After the great success of The Prince and the Premier, David Hickie was contacted by Chow Hayes who invited him to write his biography.Hayes was one of Sydney’s top standover men during the 1930s, 40s and 50s, and killed a number of other criminals. For three years Hickie visited Hayes once a week and tape-recorded his life story for this gripping account, possibly the most thorough and accurate biography of any major Australian criminal.
Hayes’ father was absent during World War II and in hospital for a lot of time afterwards. At the age of 11, the persistent truant Chow Hayes was sent to Gosford boys’ home, of which he told Hickie, “All the kids up there later became heavy criminals and many ended up being killed in underworld activities. I’d say that of the boys at Gosford, I finished up seeing 99 per cent of them again at Long Bay Jail.”