D.A. Curtis was a Toronto freelance writer.
The ordinary citizen knows little of the world of the biker, the rounder, the hitman and the stoolie. Cecil Kirby, who told his unlovely life story to investigative reporter Thomas C. Renner, has been all of the above and more — and worse. He recounts repulsive episodes of bombings and beatings, in which innocent people were injured and even killed, in a level, emotionless, factual manner; the only episodes that seem to stir some sense of personal involvement, indeed righteous indignation, are the repeated instances in which the mob bosses failed to pay Kirby, the hitman, the stipulated price for his services. At last he became a police informer, and through the inside information he was able to provide, many previously unsolved cases were successfully concluded. Now, he is apparently adrift, a man with a new identity, but with no history or references, and thus with no opportunity to find or hold legitimate work. Witnesses of this nature are one of the ugly necessities of effective law enforcement, but it is hard to feel a shred of sympathy for this unsavoury character, whatever his plight. This is an ugly, dregs-of-humanity expose, starkly recounted.