Book of the Day: Yard Down

Yard Down: From the Crime Scene to Testifying in Court by Johnny Rey

(True Crime / Organized Crime)

Johnny Rey’s new book is informative, compelling, and thought-provoking. Yard Down takes you on an educational journey through violent gang crime investigations that happen inside of the walls of one of California’s oldest prisons. It’s a must-read for true-crime fans and other readers who are intrigued by the intricate processes that go into capturing and convicting some of the country’s most harmful criminals.

The author writes from a place of authority and experience. Johnny Rey dedicated 27 years to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Ten of those years were devoted to working criminal investigations. Rey testified nine times in San Joaquin County courts as a gang expert on three different gangs: Norteños/Northern Structure, Sureños, and Northern Riders. His cases have produced over 24 gang enhancement convictions and over 100 years of prison time for the convicted gang members involved in these cases. Johnny Rey’s expertise is unmatched, and that is evident throughout the entirety of the book.

Whether you’re a true crime die-hard or not, you’ll have a hard time putting this book down. It’s filled with fascinating details about prison gang investigations. By reading, you’ll learn how to investigate prison crimes, what to do when arriving at a crime scene, and tactics how to determine who is involved. The book also offers in-depth detail regarding collecting evidence, DNA, photographing, interviewing, documenting, Miranda Admonishment, setting up a Simmons Lineup, and preparing your case for the Deputy District Attorney.

At its core – the book tells a powerful story of one man’s dedication to be a force for good. People like Johnny Rey sacrifice so much to keep communities safe from violence and danger. An incredible amount of dedication, training, and education goes into this career. No matter who you are, you’ll find value in seeing life through Rey’s eyes. Gang influence is dangerous, and it preys on the most vulnerable of our youth. Gangs can be heartbreaking – but it’s uplifting to see forces of good fight against them. I found this book to be incredibly interesting and relevant. I encourage you give it a read or share it with someone you care about.

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