The Black Hand: The Bloody Rise and Redemption of "Boxer" Enriquez, a Mexican Mob Killer [NOOK Book]

Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Don't look now, but there's a new mob in town. Actually, La Familia Mexicana (a.k.a. La Eme, the Mexican Mafia) has been around since the '50s, organized first as a prison gang, then expanding into a full-scale criminal enterprise numbering approximately 60,000 Latino gang members. In The Black Hand, former La Eme hitman "Boxer" Enriquez reveals the story of this dangerous, highly secretive group, arguably the most dangerous gang in American history.
Publishers Weekly

There is much to praise in this authorized biography of Rene "Boxer" Enriquez, penned by Peabody Award-winning journalist Blatchford (Three Dog Nightmare). While this is a superb cautionary tale about the dangers of youth falling into senseless gang violence, it also rates as a probing, redemptive story of Enriquez, a vicious, heroin-addicted killer for Los Angeles's largest criminal street gang, with 20,000 members involved in extortion, drug-dealing, vice and murder. Blatchford explores with grim accuracy Enriquez's criminal past, prison killings, turf wars and contract eliminations around the West Coast. But the book also reveals Enriquez and his crew's total commitment to hoodlum honor, the cost in lives and status, and the betrayals and intrigues both behind bars and out in society. This is a savvy account of Enriquez's arduous self-education and personal transformation from cold killer to a man who, in his own words, educates law enforcement and the public about a "prison and criminal subculture that should scare the hell out of them." (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Los Angeles Times
“Blatchford is well-suited to tell this story . . . he captures the nuances and nihilism of the prison world . . . The narrative is interspersed with fascinating prison arcana.”
Dominick Dunne
“A gripping, powerful, chilling inside look at a criminal organization that is changing the organized crime landscape. This is a mob classic.”
Joseph Wambaugh
“A fascinating, vivid and unforgettable insider’s look at the bloody, secret and deadly Mexican Mafia. Chris Blatchford’s compulsively readable wake-up call spares no one and names everyone, including the politicians who aid and abet this dangerous criminal organization, through corruption, maddening naiveté, or political correctness.”
Vincent Bugliosi
“A courageous and well-written exposé on one of the most ruthless and powerful gangs of all, the Mexican Mafia. Chris Blatchford reaffirms his position as being among Americans greatest investigative reporters.”
William "Billy" Queen
“Chris Blatchford has hit a grand slam. The Black Hand is an important page turning book that will take you into a frightening dark world that shouldn’t exist… but it does. It’s riveting, and when you finish the book, you’ll get up and lock your doors. Highly recommended.”
Joe Pistone
“A fascinating look at the world of the Mexican Mafia, more ruthless than the LCN. A must read for law enforcement and a tribute to the courage of ‘dropout’ Rene ‘Boxer’ Enriquez.”
From the Publisher
"A gripping, powerful, chilling inside look at a criminal organization that is changing the organized crime landscape. This is a mob classic." —-Dominick Dunne
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061982262
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/6/2009
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 59,004
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Chris Blatchford is an investigative reporter and author of the Los Angeles Times bestseller Three Dog Nightmare. He has won numerous commendations and awards for his reports, including nine Emmy Awards and a Peabody for his investigation into Italian Mafia infiltration of MCA/Universal's music and home video divisions. He lives in Los Angeles.

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Read an Excerpt


The Black Hand

The Bloody Rise and Redemption of "Boxer" Enriquez, a Mexican Mob Killer


By Chris Blatchford
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
Copyright © 2008

Chris Blatchford
All right reserved.



ISBN: 9780061257292


Chapter One

Blood In, Blood Out

He had a lot of blood on his hands—from the streets and from behind bars.

Now he sat in Los Angeles Superior Court waiting for Judge Florence-Marie Cooper to set a trial date. He faced two first-degree murder charges and two attempted-murder charges. If convicted, the death penalty was a definite possibility—at the very least life in prison—and he didn't seem to care.

In fact, as a nearby television news camera videotaped the proceedings, twenty-nine-year-old Rene Enriquez, better known on the gang-infested streets of southern California as "Boxer," calmly turned toward the camera lens, softly mouthed the word "lies," and broke into shoulder-shaking laughter.

