Bestselling crime writers Peter Edwards and Antonio Nicaso reveal the final years of Canada's top mafia boss, Vito Rizzuto, and his bloody war to avenge his family and control the North American drug trade. Until Vito Rizzuto went to prison in 2006 for his role in a decades-old Brooklyn triple murder, he ruled the Port of Montreal, the northern gateway to the major American drug markets. A master diplomat, he won the respect of rival mafia clans, bikers and street gangs, and criminal business thrived on his turf. His family prospered and his empire grew--until one of North America's true Teflon dons finally lost his veneer. As he watched helplessly from his Colorado prison, the murders of his son and father made international headlines; the killings of his lieutenants and friends filled the pages of Canadian news; and the influence of the 'Ndrangheta, the Calabrian Mafia, spread across Montreal faster than the blood of Rizzuto's crime family. In 2012, Vito Rizzuto emerged from prison, a 66-year-old man who could carefully rebuild his criminal empire or seek bloody revenge and damn the consequences. From the events leading to his imprisonment to his shocking death in December 2013, Business or Blood is the final chapter of Vito's story. From the Hardcover edition.
Organized crime in Canada has long been dominated by the Hells Angels and their friends in the Rizzuto crime family. Over the years, they have brought many street gangs into their alliance, most notably the Indian Posse, many sets of the Crips, the Independent Soldiers and the Red Scorpions. The key to their allegiance is that the Hells Angels and the Rizzutos could always get the commodities—marijuana, cocaine, meth, Ecstasy, cash, steroids—that fed organized crime. But their strong-arm tactics have created an opposition including the Cotroni family, the Musitanos, the Outlaws, the Bandidos, the Rock Machine—all less familiar names to Canadians. And the opposition is now standing up to the stalwart Canadian kingpins. Canada’s crime families, bikers and youth gangs are waging a war for supremacy across the country, and innocent people often get in the way. In Cold War, bestselling author Jerry Langton explains the history of the rivalries, the current tensions and the build-up of anti–Hells Angels/Rizzuto family forces in Canada. In unprecedented detail, Langton outlines the risk and the fallout of Canada’s true-crime cold war.
From the early days as hired muscle for the Italian and Jewish mafias, tunneling into bank vaults in the ‘50s and ‘60s, to the legendary truck heists and bank stick-ups in the ‘70s, Montreal’s Irish mafia—otherwise known as the West End Gang—has managed to pull off some of the most daring and logistically complicated robberies and smuggling operations in Canadian history.
On the morning of June 30, 2009, police in Kingston, Ontario, made a ghastly discovery: four females dead in a car submerged in a shallow canal. Sisters Zainab Shafia, 19, Sahar Shafia, 17, Geeti Shafia, 13, along with Rona Mohammad Amir, 50, floated almost serenely inside the car, seemingly the victims of a terrible accident. That morning, Mohammad Shafia, his wife Tooba and their son, Hamed, arrived at the Kingston police station to report the four missing. In a sweeping covert investigation that spanned three continents, police uncovered layers of lies in the Shafias’ story and developed a horrifying theory: Zainab, Sahar, Geeti and Rona had been the victims of a meticulously plotted family murder—Canada’s first mass honour killing. In Without Honour, award-winning journalist Rob Tripp draws on three years of exhaustive research and exclusive interviews to make sense of a senseless crime in a way no other writer could. Tripp was the first journalist on the scene as the news broke and the only reporter to attend every day of court sessions, through to the convictions of Shafia, Tooba and Hamed on four counts each of first-degree murder. The Shafias are appealing. In this gripping and compassionate account, Tripp reveals the heartbreaking and stunning truth about these crimes fuelled by what Ontario Superior Court Judge Robert Maranger called a “twisted notion of honour,” and about the desperate lives of four women who died in the pursuit of freedom.
