T.J. English's first work in the genre known as "True Crime" was The Westies: Inside the Hell's Kitchen Irish Mob, published in 1990. It was later adapted into a film called State of Grace starring Sean Penn. His second work, Born to Kill: America's Most Notorious Vietnamese Gang, and the Changing Face of Organized Crime (1995) was nominated for both an Anthony Award and an Edgar Allan Poe Award for best "True Crime" in 1996. Prior to becoming a nonfiction writer focusing on gangs and organized crime, English was a journalist writing for the Irish Voice during the police investigation and subsequent trial of those same members of the Hell's Kitchen mob who were the focus of his first nonfiction work. English, who was born in 1957, continues to do extensive research and write.