He was strikingly handsome with a personality that demanded attention, a certain presence that commanded respect. Thick, jet-black hair combed back. A full mustache turned down at the edges. A sharp, pointed nose and high cheekbones betraying his Mexican-Aztec roots. His wire-rim glasses surrounded friendly eyes that instantly could turn cold and threatening. He was five-foot-eight but carried himself like a man a half-foot taller, trim and athletic. He actually looked good in short-sleeved jailhouse blues. If not forthe tattoos that marked both sides of his neck, dotted his hands, and sleeved his forearms, he could easily have put on an expensive suit and passed for one of the slick courthouse lawyers who make a living representing guys just like him—gangsters.

While on parole a year and a half earlier, he had ordered the death of a young woman for stealing drugs from him, and several days later he put five .357 Magnum bullets into the head of an errant mobster who had shown cowardice. Then, while awaiting trial, he did two other bloody hits inside the Los Angeles County Jail—stabbing the rival mobsters so many times that it was only a stroke of fate that kept them from making an early trip to their graves. In truth, authorities believe he had participated in at least ten murders and had personal knowledge of seven times that many.

Boxer Enriquez was a full-fledged member of the ruthless Mexican Mafia, also known as La Eme, a regular modern-day Murder Incorporated. And he was proud of it. "Eme" (pronounced EH-meh) is the Spanish phonetic pronunciation of the letter "M"—for Mafia. He has eme tattooed on his left hand. The word emero, also for "M," appears on his left bicep. A butterfly, or Mariposa, also signifying the letter "M," is on his neck. An actual life-size black hand is tattooed over his heart with a small "eMe" emblazoned in the middle of the palm—the e on each side lightened in color to give prominence to the letter M. La Eme has a saying that, "when the hand touches you, you go to work." That means murder, maiming, mayhem, extortion, drug dealing, robbing, burglarizing, kidnapping, or anything else the Mexican Mafia brothers want done. And Boxer had done them all.

He moved his chair back and forth on its hind legs and stared at Judge Cooper as she set his murder trial date for January 1, 1993. This was no sweat. He stood up straight, already handcuffed and waist-and-leg-chained, and was escorted out of the courtroom under heavy guard. That was the way he would go anywhere outside his cell for the rest of his life. There was the sound of chains clanging as he walked, and he turned and nonchalantly waved as he neared the prisoners' exit door at the side of the courtroom. There would be no bail. Again, he didn't seem to mind. Already Boxer had spent about one-third of his young life locked up. He was reasonably comfortable in prison. Besides, he was a feared killer—even in a world of killers, he knew he would never hesitate. Others would. He was a killer's killer and proud of it—a warrior.

He also knew that the Mexican Mafia controlled not only County Jail but the largest inmate population in the world and all the prison rackets, including drugs, extortion, and gambling. The California Department of Corrections had 160,000 inmates, and La Eme used murder and fear to keep them in line. Yeah, he would be just fine.

By his own admission, it was a "twisted" existence, but he was smart and confident. He knew he not only looked like a gangster, he was one. And after all, it was a life he had bargained for, and there was only one acceptable way out. He'd taken an oath with his Eme brothers—"blood in, blood out." In other words, the only way out of the Mafia was in a pine box.

That was the cardinal rule in this deadly game he played, and he felt he was a player at the top of his game.

And besides, the Mexican Mafia had a Spanish word to describe the position of its members: rifamos. Translation: "we rule, we control, we reign." The line that divided life in prison and life in the outside world seemed blurred.

Boxer's criminal career was indicative of the lifestyle of the Mexican Mafia, which did outrageous crimes with impunity, not caring if the brothers got caught or went to prison. They adapted, becoming creatures of the penal system and the cruel streets of the underworld. They had no regard for human life, and still don't.

Rene Enriquez, aka "Boxer," enjoyed being one of them. And to more completely understand what Boxer had become, it's important to first know the bloody history of the organization that spawned and shaped him.



Continues...


Excerpted from The Black Hand by Chris Blatchford Copyright © 2008 by Chris Blatchford. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

