|Criminal Mastermind - Paul 'Top Tout' Williams|
The Foraging Ireland can now exclusively reveal the vicious thug responsible for Ireland's current wave of gangland crime – Paul 'Top Tout' Williams. Gardaí have long suspected that an unknown kingpin was pulling the strings in Gangland but The Irish Sun journalist's role was only recently uncovered after a thorough and courageous investigation carried out by this writer.
In a case of fact being stranger fiction, Williams' story is not unlike that of the film The Departed. Back in the early 90s the prolific Dublin criminal Martin 'The General' Cahill recognised the power of the media and recruited Williams, then a low-level street thug, to attend a couple of journalism courses before getting him a job, through torture and intimidation, at the Sunday World.
Cahill intended to use Williams to misdirect the Gardaí and rival gangs by planting false stories in the national newspaper. The crime columns were also used to promote Cahill's image of being an “ordinary decent criminal”. But when The General was slaughtered in a hail of bullets in 1994 Williams found himself trapped in his job as a journalist because no one but Cahill knew Top Tout's true identity.
However, Williams soon realised how profitable crime-writing could be in its own right and successfully kept his criminal persona a secret while he expertly played criminal factions against each other using his regular crime columns and subsequent books. It is believed that journalist Veronica Guerin was close to revealing Top Tout's identity in 1996 when she was brutally murdered by John Gilligan's gang after Williams gave them accurate details of her diary and movements.
Williams swiftly replaced Guerin as top dog at the Sunday World and set about creating the cult of Gangland by giving Ireland's criminals the one thing they craved the most but couldn't buy or steal: notoriety. Using his columns he built up the profiles of various lowlifes and drug dealers, knowing that the more he wrote about them the bigger a target they would become. This cunning tactic resulted in a high turnover rate of gangland figures as jealous gang rivals murderously scrambled to get their names in the headlines. Top Tout had hit the big time.
In a bizarre twist, Williams' true identity was revealed not by the Gardaí that he so closely associated with but by the vigilence of this writer. I had noticed discrepancies in Williams' writing – frequent misspellings, poor syntax, indiscriminate punctuation – that suggested he couldn't possibly be a professional writer. When this writer bravely confronted Williams with the overwhelming evidence against him Top Tout broke down and admitted his guilt but fled the country before he could be apprehended by the Gardaí. The grisly reign of Paul 'Top Tout' Williams was over.
*At the time of writing it is believed that Paul Williams is living in Spain and is currently working on one last big heist before he disappears for good: He's writing his memoirs.