What Happened to Mickey?


From the mean streets of 1930s Depression-era Toronto comes the gripping tale of a man who became one of the nation’s most notorious criminals.

Until the age of 31, Donald McDonald was only "dirty little Mickey from The Corner," the notorious intersection of Toronto’s Jarvis and Dundas Streets in a neighbourhood known in the 1930s as "Gangland." After Mickey was charged with the January 1939 murder of bookmaker Jimmy Windsor, he became a national crime figure. What followed were two murder trials, a liquor-truck hijacking, a sensational three-man escape in 1947 from Kingston Penitentiary, and a $50,000 bank robbery.

According to police, as gleaned from underworld informants, Mickey was killed in the 1950s in the United States "by his own criminal associates." Author Peter McSherry presents several versions of McDonald’s demise, one of which he endorses, and tells why it happened, delivering a compelling denouement to the chronicle of a criminal readers will never forget.


Working like a tapestry artist, McSherry pulls out key threads in the life and death of Mickey McDonald in this incredibly detailed, well-rendered chronicle of a national crime figure…Encapsulating two murder trials, a liquor truck hijacking, bank robberies and a sensational three-man escape in 1947 from Kingston Penitentiary, this remarkable story of a life of crime was one of the most compelling books I’ve ever read.

Waterloo Chronicle

If, in fact, you’re a history buff, an old time crime fan, or if you just love a good gangster story, grab What Happened to Mickey and watch your time disappear.

About the Author

Peter McSherry

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014

Peter McSherry

Peter McSherry has worked as a high school teacher, a truck driver, a labourer, and a freelance writer, but mostly he's been a taxi driver - and that's how he wants to be known. His first book, The Big Red Fox, about notorious criminal Norman Ryan, was an amazingly detailed work of history.