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Synopsis

This book tells the story of the Galloway Boys, who as young teens banded together in an urban-blighted area of Toronto's east end to sell drugs and run guns. They were led by Tyshan Riley, born into one of the toughest neighborhoods in Canada and raised by an often absent and erratic mother. He learned his lessons on the streets-how to sell drugs, how to steal--and used violence to get the money, sex and respect that he lived for.

The area known as Galloway is home to 186 hectares of public housing. Crossing bridges is the only route into the area. It created a sense of isolation and for those who lived there a sense of mistrust of anyone from the outside. The area was a fertile ground for the growth of gangs--and as well for the drug dealers, prostitutes and crackheads who survived along a major east-west thoroughfare leading in and out of Toronto's downtown core. And while the Galloway Boys lay claim to their turf, farther to the north the Malvern Crew was laying claim to theirs. The war was inevitable and it would claim ten casualties, including the innocent.

For three Galloway Boys - Tyshan Riley, Philip Atkins and Jason Wisdom - their days in the street were numbered. With the cold-blooded murder of Brenton Charlton and the near fatal shooting of his friend Leonard Bell at a busy Toronto intersection on March 3, 2004, the police investigation would lead to the arrest of Riley, Atkins and Wisdom, and with the testimony of a former Galloway Boys gang member, Roland Ellis, the three would be convicted of the first-degree murder of a man who was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Through the testimony of Ellis and that of other witnesses, the wiretap evidence, Crown attorney and defense arguments, a portrait of a gang emerges, one that lives on our streets yet is hidden to our eyes. Bad Seeds compels us to take our blinders off and face a reality of modern urban life that no one professes to care about very much. There is peril in willing blindness.

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