In 1998, William Queen was a veteran law enforcement agent with a lifelong love of motorcycles and a lack of patience with paperwork. When a “confidential informant” made contact with his boss at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, offering to take an agent inside the San Fernando chapter of the Mongols (the scourge of Southern California, and one of the most dangerous gangs in America), Queen jumped at the chance, not realizing that he was kicking-starting the most extensive undercover operation inside an outlaw motorcycle gang in the history of American law enforcement. Nor did Queen suspect that he would penetrate the gang so successfully that he would become a fully “patched-in” member, eventually rising through their ranks to the office of treasurer, where he had unprecedented access to evidence of their criminal activity. After Queen spent twenty-eight months as “Billy St. John,” the bearded, beer-swilling, Harley-riding gang-banger, the truth of his identity became blurry, even to himself. During his initial “prospecting” phase, Queen was at the mercy of crank-fueled criminal psychopaths who sought to have him test his mettle and prove his fealty by any means necessary, from selling (and doing) drugs, to arms trafficking, stealing motorcycles, driving getaway cars, and, in one shocking instance, stitching up the face of a Mongol “ol’ lady” after a particularly brutal beating at the hands of her boyfriend. Yet despite the constant criminality of the gang, for whom planning cop killings and gang rapes were business as usual, Queen also came to see the genuine camaraderie they shared. When his lengthy undercover work totally isolated Queen from family, his friends, and ATF colleagues, the Mongols felt like the only family he had left. “I had no doubt these guys genuinely loved Billy St. John and would have laid down their lives for him. But they wouldn’t hesitate to murder Billy Queen.” From Queen’s first sleight of hand with a line of methamphetamine in front of him and a knife at his throat, to the fearsome face-off with their decades-old enemy, the Hell’s Angels (a brawl that left three bikers dead), to the heartbreaking scene of a father ostracized at Parents’ Night because his deranged-outlaw appearance precluded any interaction with regular citizens, Under and Alone is a breathless, adrenaline-charged read that puts you on the street with some of the most dangerous men in America and with the law enforcement agents who risk everything to bring them in. From the Hardcover edition.
In 1974, two men vanished without a trace under suspicious circumstances, shocking the people of Iceland, where serious crime is almost nonexistent. More than a year later, there seemed to be a breakthrough when a small-time crook named Erla Bolladottir described a dream to police that they interpreted as a sign of trauma related to the men's disappearance. After lengthy interrogations, investigations, and courtroom dramas, Erla and five acquaintances confessed to killing both men and were given prison sentences ranging from three years to life. But over the years, the case against the convicted six began to disintegrate, and one major question remained unanswered: Why had they all confessed to murder if they hadn't done it?
After forty years in the Hells Angels, George Christie was ready to retire. As president of the high-profile Ventura charter of the club, he had been the yin to Sonny Barger’s yang. Barger was the reckless figurehead and de facto world leader of the Hells Angels. Christie was the negotiator, the spokesman, the thinker, the guy who smoothed things out. He was the one who carried the Olympic torch and counted movie stars, artists, rock musicians, and police chief captains among his friends. But leaving the Hells Angels isn’t easy, and within two weeks of retirement, he was told he was “out bad”---blackballed by his fellow Angels, prohibited from wearing the club patch, and even told he should remove his Death Head tattoo. Now Christie sets out to tell his story. Exile on Front Street is the tale of how a former Marine gave up a comfortable job with the Department of Defense and swore allegiance to the Hells Angels. In this revealing, hard-hitting memoir, he recounts his life as an outlaw biker with the world’s most infamous motorcycle club.
The extraordinary story of the 20th century, as told from the furthest fringes of science, art and culture. For readers of Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything. Before 1900, history was an account of great discoveries that actually made sense. People understand innovations like the steam engine, agriculture, or electricity. The twentieth century, by contrast, gave us quantum entanglement, cubism, relativity, psychedelics, postmodernism, chaos maths, and the Somme. This is the story of that confusing century as told through the ideas produced at the furthest fringes of our sciences, arts, and culture. Its cast includes well-known geniuses such as Albert Einstein, Francis Crick, and Pablo Picasso, lesser known geniuses like Edward Lorenz, Sergey Korolyov, or Shigeru Miyamoto, and infamous but influential ne'er-do-wells like Timothy Leary, Aleister Crowley and Keith Richards. In this company we take a tour through ideas as strange as general relativity, DNA, the subconscious, Gaia theory, and Dada. In this brilliantly written and original book, John Higgs explores, with great clarity and wit, the extremes of twentieth century thought, and in doing so shows how a world of empires became a world of individuals. You will never see the twentieth century in the same way again. From the Hardcover edition.
