The weekly soiree for five St. Louis hoodlums proclaimed their camaraderie. A rising power in the underworld, they assumed they were invincible, but their lives were to end in a hail of bullets as the "Stone Killer" unleashed his revenge.Killing was inspirational for Jesse Stoneking, a top-level gangster whose nickname wasn't unearned. "That's the way you become a man. By cracking people," he bragged. Cross him and you might be targeted, as the five massacre victims and others on whom death sentences were issued, some of whom survived.Death stalked Jesse while an FBI informant. A man who was offered a contract on entertainer Wayne Newton and who claimed his bombs killed 30 people missed by seconds blowing up Jesse. A Mafioso was stopped by Jesse from shooting an agent, but he couldn't save a young street-walker. Organized crime was decimated by Jesse's undercover work.Readers witness mob warfare and a $2 million score with Jesse almost killing a policeman. They see God protecting the author's family from being kidnapped to force him to decide if they or Jesse lived. Jesse returned to God, an arduous journey with forsaking violence most difficult. In His cleansing process, God converted the prince of crime who sat in the lap of luxury to a pauper. Jesse's underworld power and prestige became a Sword of Damocles hanging over him, his conscience and paranoia tormenting him.Jesse believed a near miss by a mob kill squad to collect the $100,000 bounty on him was prophetic. "It says in the Bible that you're gonna reap what you sow. You live by the sword, you're gonna die by the sword. I'll get a bullet in the head someday."But would he?Ronald J. Lawrence, a retired investigative reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, specializing in organized crime, homicides and corruption, is a devoted Christian.