Alan Gunner Lindbloom
Alan Gunner Lindbloom
Alan Gunner Tocco-Lindbloom
April 5, 1973
Grosse Pointe, Michigan
|Organization||CEO La Mia Famiglia LLC|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (180 cm)|
|Spouse(s)||Maria Jomaa Lindbloom|
Alan Gunner Lindbloom (born 5 April 1973) is an American novelist and entrepreneur known for his To Be A King novels and remarkable personal story. Known to most as “Al” or “Gunner,” he has had quite a remarkable life journey. Raised in and around the Detroit Mafia, known to law enforcement simply as the “Detroit Partnership,” Gunner was destined for a life of crime and, ultimately, prison. At only age 15 he was expelled from school indefinitely for being part of a stolen merchandise ring. He then became immersed in a full-time life of crime, and his life would slowly take him further into the world of organized crime, something that came very natural to him.
Gunner had a very tumultuous childlhood, with his mother mentally ill and his father an alcoholic. His parents divorced when he was only 5. His mother would move him and his sister into their grandparent’s Grosse Pointe home, an area known for its money and affluence. Gunner was expelled from the first grade on his second day there, for assaulting an alleged bully with a 2x4 wood building block. This would set the tone for the rest of his life. But Gunner thrived while living with his grandparents. The area was home to all the Mafia’s top chieftains, all of whom were very close with his grandparents. Most of the Mafia’s leaders had all grown up together within a few blocks, and the area became known as “The Compound.” Living there, Gunner would forge bonds with uncles and cousins that would come back to help advance his criminal career in years to come. At age 10 his mother moved them to their own house in Harrison Township, Michigan, a middle class suburban area about 10 miles north of Detroit. Gunner refers to this time in his life as his “wonder years,” when he got to be a normal kid. Living across from Lake Saint Clair, he was able to fish and swim and enjoy life like a normal kid. But he was constantly being kicked out of school for fighting, drugs, or truancy. At age 14 his mother was hospitalized for mental illness, and Gunner had to move in with his father. Shortly thereafter, he was expelled from school permanently and he took to the streets full-time.
At age 15 Gunner started selling marijuana because he says his father didn’t provide enough food for him. This led to the fencing of stolen merchandise he traded marijuana for. At age 17 he was convicted of two hand to hand sales of steroids, each sale over $5,000. His grandfather, Peter Paul Tocco, allegedly bribed the judge presiding over the case, and Gunner was given only 6 months in a county jail for the bust.
Around age 19, Gunner was taken under the wing of a well known Detroit mafiosi named Anthony “Tony Jack” Giacolone, who was best known for being the number #1 suspect in the Jimmy Hoffa disappearance. Gunner’s grandfather, Peter Paul Tocco, was “goombadi” with Giacalone. In fact, one of Tony’s daughter’s married one of Peter Paul Tocco’s nephews, solidifying the connection between the two families, a long standing practice between mafia families in Detroit. They almosy exclusively intermarry amongst a small handful of Sicilian families, whose connections date back several generations, to the small town of Terrisini Sicily. In Detroit, Tony Giacolone wasn't just another wiseguy. He was the street boss, the face of the local mafia, and the undisputed king of illegal gambling in the city. Gunner’s grandfather, Peter Tocco, was an accomplished sports handicapper and layoff bookie. Roughly the same age as Giacolone, the two had grown up together their entire lives and were related through several marriages. The men were both close personal friends, and it was rumored that Peter Paul Tocco was in fact a middle man between his cousin, Giacoma “Black Jack” Tocco, Boss of the entire Detroit Mafia, and Tony Giacolone, street boss, as well as several other high ranking Detroit Mafiosi. At some point, Peter Tocco would officially go on record and ask Tony Giacolone to put his grandson, “Alanzo,” to work. Tony did. For the next ten years, Gunner quietly lived a double life as a contract enforcer for Tony Giacolone’s crew of bookies and loansharks, as well as engaging in small time drug and street rackets for his uncle Peter Paul Tocco Jr, his uncle Salvetore Tocco, and at least a dozen other cousins and uncles in the mafia. It seemed Gunner had no real specialty in terms of crime. He did everything from work security and running poker games, to collections and robberies, to beatings and extortions. At age 29, Gunner would be indicted for extortion, bank robbery, armed robbery, kidnapping, weapons violations, and a litany of other capital crimes that carried up to life in prison. He would cop out to 13-50 years in the MIchigan Department of Corrections, and serve 13.3 years total.
In prison, Gunner Lindbloom decided he no longer wanted to live a life of crime. During a 17 month stretch in solitary confinement, he discovered that he had a knack for writing. Or at least creating. Shortly thereafter, he began writing and did not stop writing for the next 13 years, penning nine novels, including his debut TO BE A KING novels, which cracked the top 100 in their genre within weeks.
