by Shane ‘Silky’ Thomas
Trafford Publishing

"A lot of people know what it feels like to be a bad man, but I am the only bad man who knows what it feels like to be the baddest man."

Thomas' real name was Shane Anthony Thomas. His nickname was courtesy of his friends, who called him Silky because he was so slick and smooth. Silky was a member of—and the leader of—a gang called the Ridgeway Bloods, which was part of the United Blood Nations, one of the ten most feared gangs in North America. He relates his story in his recently published memoir, Unstoppable. For when he was a criminal, Silky was unstoppable, and later after he altered his lifestyle, he remained unstoppable. Relentless would be a good word to describe his personality.

Born in Jamaica, Silky lived with his father until he was ten years old. In 1989, he moved to Ontario, Canada, where he lived with his mother. "I used to get beatings a lot from mommy because I was a very bad child growing up. I always carried weapons such as knives, guns, ice picks, razor blades, wrenches and such." He used these weapons to clobber, shoot, cut, threaten, and extort other people. Unsurprisingly, he ended up in prison, where he spent most of his time in the "hole" because of constant violence against both his fellow inmates and the guards. Due to his attitude and violent tendancies, he was moved from prison to prison. Eventually he came to be known as the most dangerous man in Canada's prison system.

However, this is not strictly a crime memoir. His life and times are harrowing, especially in the context that it was all too real. Silky's transformation occurred when "I observed 40 to 60 year old men living happily and comfortably [in jail]." Realizing he didn't want to become just another prison statistic, Silky changed his ways. In the end, he was released, placed on parole, and now lives a "productive and pro-social" life. Shane "Silky" Thomas writes simply, yet with an imperturbable dignity, a dignity that imbues his memoir with unstoppable significance.

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