Book description to come.
Juan Martinez, the fiery prosecutor who convicted notorious murderess Jodi Arias for the disturbing killing of Travis Alexander, speaks for the first time about the shocking investigation and sensational trial that captivated the nation. Through two trials, America watched with baited breath as Juan Martinez fought relentlessly to convict Jodi Arias of Murder One for viciously stabbing her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander to death. What emerged was a story wrought with sex, manipulation, and deceit that stunned the public at every turn. Arias, always playing the wronged and innocent woman, changed her story continually as her bizarre behavior surrounding the crime and its aftermath came to light. Unwavering, Arias and her defense team continued to play off the salacious details of the case, until she was finally found guilty and—controversially—sentenced to life behind bars. Now, speaking openly for the first time, prosecutor Juan Martinez will unearth new details from the investigation that were never revealed at trial, exploring key facts from the case and the pieces of evidence he chose to keep close to the vest. Throughout the trials, his bullish and unfaltering prosecution strategy was both commended and criticized, and in his book, Martinez will illuminate the unique tactics he utilized in this case and how they lead to a successful conviction, and-for the first time-discuss how he felt losing the death penalty sentence he’d pursued for years. Going beyond the news reports, Martinez will explore the truth behind the multiple facades of Jodi Arias. Sparring with her from across the stand, Martinez came to know Arias like no one else could, dissecting what it took for a seemingly normal girl to become a deluded, cunning, and unrepentant murderer. With new stories from behind the scenes of the trial and Martinez’s own take on his defendant, the book takes you inside the mind of Jodi Arias like never before. Complete with 16 pages of photos from the case and trial, this book is the definitive account of the case that shocked America.
A legend in the biker community, Peter “Big Pete” James was the most revered gangster in the Outlaw Nation. He first perfected his skills with the Hells Angels, the Outlaws’ chief rival, before persuading thousands of disgruntled members from splintered Outlaws chapters to unite. Together, they formed a powerful criminal syndicate involved in extortion, contract murders, drugs and arms trafficking, money laundering and assassinations. Then a shocking medical diagnosis knocked James sideways, forcing him to face a new life on the outside of the organization he built, dodging snitches, federal law enforcement, and contract hits. In The Last Chicago Boss, James provides a startling and unprecedented expose into the inner workings of the Outlaw Nation from the unique perspective of its renowned leader, all brought to life through never-before-revealed interviews, police files, wiretaps, recordings, and trial transcripts.
A rich and fascinating history of Canada’s first celebrity mobster, Rocco Perri --King of the Bootleggers--and the man who pursued him, “Operative No. 1,” Canada’s first undercover Mountie, for readers of Erik Larson, Dean Jobb and Charlotte Gray At the cusp of the twentieth century, two Italian men, among many others, arrived in Canada during waves of immigration. One, Rocco Perri, from southern Italy, rose from the life of a petty criminal on the streets of Toronto to run the most prominent bootlegging operation of the Prohibition Era in central Canada, taking over Hamilton and leading one of the region’s most influential crime families. Perri was feared by his enemies and loved by the press, who featured him regularly in splashy front-page headlines in the Toronto Star. So great was his celebrity, following the murder of his first wife and business partner, Bessie Starkman, a crowd of 30,000 thronged in the streets of Hamilton to watch her funeral. Perri’s businesses—which included alcohol, drugs, gambling and prostitution—kept him under constant police surveillance. He caught the interest of one man in particular, the other arrival from Italy, Frank Zaneth. Zaneth, from the Italian north, joined the RCMP and became its first undercover operative. His work took him across the country, but he was dogged in his pursuit of Rocco Perri and worked for his arrest until the day Perri was last seen, in 1944, when he disappeared without a trace. The Whisky King is the story of the fascinating rise to power of a notorious 1920s Canadian crime figure twinned with the life of the man who pursued him.
