Being Uncle Charlie: A Life Undercover with Killers, Kingpins, Bikers and Druglords

Being Uncle Charlie: A Life Undercover with Killers, Kingpins, Bikers and Druglords - Bob Deasy, Mark Ebner Bob Deasy is smart and clever (yes, there is a difference), he is honest, he is confident, he thinks quickly on his feet, he doesn’t very often find himself at a loss for words, he is sometimes reckless and, he seems fearless. Bob Deasy is a chameleon. All those traits and more make him a perfect “Uncle Charlie” otherwise known as an Undercover Cop. He became an undercover officer almost by accident but discovered he had a “knack” for it. This “knack” translated into twenty-three years as a deep undercover operative for the Ontario Provincial Police, mostly in drug enforcement but also including stints with both the Italian and Russian mafias and the homicide unit. The largest part of Mr. Deasy’s work was with the motorcycle gangs riding roughshod in Ontario and Quebec. Mr. Deasy and his team were responsible for some of the most significant arrests in Canadian history. This book is his account of his life as an “UC” and he tells it with mostly self-deprecating honesty yet sometimes with (well deserved) chest-beating bravado and surprisingly often with humour as well. He does not gloss over the “near-misses” and personal blunders that could have ended not only the case he was working but quite possibly his life.

Reading this book was akin to riding shotgun with Mr. Deasy as he drove back and forth on the 401 between Niagara Falls, Toronto and Montreal. His retelling of some of his cases (despite knowing the outcome – I mean he did live to write the book after all) left me holding my breath. When I read books like this one it makes me wonder how the author can be allowed to publish it? I mean, isn’t he giving away insider secrets and some of the tricks of the trade? Doesn’t it make a book like this almost a “how-to manual” for current and future criminals? Mr. Deasly deftly explains that too. In this day and age of electronics, DNA and police/criminal computer databases it seems his methods have become too time consuming (at times it was years before the case wrapped up in an arrest) and in many instances obsolete.

So many of the cases mentioned are cases I remember hearing about on the evening news or reading about in my local newspaper and the locales mentioned are small towns, medium cities and metropolises I am familiar with, visit often or have lived in. This not only made the book that much more interesting, but also frightened me in a strange (tingly) sort of way to think that all this was going on around me and I had virtually no idea.

A friend of my daughter’s recommended this book to me. She thought I would enjoy it – I did! Thanks S.