Grab the Devil's Tail

Confessions of a Convict Turned Police Informant

by Bev Christensen & Laura Zielke



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 3/20/2008

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 5.5x8.5
Page Count : 198
ISBN : 9781425153007

About the Book

This is a first-person account of Patrick Michael Mooney's life of crime and his failed attempts to redeem himself by becoming a police informant. With unusual honesty and a quirky sense of humour he relates how his father's harshness and his teenaged rebelliousness led him into heavy drug use and bizarre drug-induced behaviour. A judge sends his to a Massachusetts psychiatric assessment unit from which he escapes repeatedly until he is placed in a secure ward housing seriously psychotic patients. His heavy drug use and drug results in him being confine in some of the harshest prisons in the U.S. and Canada. His romance with a beautiful model ends tragically when a Toronto Metro policeman shoots her 'accidentally'. Upon his release Patrick launches into a crime spree that ends with him being charged with multiple crimes. He skips bail and hides in a remote work camp north-eastern British Columbia. He is recaptured and while awaiting a court hearing in Calgary he masterminds a daring escape, steals a car and begins a cross-Canada crime spree with an increasingly dangerous fellow escapee. They are recaptured and both sent to Dorchester Penitentiary where his dangerous fellow escapee plots to have him killed. Upon his release from prison he finds it difficult to adjust to life outside prison until he undertakes dangerous assignments as a police informant. His story ends with him being pursued by those seeking to claim contract money from the same criminals that he worked to put into prison.

About the Author

Bev Christensen is a retired award-winning former reporter who has written two previous books including Too Good To Be True: Alcan's Kemano Completion Project which was short listed for a B.C. Book Award in 1996. During her 23-year reporting career she often wrote about controversial subjects including women's struggle for equal status, abortion's impact on Canada's social and political life, B.C.'s First Nations struggle to assert their rights, and the impact large industrial developments were having on the lives of northern aboriginal communities. It was while she was working as a reporter that she met the man who is the subject of this book. Initially she was reluctant to write what one family member described as the story of a 'punk'. However she became increasingly intrigued with his amazing story especially after she was able to confirm the details. She also appreciated his willingness to be honest about the bad choices he'd made and the more unsavory details of his life of crime and the conditions inside the prisons where he was held. She taped her many conversations with him, sometimes living in his home and sometimes having him as a guest in her home. She now says that during the preparation of this book she learned a lot about a criminal's life and how it can be more dangerous for a former convict to work with the police than it was for him to survive inside a prison where he understood the rules.

Laura Zielke designed the cover for her grandmother's book. She is a recent graduate of the Grant McEwan College's design and illustration program. She was the recipient of a scholarship from the Advertising Club of Edmonton and launched her career with for an international advertising agency.