Blue Line

BOOK REVIEW – The Notorious Bacon Brothers

August 12, 2013  By Morley Lymburner

678 words – MR BOOK REVIEW

TITLE: The Notorious Bacon Brothers – Inside gang warfare on Vancouver Streets

AUTHOR: Jerry Langton


REVIEWER: Morley Lymburner

My eyes widened recently when reading Jerry Langton’s new book, <“The notorious Bacon Brothers.> The three brothers became involved in British Columbia’s drug trade right out of high school, dealing not only in the human misery of drug abuse but also the gun culture and psychopathic lifestyle of killing off the competition. This included using innocent citizens as collateral damage and pawns in support of their endeavours.

The most controversial Bacon killing has become known as “the Surrey six.” While trying to kill off drug competitors in a posh apartment one of the brothers snuffed out the lives of the building superintendent and a gas maintenance man with no more remorse than stepping on ants on a sidewalk. Rubbing out a rival gang was more than enough reason to kill two innocent people. Wrong place at the wrong time.

What societal attitudes prevail in a country that tolerates these types of people? After the deaths the pressure was on police to get to the bottom of it all and ensure it didn’t happen again.

Ah yes! The dirty work was left to the cops regardless of what the judiciary would do with them, or what it had done in the past – and if anything goes wrong, of course, it is obviously a police issue and nothing more.

Langton’s book confirmed two things I have long suspected. First, the judiciary’s unwillingness to do anything about organized crime groups. The judiciary means nothing to these criminal organizations – a mere inconvenience to attaining their goals. Second, the ineffectiveness of fragmented police jurisdictions and the lack of community focused cops in many places.

All this is quite well documented in the book. For example, as Langton points out on page 128, the notorious Bacon brothers moved from Abbotsford to Surrey. Why? I will let the author explain:

The lack-lustre judiciary was underscored by Langton’s comments on page 148. He found many Canadians involved in the drug trade are afraid to travel to the United States, where sentences are much stiffer. A typical sentence of two years concurrent for five offences in Canada would end up being two years consecutive in the U.S. Canadian organized crime figures have long seen Canada as a haven from real justice.

Couple the Canadian judiciary’s penchant for concurrent sentencing and non-existent capital punishment results in a system which permits unlimited killings. Innocent people who get in the way mean nothing. Shootings at any place and time of day can be common. The punishment for such actions is free room and board for 10 to 20 years. Get an education or religion while in the slammer and you are back on the street in record time.

As Langton explains on page 244, Judge Cullen sentenced Jarrod Bacon to 12 years, minus “five years’ credit for the time he had already spent behind bars, leaving just seven years and two months on his sentence. Barring complications, that meant the latest he would be release would be July 2019, when he would be 36 years old. Since he would be eligible for parole after half his sentence, that means he could apply as early as July 2013.”

A Canadian drug trafficker convicted of a similar series of offences in an Oklahoma court was given 30 years, with no chance for parole. He had good reason to be fearful. The US courts know the value of deterrence… Canada has much to learn.

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