1 Blood In, Blood Out 1

2 Mexican Mafia History 4

3 Boxer Beginnings 12

4 Drugs, Dealing, Robbing, and Rebellion 18

5 Boxer Graduates to College (Prison) 29

6 The Wrecking Crew 36

7 Boxer and the Black Hand 39

8 Mafia Politics: Like Swimming with Sharks in a Bloody Pool 45

9 Back Outside: The Brutality of the Streets 53

10 Preserving Hoodlum Honor 59

11 Boxer Meets Steely-Eyed Chuco 65

12 Hit the Streets Like a Wild Man 70

13 Shifting Loyalties and Sweet Revenge 75

14 A Reign of Terror 82

15 Learning a Sweet Lucrative Scam 95

16 Hungry Piranhas in a Tank 100

17 Die Like a Man, You Punk 105

18 Mafia Gratitude Goes Only So Far 112

19 La Eme Goes to Hollywood 114

20 Drive-bys, Drugs, and the Pepsi Generation Mafia 121

21 Dealing with Pure Evil 127

22 The Eme Plot to Kill the Governor of California 135

23 Operation Pelican Drop 140

24 Calling the Shots From Prison 149

25 Baby Killers 161

26 Dead Men Don't Pay 180

27 Chuco Rolls on La Eme 185

28 A Rat or Just Smart? 195

29 A Mini-Mob Convention 201

30 Boxer, Bat, and the Tijuana Drug Cartel 207

31 It Was Just Business 217

32 Race Riot Madness 225

33 Phony Peace Talks 230

34 Growing Mob-Weary 240

35 Man Is Made or Unmade by Himself 246

36 Missing Life 249

37 Dropping Out of the Mob 256

38 A WonderFul Break 267

39 You Can't Play by the Rules 274

40 La Eme Spreading Like a Cancer 283

41 Trying to Be More 289

Afterword 295

Glossary 305

Bibliography 309

Acknowledgments 315

Index 317

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 60 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(38)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 61 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 31, 2009

    Response to Rene "Boxer" Enriquez

    I've beeb trying to locate this book at the book stores, but every time that I ask for it, they don't have one at hand. But I personally know Rene and have known him for quite some time now. I'm sure this book will scare alot of you, and it should. My husband was also a member of this organization, except for He didn't have the opportunity to walk away from them. He's been gone for 13 years this coming April 28th. I'm glad that Rene got out from this family. I also want everyone to know that alot of these guys involved with the "M" do have hearts and do care for others, they're not all killers without feeling. I know, because if it wasn't for Rene and a couple other of my homeboys that still belong to the "M", I wouldn't be here today, if it wasn't for their love and protection over me. Like everything in life. Belonging to the "M" has it's pro's and con's. But when all is said and done, we are all humans and we all make mistakes. Just try to be one of the one's that don't make this type of mistake, because this type of mistake can devistate your whole family and turn their world upside down in a wink of and eye. I know this for a fact. I still love you Rene and pray for you every day. Your status and where you are at will never change the way I feel for you and everything you did for me. May God Bless You. Always Rose Gonzalez

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2013

    This book, The Black Hand, was written by Chris Blatchford and

    This book, The Black Hand, was written by Chris Blatchford and published by HarperCollins in 2008. The Black Hand is about the ruthless Mexican Mafia (La Eme) dropout, Rene “Boxer” Enriquez, and his life, full of drugs, murder, crime, and fear. It touches upon how poor decisions as a teen can lead to a life of poor decisions, like what happened to Boxer himself, and on how La Eme shaped his whole life.
    The whole book is centered on Boxer, his experiences, and also the experiences of the entire Mafia. It was all about the information that Boxer released after defecting from La Eme on March 22, 2002. The book started in Cerritos, California in 1973, when Rene was just 10 years old. He was like any other kid, until his older brother, Marc, joined a local gang, Arta. Then Bobby “Apache” Guerrero and Sparky forced Rene into the gang at age 12. Rene received his placa (moniker), “Boxer”, thus starting the chaos that would soon sprout inside Boxer. After that, at only age 13, Boxer started drinking alcohol, and soon after got addicted to marijuana. This new substance abuse helped to shape Boxer’s crime life.
    At age 14, Boxer stole guns and an Oldsmobile from a neighbor with fellow gang member Johnny Mancillas and did a drive-by at a rival gang member’s house. He was arrested, made a ward of the state, and was sent to Boys Republic in Chino Hills. This was his first time being arrested, and it would be the start of many more times behind bars. His next run-in with the law was on February 17, 1981, when Boxer and Johnny were caught and arrested by off-duty officer Howard Dallies while robbing a supermarket. They were put in state prison for nine years and eight months. This is where the Mexican Mafia noticed Boxer and had him prove himself by doing “hits” for them. Eventually, in the spring of 1985, he was inducted into La Eme. This was the start of Rene’s horrible deeds. He did many hits for La Eme and was put in Pelican Bay State Prison, the end of the line for criminals. Mafia life and its politics ruled Boxer’s life, causing much pain to those around him. That is until he had had enough.
    What caused the end was Boxer beginning to get fed up with the mafia politics. He was tired of the constant killing and fear that came with being a carnal. Then, in the November of 1996, Chuco Castro, a big Mafioso in La Eme, was arrested and became a government informant. Chuco brought the feds on track to arrest many members of La Eme on murder charges, but always kept Boxer safe from getting caught for murder. Boxer took Castro’s dropout as a learning experience and began to think of life outside of the mafia. After years of the tiring mafia politics and murdering, Rene had finally had enough. When Rene dropped out of La Eme on March 22, 2002, he was moved to Protective Custody. The officers’ attitude toward him had completely changed, and some people directly helped him on. Boxer was no more. Rene Enriquez had a new life.
    I loved this book so much; the only bad part were the details of all the murders. The main reason for my interest is because of how interesting it was. It wasn’t like any biography I have read. It told Rene’s story and gave insight on the horrible history of the Mexican Mafia. The book was very gruesome. It did not bother me, but it was enough to cause some uneasiness in me over how people could do such terrible things. I thought that Chris Blatchford did a great job recounting and relaying Rene’s story and feelings. Blatchford’s obvious interest in the subject made the book, as he made sure to find all of the facts through extensive research. He, seemingly, recounted the gruesome facts accurately. Blatchford used exact numbers for his recounts of murders, other crimes, and even the exact dates of every major event. Chris Blatchford definitely did not do the bare minimum in this book, which I thought was one of his biggest successes on this biography. I also loved how he quoted the exact words of mafia members and state prison guards to enrich the story and allow you, the reader, to fully grasp the emotions during these events. One example of this is on page 313, when Officer Drown gave Rene a note telling him that “he and his wife were praying for him.” And that people cared for him for taking the right action. This shows how emotional this situation really was as no other guard had ever treated Rene this way.
    From this book, I learned many things that I had never known before. The most important, and obvious, one would be the information about life in the Mexican Mafia. The gruesome facts of what goes on in the mafia will stay me for a long time, and it will also make sure that I stay away, even more, from being anything like a Mafioso. I also learned many things about the faults that there were in the prison system, which I truly hope have been fixed. There were many loopholes in ways to get someone killed, receive drugs, manage a mass murder from behind bars, and even control an outside gang and drug business, racking in money like nobody’s business.
    I would definitely recommend this book because it was a great, interesting book that had me waiting to read more. I would only recommend this book to those at least 14 years old (but only if they are very mature), those that are not squeamish, and those that can handle strong language and gruesome violence. I recommend it to this group because of the strong language, very descriptive (and brutal) violence, and frequent drug abuse. If you decide to get this book, you will not be disappointed.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2009

    Pick this up if you're interested in how the M works

    Boxer ALMOST tells all! Which is alot since not many dropouts reveal information on how their gang operates. Very insightful, especially for anyone studying criminal justice, involved in law enforcement, or just interested in reading about stone cold killers. Not praising what he did in life, but lets the reader know there's heartless killers out there.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2009

    Interesting

    Definitely worth taking a look at. Well written and it is hard to put down this book. It goes beyond the basic details and takes you into the particulars.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2009

    Amazing

    I loved love love this book! I could not put it down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2008

    response to rene's book

    This book was very intresting i could not put it down. It really scared me because they hurt innocent people for nothing, they don't even give you a opprotunity to defend the truth than a lie and that is really sad.<BR/>Thank GOD that Rene had the courage to leave evil behind.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2013

    Very Well Written Look at Indsidious Threat to Modern Society

    The author has provided a well-written, easy to read account of the Mexican Mafia. Detailed information on their drug dealing and distribution plus not too graphic documentation on some of the numerous murders completes this informative look into this organized crime group. Residents of Southern California will especially be interested in the group's activities throughout the southland.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2013

    Good read. Helps you understand the heartless senseless killing

    Good read. Helps you understand the heartless senseless killings this and all gangs to for the &quot;loyalty&quot; to the gang.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2013

    I literally just finished this book one minute ago. To make an i

    I literally just finished this book one minute ago. To make an incredibly long story short, I googled Mexican Mafia book and scoured results to see which book had the most articulate info and best customer reviews. The Black Hand seemed the most favorable among readers so I embarked on a mission at my local B&amp;N to find it. I searched high and low in the biography section assuming it would be there. No results. I then went to the social sciences section thinking it for sure would be there. Frustrated, I turned to my right and saw the true crime section. ALAS! I thought. Not so... I saw a sales associate and inquired the whereabouts of this now highly coveted book. &quot;That is downstairs behind the counter,&quot; she retorted. I went on to ask her out of sheer curiosity why it would be downstairs kept behind a counter (was it that inappropriate for young readers? Or so I thought). Her answer was simple: &quot;It's one of our most stolen books.&quot; I quickly charged downstairs and purchased a copy. Let me tell you right now, I understand why people are trying to get their hands on this book. IT'S TAKES YOU ON A UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL TOUR OF LA EME AND THE WAY THINGS WORK. Sorry for the caps but I cannot convey this message enough. I started researching gang culture (I'm mexican by the way/ female) due to a former guy I was dating that got caught up in the life pursuing neighborhood gang status who is currently serving an eight year prison sentence. I work with at risk youth now and felt this book could give me insight into what these kids (especially boys) are aspiring to achieve. This book truly opened my eyes to a world that is run like like a blood thirsty business entity fueled by drugs, racketeering and politics. One could say they already knew that but I am telling you, for those who want to actually LEARN about La Eme, and the hispanic gang culture God's LOOK NO FURTHER.  

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2013

    Amazing book! It was impossible to put it down after I opened it

    Amazing book! It was impossible to put it down after I opened it and began reading it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2012

    hands down

    Hands down , very interesting book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2012

    Absolutely popular

    When I and my hubby went to Barnes n Noble to get this book we were told it was a high risk book, (theft wise) so far everyone is talking about this...and more n more ppl are getting it. Great book!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2012

    Very Informative

    Well written.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2012

    Could not put down the book

    I read the free preview and loved it. I have not been into a book like this since i was 17,im 31 and wow. I have read 32 chapters in one day. I really recommend this book to anyone i know you'll enjoy it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2011

    La Eme

    The black hand is a great story. I question some of Enrique's accuracy if for no other reason than the Junkie factor.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2011

    THE BOOK IS GOOD (LOS ANGELES AREA)

    Im from the Los Angles area
    I like Chris Blatchford he is a good person and is always covering the Mexican Mafia stories on FOX 11 in the Southern California area and the thing is he makes people in the book seem hardcore criminals and they may be but it seems like he goes over board my uncle is Cowboy from EastSide Clover (ESC) gang in the East Los Angeles area and in the book it states "Cowboy was a terror back then. He wanted to stab someone everyday." (Blatchford) Yes he was crazy but not as described in the book he is serving a life sentence in up Fresno for robbery and led the Fresno Police Department on a pursuit after the robbery

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 16, 2011

    Great

    You will not put down this book. Great insight to the mafia and the politics involved in it

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  • Posted February 21, 2010

    Great and Insightful Book

    This is a very well written and insightful book of the actual life that havent's in prison and the everyday life of a mafiso.

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  • Posted July 17, 2009

    Wow!

    This book is a brutal look at gang activities that had an impact on almost everyone's lives in So Cal in the 80's and 90's. What I was most impressed with was how candid Rene was about what the shot callers are really about. He does a great job explaining hwo it really works and how it all really happens. I think Rene's book shows that you can't lump people into categories as easily as we think (vis a vis psychology and criminal justice). Human beings are much more complex, and this book captures just how complicated things can get for those of us who made similar choices in life. I would recommend this book for anyone who is battling a drug problem, who is involved in gangs, who is incarcerated, or who wants to work with those types of people in any capacity.

    I have never been a fan of becoming an informant PERIOD! But, things aren't like they used to be. The cops have figured out how to penetrate all criminal organizations because, frankly, every one wants to be comfortable and feel like they have accomplished something in their older years. No one wants to be old and still looking over their shoulder all the time. Among many other valuable things, this book gives a tremendous insight as to why these organizations become vulnerable to informants. Read it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    WHAT A ZERO

    RENE, KILLED A DEAR FRIEND OF MINE, WHO WE MISS SO MUCH, I WOULD NOT BELIEVE ANYTHING THAT COMES OUT OF HIS MOUTH. AND THEN HE FEEDS IT TO THE "LAW" WHAT A JOKER. THATS ALL OLD AND GONE SO WHAT UPDATES CAN HE GIVE ??? HE SHOULD BE TRYING TO SAVE HIS SOUL.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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