The spiritual godfather of Canadian bikers tells the story of his fascinating life. You could call Bernie Guindon the Sonny Barger of Canadian bikers (but not to his face). The founder of Satan's Choice, Guindon led what was in the 1960s the second-largest biker club in the world (after the Hells Angels, which Bernie would join briefly in the early 2000s) to national prominence and international infamy. His life wasn't all bikes and crime. He was also a medalist in boxing for Canada at the Pan Am Games. That tension between the very rough life he was born into and the possibility for success in the straight world (and how aspirations in each fed his success in the other) layer Guindon's story, one of the great untold stories in biker history. Friends from the biker world and Guindon's family have given extensive interviews for Hard Road, including his son, Harley, a convict and outlaw biker himself. From the Hardcover edition.
What happens if, after being given up for adoption in childhood, you reestablish contact with your biological family -- only to discover that your newfound brother is a killer? Anne Bird, the sister of Scott Peterson, knows firsthand. Soon after her birth in 1965, Anne was given up for adoption by her mother, Jackie Latham. Welcomed into the well-adjusted Grady family, she lived a happy life. Then, in the late 1990s, she came back into contact with her mother, now Jackie Peterson, and her family -- including Jackie's son Scott Peterson and his wife, Laci. Anne was welcomed into the family, and over the next several years she grew close to Scott and especially Laci. Together they shared holidays, family reunions, and even a trip to Disneyland. Anne and Laci became pregnant at roughly the same time, and the two became confidantes. Then, on Christmas Eve 2002, Laci Peterson went missing -- and the happy façade of the Peterson family slowly began to crumble. Anne rushed to the family's aid, helping in the search for Laci, even allowing Scott to stay in her home while police tried to find his wife. Yet Scott's behavior grew increasingly bizarre during the search, and Anne grew suspicious that her brother knew more than he was telling. Finally she began keeping a list of his disturbing behavior. And by the time Laci's body -- and that of her unborn son, Conner -- were found, Anne was becoming convinced: Her brother Scott Peterson had murdered his wife and unborn child in cold blood. Filled with news-making revelations and intimate glimpses of Scott and Laci, the Peterson family, and the investigation that followed the murder, Blood Brother is a provocative account of how long-dormant family ties dragged one woman into one of the most notorious crimes of our time.
From renowned Newbery-winning author Jerry Spinelli comes a powerful story about how not fitting in just might lead to an incredible life. This classic book is perfect for fans of Gordon Korman and Carl Hiaasen. Just like other kids, Zinkoff rides his bike, hopes for snow days, and wants to be like his dad when he grows up. But Zinkoff also raises his hand with all the wrong answers, trips over his own feet, and falls down with laughter over a word like "Jabip." Other kids have their own word to describe him, but Zinkoff is too busy to hear it. He doesn't know he's not like everyone else. And one winter night, Zinkoff's differences show that any name can someday become "hero." With some of his finest writing to date and great wit and humor, Jerry Spinelli creates a story about a boy's individuality surpassing the need to fit in and the genuine importance of failure. As readers follow Zinkoff from first through sixth grade, it becomes impossible not to identify with and root for him through failures and triumphs. The perfect classroom read.
A seasoned investigative reporter takes us behind the scenes of one of the most shocking cases in California history when a greedy and seductive wife brutally murders her devoted husband. Tavia Williams thought her new stepmother was sweet and charming. Tavia, just a few years younger than 36–year–old Elisa McNabney, was very happy for her father, 53–year–old Larry McNabney. Larry was a horse enthusiast, successful attorney, a pillar of the community, and was loved and admired by everyone he knew. For six years of marriage, Larry and Elisa spent their spare time on the country club and horse racing circuit. It was a perfect life, but it went perfectly wrong. On September 10, 2001, Larry attended a horse show. No one has seen him alive since. Months after his disappearance, police finally put out a missing persons report. They soon found out that Elisa McNabney was not the person she had claimed to be. A fugitive on the run, Elisa was a con woman who had enlisted the help of a girlfriend to slowly poison her loving husband with horse tranquilizers, in the name of pure greed. Larry was found buried in a vineyard, after Elisa kept his corpse in her deep freezer for months. The only thing more appalling than the horrific murder was the shocking manhunt that followed and the end to this tragic story of deception, murder, and deadly seduction. o Perfect for true crime readers. o The details of this true crime are horrifically fascinating and unique. It is also less common for a female to be the main perpetrator in a brutal murder. This case has all of the elements of a fascinating true crime story: a pathological wife and murderer, her suspected lesbian relationship, drugs, physical abuse, greed, ex–cons, secrets, and much more.
