Silas Jayne was a very bad man. If you live in Chicago or know anything about Chicago you can probably recite some very bad men who lived here and did very bad things here. You can probably say them with me: H.H. Holmes, Al Capone, Frank Nitti, Richard Speck and John Wayne Gacy. What about Silas Jayne?
Oh, you haven’t heard of him? Well, that maybe about to change. You see, he first made an appearance in my book “Chicago Crime Stories: Rich Gone Wrong“ however, that book was not the end of him for me. You see, Silas Jayne was a very bad man, as I have said. He was just as bad as Al Capone on his worst day but hardly anyone knows anything about him. He was involved, or reportedly involved, in some of the most notorious crimes in Chicago. He was there, reportedly, when a man named Hansen murdered three young boys in the 50s. He is believed to have been involved in the disappearance of candy heiress Helen Brach. He went to jail for arranging to have his own brother murdered. He raped a woman at the age of 17 and is said to have murdered at least two people with his own hands.
Silas bred horses. He also had a tendency to be charming. However, beneath his kind eyes and mop of curly hair was a mind that thought only of crime, profit and, if need be, murder. He murdered and arranged to murder with the same amount of thought you might put into combing your hair.
So, thanks to History Press, I got the chance to write what is the first book devoted solely to Chicago’s Suburban Gangster. In fact, the book is titled “Silas Jayne: Chicago’s Suburban Gangster.” It will be out later this month. I will have more for you soon about where and how to get a copy and where I will be signing copies later on this summer. If you love true crime, are fascinated by history or just love reading about Chicago’s dark side, then you need to get to know Silas Jayne