House of Mystery Radio



The result of more than ten years of research by one of Canada’s top investigative journalists, Dragons of Crime is the first book-length expose of the Chinese and Vietnamese gangs in North America. For the first time, all the mysterious elements of Asian crime are uncovered, from the history and growth of the triads, tongs and gangs to the present-day structures and activities, including:

• an investigative account of how the Kung Lok triad got started in Canada, and the story of Lau Wing Kui, the founder of the Kung Lok triad and his successor, Danny Mo

• the full story of the corrupt Hong Kong cops, the Five Dragons, who emigrated to Canada to invest their criminal proceeds

• how a Chinese gang leader controlled Vancouver in the 1920s and 1930s

• who the “Big Circle Boys” are, how they got to Canada, and what crimes they specialize in

• how and why Vietnamese gang leader Asau Tran and two others were murdered on the streets of Toronto’s main Chinatown in August 1991

• alien smuggling, the new heroin flow from Asia, and other fascinating details of the Asian underworld and their operations in both the criminal and legitimate worlds in North America

• new criminal elements in the 1990s including the threat and reality of the changes underway as Hong Kong reverts to mainland Chinese control in 1997

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Stories of murder have never been just about killers and victims. Instead, crime stories take the shape of their times and reflect cultural notions and prejudices. In this Edgar Award–finalist for Best Fact Crime, James Polchin recovers and recounts queer stories from the crime pages―often lurid and euphemistic―that reveal the hidden history of violence against gay men. But what was left unsaid in these crime pages provides insight into the figure of the queer man as both criminal and victim, offering readers tales of vice and violence that aligned gender and sexual deviance with tragic, gruesome endings. Victims were often reported as having made “indecent advances,” forcing the accused's hands in self-defense and reducing murder charges to manslaughter.As noted by Caleb Cain in The New Yorker review of Indecent Advances, “it’s impossible to understand gay life in twentieth-century America without reckoning with the dark stories. Gay men were unable to shake free of them until they figured out how to tell the stories themselves, in a new way.” Indecent Advances is the first book to fully investigate these stories of how queer men navigated a society that criminalized them and displayed little compassion for the violence they endured. Polchin shows, with masterful insight, how this discrimination was ultimately transformed by activists to help shape the burgeoning gay rights movement in the years leading up to Stonewall.