THE SAGA OF JACK DURANT is a vibrant, well-researched bio of an intriguing character who typifies the wild-west, sometimes shady, personalities who made their mark in Phoenix. The author cleverly weaves her in-depth research into a lively narrative that gives the reader a feeling of bearing witness to Durant's rather scandalous life. A terrific read!
Fascinating reading about Jack Durant, a suave mobster gone straight. His cover-up was so smooth, he became a beloved restauranteur in Phoenix. Who could have guessed that petite Mabel Leo, a newspaper and magazine feature writer, could uncover his past. Crime buffs won't quit until they, too, know about his alias', wives, links to Bugsy Siegel and FBI records. This sleuth book has everything and it's real
Stories of rustlers, train robbers, gamblers of the wild west became well-known all over the world
Yet, as they grew old and died, another breed took their place in history, gangsters with names such as Capone, Lansky, Luciano, Siegel. Books, movies continue to tell their stories.
Yet there is one who is never mentioned in those books nor seen in movies. He sat at the bar of his Phoenix restaurant for 37 years, keeping his secrets safe, until 1996 when Phoenix author, Mabel Leo, discovered his true identity causing her to write
THE SAGA OF JACK DURANT
The popularity of that book caught the attention of playwright Terry Earp who wrote an award-winning play based on Leo’s book. The play was to be performed five nights. It was sold out every night with people waiting outside hoping for no-shows. Earp then extended the play and it continued for 22 more sold out performances. Terry had to then close the show as the actors had other commitments but she brought it back a few months later for 15 sold out performances. She then inspired Leo to write, JACK’S WORLD with more tales of Jack, including his spirit being seen at the restaurant long after his death.
Interest in Jack grew and, after more research, Leo wrote MOB MOLE revealing more of Jack’s life with the mob.
Though Jack Durant died in 1987, his story still lives
On the stage of "In My Humble Opinion" in front of portrait of Jack Durant Terry Earp on the left, and me, Mabel Leo, on the right.
The Jack Durant series