Former Detroit Mobster Gunner Lindbloom Not Just Another Fish Out of Water Story

Former Detroit mob associate Alan “Gunner” Lindbloom recently finished a 13-year prison sentence for extortion, armed robbery, bank robbery, weapons violations, and a litany of other crimes.

Gunner with the huge salmon he caught by his home in Northern Michigan.

These days, however, he focuses on promoting his novels, TO BE A KING, and his new gangster inspired line of clothing “OUR THING” Apparel. Oh yeah, he also spends a lot of time catching giant f&%king fish!!

This is Gunner's new life—he’s an acclaimed novelist who writes about a fictional Detroit Mafia Family, and he is the CEO/owner of a Mafia-themed apparel line that was inspired by his books.

(And for this story, I spoke to someone who probably knows him better than he knows himself: his wife, Maria.)

Lindbloom was born into Detroit Mafia royalty; his mother was the cousin of Detroit’s legendary don of dons, Jack Tocco. Made members of the Detroit Mafia were about 100-strong in its 1960s heyday. By 2011, it had dwindled down to around 35-40. However, the FBI believe that the Motor City mob recently “opened its books” and replenished its ranks with several initiation ceremonies.

“To paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of their demise have been much overstated,” said former federal prosecutor and Detroit organized crime task force member Keith Corbett told a Detroit newspaper in 2011.

“The current leaders, guys like Jack Tocco (who died in 2014), may be on the way out due to age, but there is a younger generation coming up behind them ready, willing and able to take the reins. From its inception, this organization was built for the long haul and it will continue to sustain. I don’t think we’ll be talking about the eradication of the mafia in Detroit for quite a while.”

Whatever happens to organized crime in Detroit, it'll have to get along without Gunner Lindbloom. These days, he's got his hands full living a straight, clean, and legitimate life.

Gunner and Maria.

These days, Gunner appreciates the good things—smelling the roses, breathing the clean fresh air of freedom. (Remember: They only become cliches because they're true.) He spends his days writing, marketing his works, 4-wheeling, snowmobiling, dirt biking, and enjoying his beautiful wife. And oh yeah, and he pulls those gigantic fcking salmon out of Lake Huron!!

Today, he's an author and says of himself: "I’m no longer the person I once was. I have no involvement in any criminal activities. Nor do I associate with anyone who is. Today I’m a humble Christian who lives a simple life with my wife, far out in the country, five hours north of Detroit."

Gunner was born in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, a wealthy suburb of Detroit that was, and still is, the home base for the city’s Mafia Families.

Gunner secretly worked the streets as a hustler and enforcer for local mobsters until he was arrested, convicted, and sent to prison for 13-50 years in 2003.

In prison, he found a new calling: writing. While locked in an 8x10 prison cell, he started pounding away on a rudimentary prison typewriter and continued for 13 years. By then he'd written nine novels, some of which were over 1,000 pages long.

While in prison, Gunner also met the love of his life, Maria. “She’s the strongest woman I’ve ever known,” Gunner says of her. After declaring her love for him, she moved up north, where he told her he wanted to live, and waited 6.5 years for him to come home. They married the day after he got out.

Though they grew up in the same neighborhood, and even attended the same schools, he never knew she existed until she began writing him when he was in prison. And  obviously, they had run in different social circles.

Still, Maria remembered him "way back when."

“He was a bad boy. A tough guy. Always fighting. Flashy with his clothes, jewelry and cars. And there were rumors that his family was in the Mafia...”

"I had lived a sheltered life," she recalls. "I’d hear of him. A few times I even saw him around school... He was a hustler, a fighter. I'd heard he dropped out or was kicked out of school."

"I tell him all the time that if someone told me I'd end up marrying Alan Lindbloom, I would've have fell over laughing. I never gave him a second thought."

Detroit boss Jack Tocco.

