The Ballad of Danny Wolfe

The Ballad of Danny Wolfe

Life of A Modern Outlaw

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
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"The harrowing true story of the life and death of the man who founded and ran the first, and largest Aboriginal street gang. Tracing the early years of Daniel Wolfe's life, from his birth in Regina to his mother Susan Creeley, a First Nations woman; to his first brush with the law at the age of four; to the birth of the Indian Posse - the first Aboriginal street gang in Canada that would eventually claim the title of the largest street gang with over 12,000 members and Danny at the helm; to Danny's death in 2010, Joe Friesen's account of this fascinating character is gripping and provocative."
Publisher: Toronto, ON :, Signal/McClelland & Stewart,, 2016
ISBN: 9780771030239
Characteristics: xi, 347 pages, 8 pages of plates : illustrations ; 25cm

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v
VcrRocker
May 19, 2017

Balanced? Impeccably researched? Not so sure. I too was born and raised in Wpg and witnessed the fall and fall of what we called "idiot posse". The book certainly reflects the general story of Wolfe and his dysfunctional family, and then his gang life. But there are 2 sides to the story - and I find a lot of what Friesen writes is incomplete. It seems that the usual behavior kicks in when being interviewed for a book - natives and rcmp embellish, twist, and spin their answers. Everyone has a dirty secret to hide. This book could have gone a lot deeper.

I see our old friend "residential schools" gets a starring role - but Winnipeg, like this entire country, should take a good look at itself. The racism is hidden with devastating results. With over 10,000 children in foster care in Manitoba, there would have been a good chance we would never have heard of DW if he hadn't rejected the foster care system. Foster care or gangs - what a choice.

I'm not sure about the reign of terror native gangs released on cities. Native gangs generally stayed in the north end to live and party. They were small time drug dealers and child pimps. They beat up, and murdered their own kind while in and out of jail. Their small petty crimes usually landed them a 7 year prison sentence - a grocery store robbery unfortunately ending in death by shotgun - while doing prison time was a badge of honour. Hence "Idiot".

The book is what it is. I encourage people to read it - you'll learn something new. I hit my hometown Wpg every summer - and walk main and Higgins, lunch at Sumhay, saunter by The West Hotel - and wander through Little Chicago - by day of course - plus ca change plus c'est la meme chose -

b
brooklynone
Aug 19, 2016

The authors lack of insight into the dynamics of criminal behavior in this book is glaring. Danny Wolfe and his violent anti-social behavior is taken at face value. However, the sad reality is that Danny Wolfe, like most aboriginal gang members, was nothing but a violent two bit sociopath that would sell out his own people, and his own culture, for a quick buck. In the book when it describes how he set up drug dealing networks on the reservations and his willingness to destroy the lives of his own people for money is a total outrage; as well as his positioning of young aboriginal women into the sex trade ... that are also addicted to his drugs that he sells them. This book describes in detail how young women barely out of childhood were being put on the streets as prostitutes to make money for the gang, but zero insight as who these women are, and how they ended up being prostitutes. You can bet that 100% of these women (girls really) are other aboriginals. Violent and unstable and this is the main theme I get from this book. There is no honor with people like this. There is no morality. It is only about making money selling drugs and being a pimp and destroying the lives of other aboriginals. People like Danny Wolfe are a curse to his own people and his willingness to sell out and destroy his own people through his criminal actions is a dimension of his behavior that is not examined in this book even once.

n
nannerl
Jul 27, 2016

A well-researched and well-written account of Indian Posse founder Danny Wolfe. The book illuminates how the history of Danny's parents and grandparents, products of the residential school system, gave him a shaky start in life - a child who started his life of 'crime' stealing food from his Winnipeg neighbours' gardens because he was hungry, and ultimately grew to become a feared killer. Also interesting is the look at the structure of the Indian Posse gang, which still operates today. Unlike most other gangs, the leadership is fluid and operates through a "council" of higher level members. I think anyone interested in psychology, gangs, or from Winnipeg's North End will find this a worthwhile read.

m
mclarjh
May 22, 2016

I lived in Winnipeg, and Regina, when the Indian Posse were making headlines, so I was very interested in reading this book. Disappointing, written at a high school level, no insight or explanation, tedious.

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