On the morning of April 8, 2006, residents of the hamlet of Shedden, Ontario, woke up to the news that the bloodied bodies of eight bikers from the Bandidos gang had been found dead on a local farm. The massacre made headlines around the world, and the shocking news brought a grim light to an otherwise quiet corner of the province. Six Bandidos would eventually be convicted of the first-degree murder of their biker brothers. Like other outlaw bikers, Bandidos portray themselves as motorcycle aficionados who are systematically misunderstood and abused by police, as well as feared by the public. We now know the Bandidos were anything but simple motorcycle enthusiasts. However, unlike such biker gangs as the Hells Angels, who run sophisticated criminal empires, the Bandidos were highly disorganized and prone to petty infighting, and even engaged in sabotaging fellow members. This is the story of how the Bandidos self-destructed over one dark night. As gripping as any crime novel, The Bandido Massacre takes us inside a crumbling brotherhood bent on self-obliteration and betrayal.
In this searing memoir of survival in the spirit of Stolen Innocence, the daughter of Warren Jeffs, the self-proclaimed Prophet of the FLDS Church, takes you deep inside the secretive polygamist Mormon fundamentalist cult run by her family and how she escaped it. Born into the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Rachel Jeffs was raised in a strict patriarchal culture defined by subordinate sister wives and men they must obey. No one in this radical splinter sect of the Mormon Church was more powerful or terrifying than its leader Warren Jeffs—Rachel’s father. Living outside mainstream Mormonism and federal law, Jeffs arranged marriages between under-age girls and middle-aged and elderly members of his congregation. In 2006, he gained international notoriety when the FBI placed him on its Ten Most Wanted List. Though he is serving a life sentence for child sexual assault, Jeffs’ iron grip on the church remains firm, and his edicts to his followers increasingly restrictive and bizarre. In Breaking Free, Rachel blows the lid off this taciturn community made famous by Jon Krakauer’s bestselling Under the Banner of Heaven to offer a harrowing look at her life with Warren Jeffs, and the years of physical and emotional abuse she suffered. Sexually assaulted, compelled into an arranged polygamous marriage, locked away in "houses of hiding" as punishment for perceived transgressions, and physically separated from her children, Rachel, Jeffs’ first plural daughter by his second of more than fifty wives, eventually found the courage to leave the church in 2015. But Breaking Free is not only her story—Rachel’s experiences illuminate those of her family and the countless others who remain trapped in the strange world she left behind. A shocking and mesmerizing memoir of faith, abuse, courage, and freedom, Breaking Free is an expose of religious extremism and a beacon of hope for anyone trying to overcome personal obstacles.
The New York Times bestselling author of The Westies and Paddy Whacked offers a front-row seat at the trial of Whitey Bulger, and an intimate view of the world of organized crime—and law enforcement—that made him the defining Irish American gangster. For sixteen years, Whitey Bulger eluded the long reach of the law. For decades one of the most dangerous men in America, Bulger—the brother of influential Massachusetts senator Billy Bulger—was often romanticized as a Robin Hood-like thief and protector. While he was functioning as the de facto mob boss of New England, Bulger was also serving as a Top Echelon informant for the FBI, covertly feeding local prosecutors information about other mob figures—while using their cover to cleverly eliminate his rivals, reinforce his own power, and protect himself from prosecution. Then, in 2011, he was arrested in southern California and returned to Boston, where he was tried and convicted of racketeering and murder. Our greatest chronicler of the Irish mob in America, T. J. English covered the trial at close range—by day in the courtroom, but also, on nights and weekends, interviewing Bulger’s associates as well as lawyers, former federal agents, and even members of the jury in the backyards and barrooms of Whitey’s world. In Where the Bodies Were Buried, he offers a startlingly revisionist account of Bulger’s story—and of the decades-long culture of collusion between the Feds and the Irish and Italian mob factions that have ruled New England since the 1970s, when a fateful deal left the FBI fatally compromised. English offers an authoritative look at Bulger’s own understanding of his relationship with the FBI and his alleged immunity deal, and illuminates how gangsterism, politics, and law enforcement have continued to be intertwined in Boston. As complex, harrowing, and human as a Scorsese film, Where the Bodies Were Buried is the last word on a reign of terror that many feared would never end.
