Chicago, IL—My long time, and recently retired Chicago cop pal, Jim O’Donnell said I needed to review a crime book written by his friend Don Herion who lived the life of a mob chasing Chicago cop for nearly a half-century.
In my law enforcement days I came into only casual contact with reputed mob guys and went out of my way to avoid them. Occasionally there would be a suspected mob killing in or around my beat. Other than taking an initial report or hauling someone to the Cook County Morgue when working a wagon I always felt I should keep my nose out of those matters leaving them for the “big guys.”
The big guys were the cops that handled those kinds of investigations. They were too close to the mob for my comfort and I was very satisfied never being assigned to a mob chasing unit. Herion worked with a who’s who of the “big guy” cops during his tenure.
Don Herion became a Chicago cop while I was in 5th grade. He managed to be a mob chaser most of the time and lived to tell about it even in print. Herion’s career was an exciting one to say the least. I always watched the dicks looking into those messy car trunks. I’d keep my distance whenever I could because the smell of decomposing flesh was and is way beyond foul.
Herion provides an inside view to the Chicago mob’s handiwork. It’s the stuff nightmares and gallows humor is all about. It is a great read.
Herion’s offering made me wonder just how many people would still be alive without the government’s need for victimless crime prohibitions. All the big money in organized crime can’t exist without laws controlling alcohol, drugs, gambling and prostitution. Public corruption involving politicians, cops, judges and prosecutors thrives on victimless crime.
The violence and corruption involved in the quest of victimless crime control seems far worse than victimless offenses. Herion’s book seems to make a case for that argument.
Herion was sworn to enforce the laws and he risked his life to the people of the State of Illinois to give them what they wanted from cops. That’s honorable no matter what you or I may feel about the need or desirability for some laws.
As for Herion’s book it’s a fascinating historical review of the career of a master gangbuster. Herion gives his readers real insight into the kinds of business opportunities available for people deep inside the dark underbelly of Chicago.
More on the book and ordering information here.