When Gunner had been inside for six years, Maria was at a time in her life when she was considering doing volunteer work for women in prison. That’s when she came across a Facebook page started by Gunner's cousin, Joe. She eventually made two observations about Gunner: he had strong faith, and he was a writer.

“I am an avid reader and I love writing,” she told me on the phone. “At the time, I was a sales executive in the publishing industry. So, I reached out to encourage and support him."

Maria set out to write a letter to "reintroduce" herself to Gunner, this bad boy she remembered from school.

She recalled beginning her first letter with: "You probably don't remember me..."

She was curious to learn more about his writing -- and about him. It was a formal and polite letter.

"He wrote back and told me a little about his story,” she recalls. “Then we kept writing back and forth."

Eventually, a friend sent her a copy of one of Alan's manuscripts. She started to read it and was surprised at how well it was written, and even more surprised at how captivated she was by the story itself.

Maria wasn't interested in the mob. She actually admitted to me that she's never even seen The Godfather.

In fact, when she'd first inquired about reading his book, it was more out of curiosity, or, as she puts it, "to appease him."

"But the writing blew me away," she says. "I couldn't believe Alan Gunner Lindbloom wrote it. He had a very natural talent. I have read a lot of books. Literally thousands of them. And having worked in the publishing industry for 15 years, I know there are people who can write well, and then there are people who can tell good stories. He was able to do both. And do it at the level of any best-selling author in the world. Better, in fact. He has a very rare gift. He only has a GED and can’t tell you the difference a subject and a predicate. But he can write a perfectly-delivered masterpiece as easily as breathing air. Sometimes I’m awed by it... "

From the characters, to the plotting, the work so engaged her that she found herself wanting to know even more about Gunner himself. And that finally awakened her interest in the Mafia part of his story.

"I was curious to know how much of it he was exposed to.” She began to make certain connections, in time, between Gunner's story and certain qualities that are typically described as "Mafia-like." She saw him as a man of honor, a man of integrity, but from his stories she could tell that he was exposed to more than he was willing to share. He later explained that he didn’t want to scare her off, so he avoided talking about his past life.

“In that life, women aren’t supposed to know,” he says. “It’s safer that way. Anyone who isn’t involved, they shouldn’t know anything. That’s the way I was raised. Not even my closest friends knew what I was doing with my uncles and cousins. Definitely not my girlfriends. I think that’s one of the things that makes Detroit so unique. Guys are brought up to be secretive, not brag about being ‘connected’ or what they’re doing. In the D, that type of stuff makes you come up missing fast. It’s a very tight knit Family. Those who are supposed to know, they know. Everyone else isn’t supposed to know anything. It has always been that way in Detroit. It’s why the feds can’t penetrate.”

Considering her background in publishing, she saw an opportunity to help him.

"I told him I wanted to help him, and from there we started learning about each other’s lives."

Today, they have boxes and boxes of the letters they wrote in those days. Literally thousands of pages. In fact, Gunner set aside his 8th novel, “The Lion Chaser,” to write Maria over 50 pages a week. And in return, she wrote back the same. “It was a fairytale in many ways,” she says. “We really fell in love through those letters. I’m also a writer. And we dived deep. You really get to know someone like this. You can take your time to really articulate your thoughts. It felt natural. He was a total gentleman the whole time.”

In 2010, Maria committed to Gunner, while he still had six years of prison ahead of him. That meant she was essentially committing to six years of prison, too. Her sisters—she has five—were concerned that she was wasting years of her life on a man in prison. For all they knew, he was a two-bit hustler trying to take advantage of her. One even was even concerned that he would get out and kill her for her life insurance.

During those six years, they build a strong relationship, talking on a daily basis, and of course writing and writing and writing. (She lived too far from the prison to visit regularly; visits were extremely complicated and expensive.)