One of the things that makes Alan Gunner Lindbloom’s life so remarkable is how he met his wife, Maria. Six years into his prison sentence, Maria found him on Facebook and decided to reach out to him because she saw on his profile that he was in prison writing books, and she worked for a publisher. She knew nothing about him other than he was a neighborhood “bad guy and drug dealer who beat people up.” After reading his books, she was so taken aback by his raw talent that she called him a “unicorn.” She then began writing to him regularly, and over the next several months the two would fall in love. Maria would leave her current husband and move north to Rogers City, Michigan, five hours north of their hometown of Detroit, and wait 6 years for Gunner to come home from prison. They would marry the day after his release, and be baptized by his cousin in Lake Huron that very same day.
Nine months after Gunner’s release from prison, he published the first of his nine novels. He chose “To Be A King,” about a fictional Mafia family, first, hoping that his former life and family history would work as marketing leverage. It worked. The books shot to the top of their genre, Organized Crime, and at one point cracked then top #5, listed as #3 on organized crime, only two behind The Godfather. A month after the release of his first novel, To Be A King Volume 1, he released To Be A King Volume 2, which also shot to the top 50 in the genre.
Shortly after releasing his debut novels, Gunner was promoting his books when he was struck with an idea for a line of gangster-inspired apparel. He had previously had a hoodie made with the cover of his book on it. The back read “DETROIT, OUR THING.” The reason for the words “our thing” was because the book was based on a fictional Detroit Mafia family, and the term “our thing” is the English translation for the term “La Cosa Nostra,” a common euphemism for the Mafia. After posting pictures of himself wearing the hoodie on Facebook, he became inundated with requests from people who wanted a hoodie of their own, with his book cover on it but with their own city on the back. And so the brand “OUR THING” Apparel was born. Gunner created an LLC and secured the trademark for the branding. Within months, the brand took off and now carries everything from high-end leathers and tracksuits, to hats, hoodies, and every facet of apparel. Mens, women, and kids. The brand now sells all over the world.
Lindbloom’s unique journey, from growing up in a dysfunctional Mafia family, to spending 13 years in prison, to becoming a world renowned novelist and CEO has amassed him a worldwide following on social media. He is often featured in national media outlets, television shows, national news sources, podcasts, and YouTube shows, such as VLAD TV.
Early life and education
Lindbloom was born 5 April 1973 in Metro, Detroit, to a pure Sicilian mother, Grace Carmella Tocco, and a Scottish Swedish Father. His mother’s family was well known in Detroit for having Mafia ties to the Tocco/Zirelli Crime Family. Exposed to organized crime his entire youth, it was no surprise that Gunner would eventually end up in prison.
Gunner was expelled indefinitely from high school only nine weeks into his freshman year. He was caught in the middle of a stolen property ring and refused to rat on his partner, so he was expelled permanently. That is when he took straight to the streets. By age 15, Gunner was selling drugs and fencing stolen merchandise for local cons and hoods. While his “normal” friends played sports and dated cheerleaders, he associated mostly with thugs and criminals while his friends received their education. He often had run-ins with the law and caught his first felony at age 14, for destruction of property over $100. His next felony charge would come only months later, for falsifying a police report when he refused to identify two men who had robbed him of a $600 TROOP Jacket at gunpoint. He would go on to track down the men (both in their late teens) and take repossession of his jacket. Not soon after that, Gunner would catch a pair of assault felonies. At age 17 he was indicted for a delivery of nearly $5000 worth of steroids, and would eventually get 6 months in the county jail, after his grandfather allegedly bribed a judge. The next 15 years would be a roller coaster of run-ins with the law, lawyers, judges, prosecutors and jail. At age 29 he would go on a crime spree and ultimately be sentenced to 13-50 years in prison for 17 capital crimes, ranging from bank robbery and extortion to armed robberies and kidnapping. He would serve 13.3 years in prison.
Prior to his 13 years in prison, Alan Gunner Lindbloom was primarily a drug dealer and muscle for the mafia. But he did work as a bouncer at a number of popular nightclubs on the eastside of Detroit. He also did manage a health club for a few years, but the job was in fact part of a shakedown his uncle was doing on the owner. He also worked a few years as a sales rep for a large home improvement company right before prison, but that job would end after he was caught scamming from the company and doing side jobs. For the most part, Gunner was a street guy who made money from any racket he could find. His primary racket was collecting money for loansharks and bookies in the mafia. He would engage in robberies, extortion, shakedowns, beatings, and anything else where he could make a quick buck. Most of the time, he was simply muscle for hire, and never felt he had any particular loyalty to his family, other than his uncles Peter Paul Tocco Jr. and Anthony “Tony Jack” Giacolone,” the two men he reported to directly.
In prison, Alan (Sometimes called “Alanzo” by his Sicilian family) would write nine novels. As soon as he was released in 2016, after serving 13.3 years, he published two books, To Be A King Volumes 1 & 2, a series about a fictional Detroit Mafia family. He hoped that by releasing these books first, he could leverage his past and family history as marketing tools.
Gunner’s To Be A King novels quickly gained recognition in the “Mafia-sphere,” with fans of the genre all over the world talking about the books. Fans were not just impressed by how well the books were written, but by the authenticity and complexity of the characters and plot. Within days, Volume #1 cracked the top #50 in the world in the Organized Crime genre. Fans began calling the series “the next Godfather,” and comparing Lindbloom to Mario Puzo, author of the Godfather series. To Be A King would eventually peak at #3 in the genre, and since then the books have stayed in the top 5% of all organized crime books, an amazing feat in itself considering the books have been published for more than four years. The books both have rave reviews, with people clambering for a movie.
