Being Uncle Charlie is the intense, intimate and graphic story of one Canadian undercover cop who spent two decades infiltrating organized crime. From Russian and Italian mafias to notorious biker gangs, Bob Deasy gained access to and the acceptance of criminals who most cops in any country would never encounter or arrest, let alone befriend.
Bob Deasy had an illustrious 23-year career undercover with the Ontario Provincial Police. Using little more than his quick wits, natural confidence and a deft mental equilibrium that allowed him to stay three chess moves ahead of his quarry, Deasy was the secret weapon behind some of the signature crime busts in Canadian history. Infiltrating the biker gangs and the Russian and Italian mobs, he also single-handedly set up international import-export businesses, faked contract hit jobs and executed one of the largest drug buys in OPP history. He also perfected the now controversial “Mr. Big” technique of posing as a crime kingpin to solicit unwitting confessions from suspects in long-dormant cold murder cases–a tactic he defends as practised, and with which he enjoyed a 100% success rate.
Being Uncle Charlie is a nail-biting ride–often comic, always entertaining–that reads like a one-man history of modern crime, told through the ground-level, insider’s perspective of a cop who was able to blend in with the unsavoury, the desperate and the diabolical.
A monster of a guy frisked us just inside the door of the bikers’ lair. The single long room featured a bar along one wall and a meeting table in the centre, like something that Vikings would eat off. Chained underneath it was a completely hairless Doberman, like Cerberus guarding the Gates of Hell, missing nothing. The walls had been fortified with oak beams and patched with brick in places and were decorated with biker porn, Harley swag, a paper target from a shooting range. A small room in back was cordoned off with a curtain of glass beads, and a staircase led to a second floor, forming a cramped cubbyhole beneath it with a coffee machine and two or three working police scanners. Above the scanners I saw something that made my blood run cold: Billy Scarf had a list of all six of the members of the Kingston Drug unit, and five of them showed their name, make of car and licence plate number. All of them were buddies of mine. It was only because I was new to the region that number six was blank—just waiting for my name filled to be in.
-from Being Uncle Charlie