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Generally Recognized As True: Quality crime investigation by Toronto Star investigative reporters: "The Bandido Massacre" and "Bad Seeds"

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Quality crime investigation by Toronto Star investigative reporters: "The Bandido Massacre" and "Bad Seeds"

Regardless of what you think about the Toronto Star (and I think quite a lot of bad things about it), you can't ignore the fact that they're one of the few Canadian newspapers doing some consistently decent investigative journalism.

Over the past year or so, I've read two investigative books written by Toronto Star crime reporters that I thought were very good.

The first and better of the two is "The Bandido Massacre: A True Story of Bikers, Brotherhood and Betrayal" by Peter Edwards. It is a substantial and thorough account of the formation and downfall of a pitiful, amateurish offshoot of the worldwide Bandidos motorcycle gang, including a lot of necessary background information that would have been omitted by a lesser author.

The second is "Bad Seeds: The True Story of Toronto's Galloway Boys Street Gang" by Betsy Powell. It is a decent account of the circumstances surrounding the formation of Toronto's first urban street gangs in Scarborough's Malvern/Galloway neighbourhoods, the principals involved, and the details and outcome of the investigation and trial surrounding the raids that brought them down in 2004-2005. It offers an interesting look at how the presence of a handful of people in a community can make life perilous for the vast majority.

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