By Shane ‘Silky’ Thomas
Reviewed by Christopher Zoukis
“A lot of people know what it feels like to be a bad man, but I am the only bad man who knows what it feels like to be the baddest man.”
Silky Thomas’ real name was Shane Anthony Thomas. His nickname was courtesy of his friends, who called him Silky because he was so slick and smooth. Silky was a member of – and the leader of – a gang called the Ridgeway Bloods, which was part of the United Blood Nations, one of the ten most feared gangs in North America.
Silky relates his story in his recently published memoir, which is entitled Unstoppable. The title is appropriate. For when he was a criminal, Silky was unstoppable. Later, after he altered his lifestyle, Silky remained unstoppable. Relentless would be a good word to describe Silky’s personality.
Born in Jamaica, Silky lived with his father until he was ten years old. In 1989, young Silky moved to Ontario, Canada, where he lived with his mother. According to Silky, “I used to get beatings a lot from mommy because I was a very bad child growing up. I always carried weapons such as knives, guns, ice picks, razor blades, wrenches and such.” Silky used these weapons to clobber, shoot, cut, threaten and extort other people.
Unsurprisingly, Silky ended up in prison, where he spent most of his time in the “Hole,” because of constant violence against both his fellow inmates and the guards. Due to his bad attitude, Silky was moved from prison to prison. Eventually, he came to be known as the most dangerous man in Canada’s prison system.
Silky’s transformation occurred when “I observed 40 to 60 year old men living happily and comfortably” [in jail]. Realizing he didn’t want to become a comfortable “statistic,” Silky changed his ways. In the end, he was released from prison, placed on probation, and now lives a “productive and pro-social” life.
Shane ‘Silky’ Thomas writes simply, yet with an imperturbable dignity, a dignity that imbues his memoir with unstoppable significance.