Spontaneous combustion and exhumation, drug mules and devil worshippers, a gruesome killing beneath the Palmerston North Airport control tower, a mysterious death in a historic homestead, a first-hand dissection of the infamous Mark Lundy case ... In The Cause of Death, provincial pathologist Dr Cynric Temple-Camp lifts the lid on the most unusual stories of death and murder he's encountered during his 30-year career.
New York Times Bestseller Edgar Award winner for Best Fact Crime The Day of the Locust meets The Devil in the White City and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil in this juicy, untold Hollywood story: an addictive true tale of ambition, scandal, intrigue, murder, and the creation of the modern film industry. By 1920, the movies had suddenly become America’s new favorite pastime, and one of the nation’s largest industries. Never before had a medium possessed such power to influence. Yet Hollywood’s glittering ascendency was threatened by a string of headline-grabbing tragedies—including the murder of William Desmond Taylor, the popular president of the Motion Picture Directors Association, a legendary crime that has remained unsolved until now. In a fiendishly involving narrative, bestselling Hollywood chronicler William J. Mann draws on a rich host of sources, including recently released FBI files, to unpack the story of the enigmatic Taylor and the diverse cast that surrounded him—including three beautiful, ambitious actresses; a grasping stage mother; a devoted valet; and a gang of two-bit thugs, any of whom might have fired the fatal bullet. And overseeing this entire landscape of intrigue was Adolph Zukor, the brilliant and ruthless founder of Paramount, locked in a struggle for control of the industry and desperate to conceal the truth about the crime. Along the way, Mann brings to life Los Angeles in the Roaring Twenties: a sparkling yet schizophrenic town filled with party girls, drug dealers, religious zealots, newly-minted legends and starlets already past their prime—a dangerous place where the powerful could still run afoul of the desperate. A true story recreated with the suspense of a novel, Tinseltown is the work of a storyteller at the peak of his powers—and the solution to a crime that has stumped detectives and historians for nearly a century.
Bestselling true crime author Edward Butts presents a rogues’ gallery of desperadoes whose crimes range from robbery to murder. English bank robbers on the run turn up in Newfoundland. A legendary Nova Scotia detective matches wits with smugglers. In the West the Mounties track down bandits and rustlers. Vancouver police officers hunt down the bank-robbing Hyslop Gang in the 1930s. A decade later the Polka Dot Gang rampages across Southern Ontario. The Newton Brothers’ Gang, outlaws from Texas, engage in a gunfight with bank guards on the streets of Toronto, and a former Canadian Pacific Railway engineer masterminds a sensational kidnapping in Colorado. No matter where the atrocities were committed and no matter what the circumstances, these individuals all had one thing in common: they lived on the wrong side of the law.
