Every time I speak at criminology classes or a source handling course I am inevitably asked if I would ever work as an agent or informant again. I usually tend to smile and tell the group that my wife would never allow it and then I move on.
The truth is though - I would do it again in a heartbeat!
I am not going to lie and say that the "rat" lifestyle I lived was for something other than self gratification. I loved playing both sides of the fence, I loved the control and the excitement - I loved knowing the angles of the criminal world from both perspectives and of course I loved all the kudos when we had a successful take-down.
I decided recently to go back and visit some of the places that I had worked as an informant, wore a wire as an agent or just gathered information as a source. Hence the reason for the title "A VISIT TO THE DARK SIDE". I was curious how I felt about a life that seemed so long ago. I have since gone on to change my life, received a pardon and wrote two books. I have spent sixteen years speaking to the justice system and against the criminal world - I am not sure what I thought I would find but I seemed to feel a pull until I finally just went.
I took the picture above at the Darksiders Clubhouse in Dartmouth. Now years ago that was an after-hours club for the Hells Angels (at least when I was there ratting) so no big surprise that a puppet club of theirs is now occupying the property.
As my heart beat a little faster than it had in quite a while and with the camera aimed up at their cameras and colors, I realized two things - I miss taking down bikers and I am sad for the children (like I once was) that think of these guys as men!
A quick visit to the Darksiders Facebook page and that sadness grows. Post after post talks about Christmas parties for kids, donations to soup kitchens and of course condolences to the fallen in their brotherhood because truly they are just "good old boys"
The truth is though that no matter how good someone may seem to their friends and families - that does not make them good.
This "brotherhood" like all their organized crime cohorts, do not care if their drugs kill your child. They do not care if it is your daughter being passed around the clubhouse to be used abused. They do not care if they have to kill your mother, father, brother, sister or anyone for that matter to keep their enterprise going.
What did I realize when I was standing at the clubhouse looking up and taking that picture - how sad it is that 20 years later the problem is worse than ever!