Pay, Quit, Or Dieby Don Herion
Organized crime, the Mafia, or the Outfit as it is known in Chicago, is surrounded by a false glamour that elevates mobsters to the level of swashbuckling folk heroes whose ready violence and savage murders are too often excused in the public mind as acceptable because they only hurt each other. Similarly, illegal gambling, the bread-and-butter racket inevitably combined with loan-sharking and extortion, is widely tolerated because it is perceived to be a victimless crime.
Donald H. Herion, a US Army veteran during the Korean War, who grew up in a neighborhood where there was a bookmaker on every corner, sometimes two or three, learned just how wrong all that was when he returned home from the Army and joined the Chicago Police Department. He wasn't sure that he was doing the right thing at the time because he really never liked cops, but if he didn't like it, he could always quit he thought.
After six years learning the ropes in the patrol division collaring burglars and stick up men, chasing daredevil drivers, calming adversaries in domestic disputes, and riding herd on drunks and dope dealers, he was promoted to plainclothes as a vice cop investigating illegal gambling, narcotics, prostitution and gang bangers.
He quickly learned that chasing bookmakers and busting up wire-rooms was a fight against organized crime. Illegal gambling was organized crime's biggest money maker, the Golden Calf that financed most of its other illicit activities ranging from stock and bankruptcy swindles to the narcotics trade.
Herion and his partner were transferred to the Vice Control Section of the Organized Crime Division at police headquarters at 1121 S. State Street. Henow had jurisdiction to make raids anywhere in the City of Chicago instead of only in his district.
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This is one of the best books i have read in a long time. Don Herion really captures your attention in this book. It is a real page turner. It gives you so much information about the mob and how things use to work in the good old Days of Chicago. I enjoyed reading about all the encouters and cases and just knowing that this stuff is all true makes the book more enjoyable. This book is really worth the read. Its undescrible you have to read it to find out. Definately should be made into a movie
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I couldn't put it down. It is filled with short stories about the life of a long time Chicago cop. The author leaves the reader with a realistic view from behind the scenes. I found the author's experience with organized crime very interesting and impressive. There are many colorful characters, shocking events, and humorous stories. I laughed outloud many times. Some events don't turn out the way we would like, but that's reality. I imagined the author to be quite a character himself and at times I felt like I could almost hear his sarcasm. I highly recommend this book.
I've always liked the cops better than the robbers, and Don Herion was one of the best of the good guys. He was an exceptional street cop, but he really found his life's calling and made his bones when he moved up to the vice squad and took on the Chicago Outfit. Herion duked it out toe-to-toe with Mob bosses and professional hitmen from Tony 'Big Tuna' Accardo to 'Crazy' Sam DeStefano, who handled juice and built a torture chamber in his basement. Herion's book is filled as well with lesser but equally exotic underword characters like 300-pound glutton and bookie Nick 'Kegee' Galanos -- who became one of Herion's most valuable snitches before becoming a murder statistic. Kegee and others are uniquely Chicago. My favorite anecdote tells of the time Herion busted longtime mobster Lenny Patrick for running a book a few blocks from Wrigley Field. As Herion and his partner closed in on the Outfit's old hit-man, Patrick's face turned pasty gray and he started to shake until he realized they were cops, not killers. 'You never know,' he croaked when the plain-clothes vice cops identified themselves. 'There are a lot of nuts out on the street.' If you want a good look at the Chicago underworld, especially the bloodthirsty kingpins who ran the Outfit, give Herion's gritty memoir a read. You won't be sorry. -- Cliff Linedecker author 'The Man Who Killed Boys'
Find out first hand what it is like to be working the streets of Chicago as a Chicago Police Officer/Detective. Don Herion handled some of the most dangerous mobsters and put an end to their illegal activites. Very entertaining. You can't put the book down.