In 2017, Lindbloom embarked on his entrepreneurial journey by launching “OUR THING” Apparel. While prompting his books online, Alan Gunner made a small promotional run of sweatshirts with the cover of his book on the front, the words DETROIT “Our Thing” on the back, the term “our thing” being the English translation for the term Cosa Nostra, a common euphemism for the mafia. When he and his business partner posted pictures of themselves on Facebook wearing the “OUR THING” hoodies, they became inundated with requests from people who wanted “OUR THING” hoodies of their own. Thus, the brand was born. Today Gunner’s “OUR THING” brand sells all over the world, from T-shirts and hoodies to tracksuits and jackets, to even high end leathers. Most garments are custom made to each individual’s city/state. He has popular brand ambassadors, such as WWE Hall of Fame wrestler Rob “RVD” Dam and Johnny Curry, one-time Detroit drug kingpin, who was made famous for his involvement with Richard “White Boy Rick” Wershe,” also a Detroit native.
Gunner is the host of “Our Thing” Detroit, a mainstream radio show on 910 SuperStation Detroit, airing every Friday evening, 7-9 Eastern.
- Lindbloom, Gunner A. (2017). TO BE A KING: Volume 1. Harbinger Media Group. Retrieved 4 December 2021.
- Lindbloom, Gunner A. (2017). TO BE A KING: Volume 2. Harbinger Media Group. Retrieved 4 December 2021.
Alan Gunner Lindbloom is married to Maria Jomaa Lindbloom the day after he was released from prison. Gunner is a huge fan of the outdoors, and an almost manic obsession for trout fishing and deer hunting. Gunner spends most of his spare time fishing, hunting, 4-wheeling, snowmobiling, camping and traveling with his wife Maria. He has become quasi famous for his silly outdoor antics, which he often pists on Facebook and YouTube Lindbloom is fluent in English and knows some Sicilian.
Gunner also hosts a regular show on YouTube, at Gunner Detroit, where he shares some of his crazy life experiences, from growing up around the mafia, to working for the mafia, to street rackets, to working for some of the most influential mafia figures in modern history. He is well known for his crazy, often violent stories, and his animated way of telling them. On his show, “Tales of a Reformed Gangster,” he frequently has celebrity guests, everyone from ex gangsters to popular actors and personalities like Chris Hansen, Louis Lombardi, Rob “RVD” Van Dam, Johnny Curry, and many more. He broadcasts two libe shows a week. Every wednesday “Wise Guy Wednesday” with co-host Willion Crooks from “Partners-N-Crime” podcast. Every thursday, former Colombo crime family hitman Larry Mazza joins Gunner foir “The Game Plan,” to discuss sports handicapping, stock trends, crypto trends, hot topics, and Larry’s “picks of the week,” his sports picks.
In the media
- "Gunner A. Lindbloom – Audio Books, Best Sellers, Author Bio | Audible.com". audible.com. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
- "BE-KING-Gunner-Lindbloom". amazon. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
- "An Interview with Alan Lindbloom Former Detroit Partnership Enforcer - The NCS". National Crime Syndicate. 13 February 2017. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
- "Gunner Lindbloom-Author, Motivator, Entertainer". The Bash. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
- "75: Former Detroit Mafia Enforcer, Alan Gunner Lindbloom - Because I Wanna Know". iHeart. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
- Burnstein, Scott (14 March 2017). "ESSAY: Retired Detroit Goodfella 'Gunner' Lindbloom On The Mob & Poker Games". The Gangster Report. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
- "To Be A King". HuffPost. 13 November 2017. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
- "The mafia writer: How a man wrote his way out of a life of crime". sg.news.yahoo.com. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
- "Ex-mobster reflects on growing up in Detroit's Mafia family". Gangsters Inc. - www.gangstersinc.org. 4 February 2017. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
- "Parolee Gunner Alan Lindbloom Finds Success After Prison". FOX 2 Detroit. 16 July 2017. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
- "Episode 113 – The Hustler - The Minds of Madness". mindsofmadnesspodcast.com. 10 October 2021. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
- "The Lindbloom Chronicles - My First Memory - The NCS". National Crime Syndicate. 9 January 2017. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
- "lindbloom chronicles first memory". nationalcrimesyndicate.com. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
- "THE CLINK: Gunner Lindbloom - Part 2 on Apple Podcasts". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
- "To Be A King". HuffPost. 13 November 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2021.
- link, Get; Apps, Other. "Former Detroit Mobster Gunner Lindbloom Not Just Another Fish Out of Water Story". cosanostranews. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
- link, Get; Apps, Other. "Former Detroit Mobster Gunner Lindbloom Not Just Another Fish Out of Water Story". cosanostranews.com. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
- "S2 E1 Alan Gunner Lindbloom (pt. 1) - Partners-N-Crime". partners-n-crime.captivate.fm. Retrieved 16 December 2021.