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The_Boston_Globe_Tue__Feb_6__1979_ (2) (1024x906).jpg

Surveillance photo, 1979

What's coming ...

I’ve heard whispers about the life and crimes of Winter Hill gangster Joe McDonald (1917-1997) for years, though the determination to write a book about him came only after watching The Irishman and realizing that I had access to a better story, better sourced. I had already written a prequel of sorts (“On the Boston Waterfront,” see link in Notable Features) about a working-class hero who got caught up in the waterfront feud of the 1950s and was killed only steps from his mother's house. “Confessions of a Loan Shark” (see link in Notable Features) features many of the same characters: Maxie Shackelford, who got caught up in Boston's Gangland War of the 1960s, counted them as friends. I found him at the end of his life and he shared details about what happened that had been buried, along with his friends, for decades. Joe McDonald haunts both stories. He haunts the Boston underworld, even today. 

    Who was he? "Joe Mac," as he was known, was a World War II combat veteran, a father of five, and the most prolific and successful hitman in the Boston underworld. His story has been left alone for good reason. But he was not what anyone thought he was; his daughter, who has an unforgettable story of her own, introduces us to a fascinating personality marred by tragedy and motivated by principle.    

   Forget Whitey Bulger and what you think you know about the Winter Hill Gang. The truth about Joe McDonald is unlike anything you've ever encountered.

   True Crime? This is something much more.

Working title:  Don't Talk About Joe Mac

A working draft of the manuscript (~106,000 words) is ready. Interested publishers and curious producers please see Contact page.

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