"It's over. You'd have to be Ray Charles not to see it." —former New Jersey capo Ron Previte, on the mob today As a cop, Ron Previte was corrupt. As a mobster he was brutal. And in his final role, as a confidential informant to the FBI, Previte was deadly. The Last Gangster is his story—the story of the last days of the Philadelphia Mob, and of the clash of generations that brought it down once and for all. For 35 years Ron Previte roamed the underworld. A six–foot, 300–pound capo in the Philadelphia–South Jersey crime family, he ran every mob scam and gambit from drug trafficking and prostitution to the extortion of millions from Atlantic City. In his own words, "Every day was a different felony." By the 1990s, Previte, an old–school workhorse, found himself answering to younger mob bosses like "Skinny Joe" Merlino, who seemed increasingly spoiled, cocky, and careless. Convinced that the honor of the "business" was gone, he became the FBI's secret weapon in an intense and highly personalized war on the Philadelphia mob. Operating with the same guile, wit, and stone–cold bravado that had made him a force in the underworld—and armed with only a wiretap secured to his crotch—Previte recorded it all; the murder, the mayhem, and even the story of mob boss Ralph Natale's affair with his youngest daughter's best friend. Previte and his FBI cronies eventually prevailed, securing the convictions of his nemeses, "Skinny Joey" Merlino and Ralph Natale.
THE BLACK HAND is the true story of Rene Enriquez, aka "Boxer," and his rise in a secret criminal organization, a new Mafia, that already has a grip on all organized crime in California and soon all of the United States. This Mafia is using a base army of an estimated 60,000 heavily armed, loyal Latino gang members, called Surenos, driven by fear and illicit profits. They are the most dangerous gang in American history and they wave the flag of the Black Hand. Mafioso Enriquez gives an insider′s view of how he devoted his life to the cause--the Mexican Mafia, La Familia Mexicana, also known as La Eme--only to find betrayal and disillusionment at the end of a bloody trail of violence that he followed for two decades. And now, award-winning investigative journalist Chris Blatchford, with the unprecedented cooperation of Rene Enriquez, reveals the inner workings, secret meetings, and elaborate murder plots that make up the daily routine of the Mafia brothers. It is an intense, never-before-told story of a man who devoted his life to a bloody cause only to find betrayal and disillusionment. Based on years of research and investigation, Chris Blatchford has delivered a historic narrative of a nefarious organization that will go down as a classic in mob literature.
The definitive book about the explosive Rizzuto crime family On May 5, 1981, three rebellious members of New York’s Bonanno crime family were gunned down in a Brooklyn social club. One of the gunmen was Vito Rizzuto, a man who would rise to the top of the underworld in Canada and then expand his reign across continents to become a global superboss. The Sixth Family, now revised and updated, reveals the hidden history of the rise of the Rizzuto clan, the alliances it forged around the world and the bloody events that led to charges against Vito Rizzuto in the United States and Italy for racketeering and corruption. As police in the United States, Italy and Canada meticulously pieced together the puzzle that is Vito Rizzuto, established notions about the nature of authority within the Mafia were called into question. Who was this so-called “John Gotti of Canada”? How did he become one of the biggest names in global crime? And how did he survive the deadly assault from gangland rivals that almost destroyed his family?
A gritty and compelling account of an elite police group, the Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad (MEOCS). Middle Eastern organised crime in Australia is a dark, dirty and dangerous world of drug empires, murders and turf wars. Crime families dominate the suburbs and the streets are a labyrinth of dealers. Responsible for cleaning up this mess is the Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad (MEOCS), a specialist unit of cops fighting an uphill battle against a deeply entrenched problem. The officers of the MEOCS are both fearsome and intimidating. They have to be, to deal with the rising violence, brutal mayhem and sheer brazen scope of the crime that they see every day. Written by an award-winning crime reporter, The Squad trails a core group of MEOCS detectives on their journey into the Sydney's Middle Eastern organised crime fraternity and takes readers inside the inner-workings of their biggest investigations - the wired-up informants, the undercover agents, the ingenious tactics and electrifying near-misses. Gritty, compelling and unputdownable.
“One of the most spectacular cases of police corruption in the city.” —New York Times Friends of the Family is a look deep inside the most notorious case to rock the NYPD: The story of Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa, the two police detectives who moonlighted as mob hit men. As told by Tommy Dades and Michael Vecchione—the cop and District Attorney investigator who solved New York’s coldest case—along with co-writer David Fisher, Friends of the Family is shocking true crime in the tradition of Nicolas Pileggi’s Wiseguys and Underboss by Peter Mass—a chilling, in-depth examination of what the New York Daily News calls “the worst betrayal of the badge in the NYPD’s history.”