Eventually, after his release from prison, Maria helped him start publishing his work. Having cultivated editorial skills during the course of her career, she put them to work, assisting him with proofreading, and formatting the manuscript for the ebook version. It took nearly a year of full-time work to go back through and polish the books for publication, but they are happy with the finished product. As they should be: The books both have solid 5-star reviews at Amazon, and fans are calling the series “the next Godfather.”

Today, almost two years out of prison, Gunner and Maria are very happily married and have a great life in the northern woods of Michigan, near Lake Huron. Maria does most of the behind-the-scenes work, like updating his website, marketing his books, and promoting his apparel brand. Gunner has several more books he wrote in prison. The next one he intends to publish is called “The Snowman Chronicles,” which he describes as “Goodfellas-meets-Blow.” His “OUR THING” Apparel is quickly blowing up and already selling around the world.

Maria says of him: "He's still a hustler, but now he hustles legitimately. I am very proud of him.

I can't wait to see what he does next. Because he was locked up, he has such a zeal and zest for life. He lives his life to the fullest. He loves to make people laugh and inspire them to chase their dreams. There is always that glint in his eye. Like that of a child at an amusement park. He really revels in his new life and takes nothing for granted."

Since Gunner has ties and comes from a violent world (even his books are about the mafia) I asked his wife if this was something in that that she found a bit troubling.

TO BE A KING is completely fictional, just a story from Gunner's imagination, with no real characters or events tied to his real life. In the Lindbloom Chronicles, however, he recounts stories from his younger life. The family members he writes about in these short stories are no longer living, and those anecdotes from his past aren't anything major. Certainly nothing the feds or investigative journalists don't already know. They're relatively harmless. In the end, Gunner has no current ties at all to his family, and no involvement whatsoever to organized crime. He doesn't ever portray himself as a ‘mob guy.’ He's a writer through and through, and is simply making a living from his creative talent.”

Maria talks about what it is like to be married to Gunner, who is quickly becoming a public figure.

“I'm an introvert and a pretty private person, so it IS a little disconcerting having so many people around the world intimately interested in Gunner’s personal life, his career, and his backstory. He manages it well, but there's a constant barrage of messages, texts, comments, and posts from people who say all kinds of crazy things. Sometimes they invite themselves up to our home for a visit, or other times they'll ask personal questions about me, or often they'll express love and devotion to us... when I don't even know who they are! I know my husband is charismatic, handsome, and engaging, but it's always disconcerting when women disregard any respect for me and send personal messages or post inappropriate comments to him.

"I'm amazed at how many females out there have such little class and tact. That being said, though, there are infinitely more individuals out there who are inspired by Gunner's perseverance, talent, and dedication to overcoming his past. I do very much love that he's impacted lives by just being ‘Gunner,’ and I know he wouldn't be doing his new life justice if he didn't inspire the masses in some way. I've gotten just a taste of what it must be like to be the wife of a Hollywood celebrity, but in the end, my husband is down-to-earth, genuine, and completely devoted to me and our marriage in every way. He doesn't hesitate to shut it all down when we need some ‘us’ time. But I will say that I'm enjoying camping off-the-grid more than ever!”

Besides marketing his current novels and publishing his others, Gunner has recently partnered with a NYC production company to write a TV show about, yup, you guessed it, the Mafia. If picked up, the show will be casting and filming in Detroit.

Gunner has also been contracted to host a reality TV show, in which he will be mentoring troubled teens at a custom car garage in Detroit. If you would like to stay abreast of what he is up to, make sure to follow him on social media. His personal page is maxed out, but you can follow his author page. He is very interactive with his fans and readers. From what I can tell, he truly enjoys interacting with his followers. Keep an eye on this guy. I have a feeling he is headed for big things. I mean, the guy hasn’t even been out of prison two years!

To follow him on social media, click the link below. Takes you to all of his pages:

Below is the link to his personal website:

Below is the link to his online apparel store:

Below is the link to his books and sample chapters:

Below is the link to his Lindbloom Chronicles—they have been read almost 1.5 million times:

Below is the link to the new TV series he is writing: