Catch and KillRonan Farrow
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Chart list of the top true crime ebook ebook best sellers was last updated: Tuesday, October 22 2019, 3:09 pm
Catch and KillRonan Farrow
In a dramatic account of violence and espionage, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Ronan Farrow exposes serial abusers and a cabal of powerful interests hell-bent on covering up the truth, at any cost. In 2017, a routine network television investigation led Ronan Farrow to a story only whispered about: one of Hollywood's most powerful producers was a predator, protected by fear, wealth, and a conspiracy of silence. As Farrow drew closer to the truth, shadowy operatives, from high-priced lawyers to elite war-hardened spies, mounted a secret campaign of intimidation, threatening his career, following his every move, and weaponizing an account of abuse in his own family. All the while, Farrow and his producer faced a degree of resistance they could not explain -- until now. And a trail of clues revealed corruption and cover-ups from Hollywood to Washington and beyond. This is the untold story of the exotic tactics of surveillance and intimidation deployed by wealthy and connected men to threaten journalists, evade accountability, and silence victims of abuse. And it's the story of the women who risked everything to expose the truth and spark a global movement. Both a spy thriller and a meticulous work of investigative journalism, Catch and Kill breaks devastating new stories about the rampant abuse of power and sheds far-reaching light on investigations that shook our culture.
Fire LoverJoseph Wambaugh
The hunt for the most prolific American arsonist of the twentieth century — in this Edgar Award–winning true crime story that’s “stranger than fiction” ( The New York Times ) . From Joseph Wambaugh, the #1 New York Times –bestselling author of such classics as The Onion Field and The Choirboys , comes the extraordinary story of the chase for the “Pillow Pyro,” led by one ambitious firefighter. Growing up in Los Angeles, John Orr idolized law enforcement. However, after being rejected by both the LAPD and LAFD, he settled for a position with the Glendale Fire Department. There, he rose through the ranks, eventually becoming a fire captain and one of Southern California’s best-known and most respected arson investigators. But Orr led another, unseen life, one that included womanizing and an insatiable thirst for recognition. While Orr busted a slew of petty arsonists, there was one serial criminal he could not track down. Nothing was safe from the so-called Pillow Pyro’s obsession. Homes, retail stores, and fields of dry brush all went up in flames. His handiwork led to millions of dollars worth of property damage and the deaths of four innocent bystanders. But after years of evading the police, he made a mistake—one that would turn Orr’s life upside down. The Washington Post raves, “When [Joseph Wambaugh] talks about the culture of cops versus the culture of firemen, we get no speculation, only hard-earned details.” Based on meticulous research, interviews, case records, and thousands of pages of court transcripts, Fire Lover is Wambaugh at his best.
The Most Dangerous Animal of AllGary L. Stewart & Susan Mustafa
An explosive and historic book of true crime and an emotionally powerful and revelatory memoir of a man whose ten-year search for his biological father leads to a chilling discovery: His father is one of the most notorious-and still at large-serial killers in America “I promise that you’ve never read anything like The Most Dangerous Animal of All. Mesmerizing from the first page, the story includes a shattering surprise that will sear itself in your memory. Be prepared to read non-stop; this really is a book you won’t be able to put down.” —Jeff Guinn, author of Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson Soon after his birthmother contacted him for the first time at the age of thirty-nine, adoptee Gary L. Stewart decided to search for his biological father. It was a quest that would lead him to a horrifying truth and force him to reconsider everything he thought he knew about himself and his world. Written with award-winning author and journalist Susan D. Mustafa, The Most Dangerous Animal of All tells the story of Stewart’s decade-long hunt for his father following a complex trail of startling twists and connections. Combing through government records and news reports and through conversations with his father’s relatives and friends, Stewart turns up a host of clues, including forensic evidence, identifying his father as one of the most infamous and still-wanted serial killers in American history.
I Heard You Paint HousesCharles Brandt
Read the book that is the inspiration for the major motion picture THE IRISHMAN, directed by Academy Award® winner Martin Scorsese, starring Academy Award® winners Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Anna Paquin, and Academy Award® nominee Harvey Keitel, and written by Academy Award® winner Steven Zaillian. “Sheeran’s confession that he killed Hoffa in the manner described in the book is supported by the forensic evidence, is entirely credible, and solves the Hoffa mystery.” — Michael Baden M.D., former Chief Medical Examiner of the City of New York “Charles Brandt has solved the Hoffa mystery.” —Professor Arthur Sloane, author of Hoffa “It’s all true.” — New York Police Department organized crime homicide detective Joseph Coffey Updated with a 57-page Conclusion by the author that features new, independent corroboration of Frank Sheeran's revelations about the killing of Jimmy Hoffa, the killing of Joey Gallo and the murder of JFK, along with stories that could not be told before. "I heard you paint houses" are the first words Jimmy Hoffa ever spoke to Frank "the Irishman" Sheeran. To paint a house is to kill a man. The paint is the blood that splatters on the walls and floors. In the course of nearly five years of recorded interviews, Frank Sheeran confessed to Charles Brandt that he handled more than twenty-five hits for the mob, and for his friend Hoffa. Sheeran learned to kill in the U.S. Army, where he saw an astonishing 411 days of active combat duty in Italy during World War II. After returning home he became a hustler and hit man, working for legendary crime boss Russell Bufalino. Eventually Sheeran would rise to a position of such prominence that in a RICO suit then-U.S. Attorney Rudy Giuliani would name him as one of only two non-Italians on a list of 26 top mob figures. When Bufalino ordered Sheeran to kill Hoffa, the Irishman did the deed, knowing that if he had refused he would have been killed himself. Sheeran's important and fascinating story includes new information on other famous murders including those of Joey Gallo and JFK, and provides rare insight to a chapter in American history. Charles Brandt has written a page-turner that has become a true crime classic.
In Cold BloodTruman Capote
National Bestseller On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues. As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he generates both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy. In Cold Blood is a work that transcends its moment, yielding poignant insights into the nature of American violence.
Killers of the Flower MoonDavid Grann
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST "Disturbing and riveting...It will sear your soul." — Dave Eggers, New York Times Book Review SHELF AWARENESS'S BEST BOOK OF 2017 Named a best book of the year by Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, GQ, Time, Newsday, Entertainment Weekly, Time Magazine, NPR's Maureen Corrigan , NPR's "On Point," Vogue , Smithsonian, Cosmopolitan, Seattle Times, Bloomberg, Lit Hub's "Ultimate Best Books ," Library Journal, Paste, Kirkus, Slate.com and Book Browse From New Yorker staff writer David Grann, #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Lost City of Z, a twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe. Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. Her relatives were shot and poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more members of the tribe began to die under mysterious circumstances. In this last remnant of the Wild West—where oilmen like J. P. Getty made their fortunes and where desperadoes like Al Spencer, the “Phantom Terror,” roamed—many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll climbed to more than twenty-four, the FBI took up the case. It was one of the organization’s first major homicide investigations and the bureau badly bungled the case. In desperation, the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including one of the only American Indian agents in the bureau. The agents infiltrated the region, struggling to adopt the latest techniques of detection. Together with the Osage they began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history. In Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann revisits a shocking series of crimes in which dozens of people were murdered in cold blood. Based on years of research and startling new evidence, the book is a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, as each step in the investigation reveals a series of sinister secrets and reversals. But more than that, it is a searing indictment of the callousness and prejudice toward American Indians that allowed the murderers to operate with impunity for so long. Killers of the Flower Moon is utterly compelling, but also emotionally devastating.
Say NothingPatrick Radden Keefe
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Winner of the Orwell Prize "A masterful history of the Troubles. . . Extraordinary. . .As in the most ingenious crime stories, Keefe unveils a revelation — lying, so to speak, in plain sight." — Maureen Corrigan, NPR From award-winning New Yorker staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe, a stunning, intricate narrative about a notorious killing in Northern Ireland and its devastating repercussions In December 1972, Jean McConville, a thirty-eight-year-old mother of ten, was dragged from her Belfast home by masked intruders, her children clinging to her legs. They never saw her again. Her abduction was one of the most notorious episodes of the vicious conflict known as The Troubles. Everyone in the neighborhood knew the I.R.A. was responsible. But in a climate of fear and paranoia, no one would speak of it. In 2003, five years after an accord brought an uneasy peace to Northern Ireland, a set of human bones was discovered on a beach. McConville's children knew it was their mother when they were told a blue safety pin was attached to the dress--with so many kids, she had always kept it handy for diapers or ripped clothes. Patrick Radden Keefe's mesmerizing book on the bitter conflict in Northern Ireland and its aftermath uses the McConville case as a starting point for the tale of a society wracked by a violent guerrilla war, a war whose consequences have never been reckoned with. The brutal violence seared not only people like the McConville children, but also I.R.A. members embittered by a peace that fell far short of the goal of a united Ireland, and left them wondering whether the killings they committed were not justified acts of war, but simple murders. From radical and impetuous I.R.A. terrorists such as Dolours Price, who, when she was barely out of her teens, was already planting bombs in London and targeting informers for execution, to the ferocious I.R.A. mastermind known as The Dark, to the spy games and dirty schemes of the British Army, to Gerry Adams, who negotiated the peace but betrayed his hardcore comrades by denying his I.R.A. past-- Say Nothing conjures a world of passion, betrayal, vengeance, and anguish.
I'll Be Gone in the DarkMichelle McNamara
Features new material on the Golden State Killer's case and an updated afterword by Patton Oswalt. #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: Washington Post | Maureen Corrigan, NPR | Paste | Seattle Times | Entertainment Weekly | Esquire | Slate | Buzzfeed | Jezebel | Philadelphia Inquirer | Publishers Weekly | Kirkus Reviews | Library Journal | Bustle | Mother Jones | Real Simple | Crime Reads | Book Riot | Bookish | Amazon | Barnes and Noble |Hudson Booksellers New York Public Library | Chicago Public Library Winner of the Goodreads Choice Awards for Nonfiction | SCIBA Book Award Winner | Longlisted for the Carnegie Medal for Excellence The haunting true story of the elusive serial rapist turned murderer who terrorized California during the 70s and 80s, and of the gifted journalist who died tragically while investigating the case—which was solved in April 2018. Introduction by Gillian Flynn • Afterword by Patton Oswalt “A brilliant genre-buster.... Propulsive, can’t-stop-now reading.” —Stephen King For more than ten years, a mysterious and violent predator committed fifty sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated ten sadistic murders. Then he disappeared, eluding capture by multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area. Three decades later, Michelle McNamara, a true crime journalist who created the popular website TrueCrimeDiary.com, was determined to find the violent psychopath she called "the Golden State Killer." Michelle pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark—the masterpiece McNamara was writing at the time of her sudden death—offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth. Utterly original and compelling, it has been hailed as a modern true crime classic—one which fulfilled Michelle's dream: helping unmask the Golden State Killer.
American PredatorMaureen Callahan
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A Washington Post "10 Books To Read in July" A Los Angeles Times "Seven Highly Anticipated Books for Summer Reading" A USA Today "20 of the Season's Hottest New Books" A New York Post "25 Best Beach Reads of 2019 You Need to Pre-Order Now" "Maureen Callahan's deft reporting and stylish writing have created one of the all-time-great serial-killer books: sensitive, chilling, and completely impossible to put down." --Ada Calhoun, author of St. Marks Is Dead Ted Bundy. John Wayne Gacy. Jeffrey Dahmer. The names of notorious serial killers are usually well-known; they echo in the news and in public consciousness. But most people have never heard of Israel Keyes, one of the most ambitious and terrifying serial killers in modern history. The FBI considered his behavior unprecedented. Described by a prosecutor as "a force of pure evil," Keyes was a predator who struck all over the United States. He buried "kill kits"--cash, weapons, and body-disposal tools--in remote locations across the country. Over the course of fourteen years, Keyes would fly to a city, rent a car, and drive thousands of miles in order to use his kits. He would break into a stranger's house, abduct his victims in broad daylight, and kill and dispose of them in mere hours. And then he would return home to Alaska, resuming life as a quiet, reliable construction worker devoted to his only daughter. When journalist Maureen Callahan first heard about Israel Keyes in 2012, she was captivated by how a killer of this magnitude could go undetected by law enforcement for over a decade. And so began a project that consumed her for the next several years--uncovering the true story behind how the FBI ultimately caught Israel Keyes, and trying to understand what it means for a killer like Keyes to exist. A killer who left a path of monstrous, randomly committed crimes in his wake--many of which remain unsolved to this day. American Predator is the ambitious culmination of years of interviews with key figures in law enforcement and in Keyes's life, and research uncovered from classified FBI files. Callahan takes us on a journey into the chilling, nightmarish mind of a relentless killer, and to the limitations of traditional law enforcement.
The Irishman (Movie Tie-In)Charles Brandt
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED AS I HEARD YOU PAINT HOUSES New York Times Bestseller Now a major motion picture directed by Academy Award® winner Martin Scorsese, starring Academy Award® winners Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Anna Paquin, and Academy Award® nominee Harvey Keitel, and written by Academy Award® winner Steven Zaillian. The Irishman “gives new meaning to the term ‘guilty pleasure.’’’ — Bryan Burrough, author of Public Enemies , in The New York Times Book Review “Told with such economy and chilling force as to make The Sopranos suddenly seem overwrought and theatrical.” — New York Daily News “A terrific read.” — Kansas City Star The Irishman is an epic saga of organized crime in post-war America told through the eyes of World War II veteran Frank Sheeran, a hustler and hitman who worked for legendary crime boss Russell Bufalino alongside some of the most notorious figures of the 20th Century. Spanning decades, Sheeran’s story chronicles one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in American history, the disappearance of legendary union boss Jimmy Hoffa, and it offers a monumental journey through the hidden corridors of organized crime: its inner workings, rivalries and connections to mainstream politics. Sheeran would rise to a position of such prominence that in a RICO suit against The Commission of La Cosa Nostra, the US Government would name him as one of only two non-Italians in conspiracy with the Commission. Sheeran is listed alongside the likes of Anthony “Tony Pro” Provenzano and Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno. In the course of nearly five years of recorded interviews, Sheeran confessed to Charles Brandt that he handled more than twenty-five hits for the mob, and Brandt turned Sheeran’s story into a page-turning true crime classic.
The Innocent ManJohn Grisham
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • John Grisham’s first work of nonfiction: a true crime story that will terrify anyone who believes in the presumption of innocence. NOW A NETFLIX ORIGINAL DOCUMENTARY SERIES “Both an American tragedy and [Grisham’s] strongest legal thriller yet, all the more gripping because it happens to be true.”— Entertainment Weekly In the town of Ada, Oklahoma, Ron Williamson was going to be the next Mickey Mantle. But on his way to the Big Leagues, Ron stumbled, his dreams broken by drinking, drugs, and women. Then, on a winter night in 1982, not far from Ron’s home, a young cocktail waitress named Debra Sue Carter was savagely murdered. The investigation led nowhere. Until, on the flimsiest evidence, it led to Ron Williamson. The washed-up small-town hero was charged, tried, and sentenced to death—in a trial littered with lying witnesses and tainted evidence that would shatter a man’s already broken life, and let a true killer go free. Impeccably researched, grippingly told, filled with eleventh-hour drama, The Innocent Man reads like a page-turning legal thriller. It is a book no American can afford to miss. Praise for The Innocent Man “Grisham has crafted a legal thriller every bit as suspenseful and fast-paced as his bestselling fiction.” — The Boston Globe “A gritty, harrowing true-crime story.” — Time “A triumph.” —The Seattle Times BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from John Grisham’s The Litigators.
My Friend AnnaRachel DeLoache Williams
Sex and the City meets Catch Me if You Can in the astonishing true story of Anna Delvey, a young con artist posing as a German heiress in New York City—as told by the former Vanity Fair photo editor who got seduced by her friendship and then scammed out of more than $62,000. Vanity Fair photo editor Rachel DeLoache Williams’s new friend Anna Delvey, a self-proclaimed German heiress, was worldly and ambitious. She was also generous—picking up the tab for lavish dinners at Le Coucou, infrared sauna sessions at HigherDOSE, drinks at the 11 Howard Library bar, and regular workout sessions with a celebrity personal trainer. When Anna proposed an all-expenses-paid trip to Marrakech at the five-star La Mamounia hotel, Rachel jumped at the chance. But when Anna’s credit cards mysteriously stopped working, the dream vacation quickly took a dark turn. Anna asked Rachel to begin fronting costs—first for flights, then meals and shopping, and, finally, for their $7,500-per-night private villa. Before Rachel knew it, more than $62,000 had been charged to her credit cards. Anna swore she would reimburse Rachel the moment they returned to New York. Back in Manhattan, the repayment never materialized, and a shocking pattern of deception emerged. Rachel learned that Anna had left a trail of deceit—and unpaid bills—wherever she’d been. Mortified, Rachel contacted the district attorney, and in a stunning turn of events, found herself helping to bring down one of the city’s most notorious con artists. With breathless pacing and in-depth reporting from the person who experienced it firsthand, My Friend Anna is an unforgettable true story of money, power, greed, and female friendship.
Unbelievable (Movie Tie-In)T. Christian Miller & Ken Armstrong
Now the Netflix Limited Series Unbelievable, starring Toni Collette, Merritt Wever, and Kaitlyn Dever • Two Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists tell the riveting true crime story of a teenager charged with lying about having been raped—and the detectives who followed a winding path to arrive at the truth. “Gripping . . . [with a] John Grisham–worthy twist.”—Emily Bazelon, New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice) On August 11, 2008, eighteen-year-old Marie reported that a masked man broke into her apartment near Seattle, Washington, and raped her. Within days police and even those closest to Marie became suspicious of her story. The police swiftly pivoted and began investigating Marie. Confronted with inconsistencies in her story and the doubts of others, Marie broke down and said her story was a lie—a bid for attention. Police charged Marie with false reporting, and she was branded a liar. More than two years later, Colorado detective Stacy Galbraith was assigned to investigate a case of sexual assault. Describing the crime to her husband that night, Galbraith learned that the case bore an eerie resemblance to a rape that had taken place months earlier in a nearby town. She joined forces with the detective on that case, Edna Hendershot, and the two soon discovered they were dealing with a serial rapist: a man who photographed his victims, threatening to release the images online, and whose calculated steps to erase all physical evidence suggested he might be a soldier or a cop. Through meticulous police work the detectives would eventually connect the rapist to other attacks in Colorado—and beyond. Based on investigative files and extensive interviews with the principals, Unbelievable is a serpentine tale of doubt, lies, and a hunt for justice, unveiling the disturbing truth of how sexual assault is investigated today—and the long history of skepticism toward rape victims. Previously published as A False Report
Family SecretsJeff Coen
Painting a vivid picture of the scenes both inside and outside the courtroom and re-creating events from court transcripts, police records, interviews, and notes taken day after day as the story unfolded in court in 2007, this narrative accurately portrays cold-blooded—and sometimes incompetent—killers and their crimes. In 1998 Frank Calabrese Jr. offered to wear a wire to help the FBI build a case against his father, Frank Sr., and his uncle Nick. A top Mob boss, a reputed consigliore, and other high-profile members of the Chicago Outfit were eventually accused in a total of 18 gangland killings, revealing organized crime's ruthless grip on the city throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. After a series of other defendants pled guilty, those left to face off in court alongside Frank Sr. were James "Little Jimmy" Marcello, the acting head of the Chicago mob; Joey "the Clown" Lombardo, one of Chicago’s most colorful mobsters; and Paul "the Indian" Schiro. A former Chicago police officer who worked in evidence, Anthony "Twan" Doyle, rounded out the list. The riveting testimony and wide-angle view provide one of the best accounts on record of the inner workings of the Chicago syndicate and its control over the city's streets.
The Poison TreeAlan Prendergast
Edgar Award Finalist: The shocking account of a Wyoming father who terrorized his family for years—until his children plotted a deadly solution. One cold November night, in Cheyenne, Wyoming, fifteen-year-old Richard Jahnke Jr., ROTC leader and former Boy Scout, waited for his parents to return from celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the night they met. When his father got out of the car, the boy blasted him through the heart with a twelve-gauge pump-action shotgun. Richard’s seventeen-year-old sister, Deborah, was sitting on the living room couch with a high-powered rifle—just in case her brother missed. Hours later the Jahnke kids were behind bars. Days later they made headlines. So did the truth about the house of horrors on Cowpoke Road. Was it cold-blooded murder? Or self-defense? Richard Jahnke Sr., special agent for the IRS, gun collector, and avid reader of Soldier of Fortune , had been subjecting his wife, Maria, and both children to harrowing abuse—physical, psychological, and sexual—for years. Deborah and her brother conspired to finally put a stop to it themselves. But their fate was in the hands of a prejudiced and inept judicial system, and only public outcry could save them. Written with the full and revealing cooperation of the Jahnkes, this finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime is “the ultimate family nightmare, played out in the heartland of America. . . . From the night of the murder through both trials, convictions and both youngsters’ eventual release . . . it’s gripping reading” ( Chicago Tribune ).
Midnight in the Garden of Good and EvilJohn Berendt
Shots rang out in Savannah's grandest mansion in the misty,early morning hours of May 2, 1981. Was it murder or self-defense? For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares. John Berendt's sharply observed, suspenseful, and witty narrative reads like a thoroughly engrossing novel, and yet it is a work of nonfiction. Berendt skillfully interweaves a hugely entertaining first-person account of life in this isolated remnant of the Old South with the unpredictable twists and turns of a landmark murder case. It is a spellbinding story peopled by a gallery of remarkable characters: the well-bred society ladies of the Married Woman's Card Club; the turbulent young redneck gigolo; the hapless recluse who owns a bottle of poison so powerful it could kill every man, woman, and child in Savannah; the aging and profane Southern belle who is the "soul of pampered self-absorption"; the uproariously funny black drag queen; the acerbic and arrogant antiques dealer; the sweet-talking, piano-playing con artist; young blacks dancing the minuet at the black debutante ball; and Minerva, the voodoo priestess who works her magic in the graveyard at midnight. These and other Savannahians act as a Greek chorus, with Berendt revealing the alliances, hostilities, and intrigues that thrive in a town where everyone knows everyone else. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a sublime and seductive reading experience. Brilliantly conceived and masterfully written, this enormously engaging portrait of a most beguiling Southern city has become a modern classic.
The Hillside StranglersDarcy O'Brien
The riveting true crime account of the Hillside Stranglers and the horrific serial killings they unleashed on 1970s Los Angeles. For weeks that fall, the body count of sexually violated, brutally murdered young women escalated. With increasing alarm, Los Angeles newspapers headlined the deeds of a serial killer they named the Hillside Strangler. The city was held hostage by fear. But not until January 1979, more than a year later, would the mysterious disappearance of two university students near Seattle lead police to the arrest of a security guard—the handsome, charming, fast-talking Kenny Bianchi—and the discovery that the strangler was not one man but two. Compellingly, O’Brien explores the symbiotic relationship between Bianchi and his cousin Angelo Buono, their lust for women as insatiable as their hate, before examining the crimes they remorselessly perpetrated and the lives of the unsuspecting victims they claimed. Equally riveting is O’Brien’s account of the trial—one of the longest and most controversial criminal court cases in American history—with the defense team parading, one after another, expert witnesses who had been effectively duped by Bianchi’s impersonation of a man suffering multiple personality disorder. It’s one way a man might contrive to get away with murder. Like Truman Capote in In Cold Blood and Norman Mailer in The Executioner’s Song , Darcy O’Brien weds the narrative skill of an award-winning novelist with the detailed observations of an experienced investigator to unravel this chilling true-crime story.
The Lazarus FilesMatthew McGough
A deeply-reported, riveting account of a cold case murder in Los Angeles, unsolved until DNA evidence implicated a shocking suspect – a female detective within the LAPD’s own ranks. On February 24, 1986, 29-year-old newlywed Sherri Rasmussen was murdered in the home she shared with her husband, John. The crime scene suggested a ferocious struggle, and police initially assumed it was a burglary gone awry. Before her death, Sherri had confided to her parents that an ex-girlfriend of John’s, a Los Angeles police officer, had threatened her. The Rasmussens urged the LAPD to investigate the ex-girlfriend, but the original detectives only pursued burglary suspects, and the case went cold. DNA analysis did not exist when Sherri was murdered. Decades later, a swab from a bite mark on Sherri’s arm revealed her killer was in fact female, not male. A DNA match led to the arrest and conviction of veteran LAPD Detective Stephanie Lazarus, John’s onetime girlfriend. The Lazarus Files delivers the visceral experience of being inside a real-life murder mystery. McGough reconstructs the lives of Sherri, John and Stephanie; the love triangle that led to Sherri’s murder; and the homicide investigation that followed. Was Stephanie protected by her fellow officers? What did the LAPD know, and when did they know it? Are there other LAPD cold cases with a police connection that remain unsolved?
We Is Got HimCarrie Hagen
This “relentlessly suspenseful” story of America’s first known kidnapping in nineteenth century Philadelphia is “elegantly told, superbly accomplished” ( The Philadelphia Enquirer ). In 1874, a little boy named Charley Ross was snatched from his family’s front yard in Philadelphia. A ransom note arrived three days later, demanding twenty thousand dollars for the boy’s return. The city was about to host the America’s Centennial celebration, and the mass panic surrounding the Charley Ross case plunged the nation into hysteria. The desperate search led the police to inspect every building in Philadelphia, set up saloon surveillance in New York’s notorious slums, and begin a national manhunt. With white-knuckle suspense and historical detail, Hagen vividly captures the dark side of an earlier America. Her brilliant portrayal of its criminals, detectives, politicians, spiritualists, and ordinary families will stay with the reader long after the final page. “Hagen skillfully narrates a saga that transcends one kidnapping, a saga tied up with the World’s Fair that was about to open in Philadelphia.” — Kirkus Reviews “As Erik Larson mined the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair for Devil in the White City , Hagen chronicles a tragically more relevant 19th-century story.” —Michael Capuzzo, author of The Murder Room
A Life, Black As CoalMarcus Drayton
From deep in the hills of the West Virginia coal mines comes a tale of intrigue, fraud, and corruption through the eyes of the man who lived it. A Life, Black as Coal is the true life story of Marcus Dreyton, who grew up working the coal mines, carrying on the family business. As a young boy, he remembers his parents telling him to do what is right and be a good person and to fear hell. But he never dreamed that through his life, hell would become his playground. After many years of a turbulent personal life and two marriages, the 1990s rolled around, and Dreyton found himself right in the middle of the massive coal mine inspector investigations, which led to two years of undercover work for the FBI. Brown paper bags full of money, lies, scams, infidelity, phone taps, private investigators, wires under his shirt, sleepless nights—every day was something new. As if things could not get worse, new faces began to appear at the meetings—not the usual coal-painted faces he was used to seeing. Who could he trust? When the coal dust settled, he was ultimately responsible for the incarceration of over one hundred people who were convicted for bribery and extortion. The cesspool of corruption even caught the attention of Time Magazine. After declining witness protection services, he continued his life under the radar but, to this day, still looks over his shoulder. From the deepest, darkest corners of the mines of the Mountain State to the exotic, intoxicating land of the Philippines, Dreyton’s story is an accurate account of trials, adventures, consequences, and long-awaited rewards finally reaped.
Filthy RichJames Patterson, John Connolly & Tim Malloy
You've read the Jeffrey Epstein headlines, now get the full story. The world's bestselling author, James Patterson, has written the definitive book on the billionaire pedophile at the center of the newly unsealed federal sex crimes case. Jeffrey Epstein rose from humble origins into the New York City and Palm Beach elite. A college dropout with an instinct for numbers -- and for people -- Epstein amassed his wealth through a combination of access and skill. But even after he had it all, Epstein wanted more. That unceasing desire -- and especially a taste for underage girls --resulted in sexual-abuse charges, to which he pleaded guilty and received a shockingly lenient sentence. Included here are police interviews with girls who have alleged sexual abuse by Epstein, as well as details of the investigation against him.
The Murder of the CenturyPaul Collins
“No writer better articulates ourinterest in the confluence of hope, eccentricity, and the timelessness of the bold and strange than Paul Collins.”—Dave Eggers On Long Island, a farmer finds a duck pond turned red with blood. On the Lower East Side, two boys playing at a pier discover a floating human torso wrapped tightly in oilcloth. Blueberry pickers near Harlem stumble upon neatly severed limbs in an overgrown ditch. Clues to a horrifying crime are turning up all over New York, but the police are baffled: There are no witnesses, no motives, no suspects. The grisly finds that began on the afternoon of June 26, 1897, plunged detectives headlong into the era’s most baffling murder mystery. Seized upon by battling media moguls Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, the case became a publicity circus. Reenactments of the murder were staged in Times Square, armed reporters lurked in the streets of Hell’s Kitchen in pursuit of suspects, and an unlikely trio—a hard-luck cop, a cub reporter, and an eccentric professor—all raced to solve the crime. What emerged was a sensational love triangle and an even more sensational trial: an unprecedented capital case hinging on circumstantial evidence around a victim whom the police couldn’t identify with certainty, and who the defense claimed wasn’t even dead. The Murder of the Century is a rollicking tale—a rich evocation of America during the Gilded Age and a colorful re-creation of the tabloid wars that have dominated media to this day.
One Dark NightKevin F. McMurray
Their neighbors were Bill and Hillary Clinton. Their home was Chappaqua, the upscale New York suburb famous for its tranquility—until one dark night, when a brutal murder shattered the community. Driving home with his wife Peggy, Carlos Perez-Olivo claimed he was forced off the road by another vehicle. Entering the couple's SUV, the other driver allegedly shot and killed Peggy during a struggle. Then, while wrestling with the assailant, Carlos took a bullet in the abdomen. But disturbing facts about Carlos began to surface: He'd sent flowers to his mistress two days before Peggy's murder. He'd been recently disbarred as a criminal defense attorney. And now, he stood to inherit Peggy's life insurance policies. With each revelation, more questions were raised: Was Carlos an innocent victim? A scheming accomplice? Or a cold-blooded killer? This is what really happened…
In the Minds of MurderersPaul Roland
Criminal profiling has been seen more and more in newspapers and on TV. This work explores an area of criminal detection, drawing on the more disturbing areas of psychology.
I Will Find YouJoe Kenda
Now a New York Times audio bestseller! Detective Lt. Joe Kenda, star of Homicide Hunter, shares his deepest, darkest, and never before revealed case files from his 19 years as a homicide detective. Are you horrified yet fascinated by abhorrent murders? Do you crave to know the gory details of these crimes, and do you seek comfort in the solving of the most gruesome? In I WILL FIND YOU, the star of Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda shares his deepest, darkest, and never-before-revealed case files from his two decades as a homicide detective and reminds us that crimes like these are very real and can happen even in our own backyards. Gruesome, macabre, and complex cases. Joe Kenda investigated 387 murder cases during his 23 years with the Colorado Springs Police Department and solved almost all of them. And he is ready to detail the cases that are too gruesome to air on television, cases that still haunt him, and the few cases where the killer got away. These cases are horrifyingly real, and the detail is so mesmerizing you won't be able to look away. The tales in I WILL FIND YOU will shock you like the best horror stories-divulging insights into the actions, motivations, and proclivities of nature's most dangerous species. Don't mind the blood.
Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson MurdersVincent Bugliosi & Curt Gentry
The #1 True Crime Bestseller of All Time—7 Million Copies Sold In the summer of 1969, in Los Angeles, a series of brutal, seemingly random murders captured headlines across America. A famous actress (and her unborn child), an heiress to a coffee fortune, a supermarket owner and his wife were among the seven victims. A thin trail of circumstances eventually tied the Tate-LeBianca murders to Charles Manson, a would-be pop singer of small talent living in the desert with his "family" of devoted young women and men. What was his hold over them? And what was the motivation behind such savagery? In the public imagination, over time, the case assumed the proportions of myth. The murders marked the end of the sixties and became an immediate symbol of the dark underside of that era. Vincent Bugliosi was the prosecuting attorney in the Manson trial, and this book is his enthralling account of how he built his case from what a defense attorney dismissed as only "two fingerprints and Vince Bugliosi." The meticulous detective work with which the story begins, the prosecutor's view of a complex murder trial, the reconstruction of the philosophy Manson inculcated in his fervent followers…these elements make for a true crime classic. Helter Skelter is not merely a spellbinding murder case and courtroom drama but also, in the words of The New Republic, a "social document of rare importance." Some images in this ebook are not displayed due to permissions issues.
The Family Next DoorJohn Glatt
From New York Times bestselling true crime author John Glatt comes the devastating story of the Turpins: a seemingly normal family whose dark secrets would shock and captivate the world. On January 14, 2018, a seventeen-year-old girl climbed out of the window of her Perris, California home and dialed 911 on a borrowed cell phone. Struggling to stay calm, she told the operator that she and her 12 siblings—ranging in age from 2 to 29—were being abused by their parents. When the dispatcher asked for her address, the girl hesitated. “I’ve never been out,” she stammered. To their family, neighbors, and online friends, Louise and David Turpin presented a picture of domestic bliss: dressing their thirteen children in matching outfits and buying them expensive gifts. But what police discovered when they entered the Turpin family home would eclipse the most shocking child abuse cases in history. For years, David and Louise had kept their children in increasing isolation, trapping them in a sinister world of torture, fear, and near starvation. In the first major account of the case, investigative journalist John Glatt delves into the disturbing details and recounts the bravery of the thirteen siblings in the face of unimaginable horror.
The Misbegotten SonJack Olsen & Katherine Ramsland
Little Artie Shawcross bullied classmates, insulted teachers, started fires, tortured animals, and roved the woods of New York's hardscrabble North Country with imaginary friends, talking in a high squawk. He also scored top grades, excelled in sports and shared his money and toys with the children who ridiculed him. From the second grade on, he was subjected to psychiatric examination, regularly confounding the experts. Years later, while serving in Vietnam, Arthur John Shawcross wrote bloodcurdling letters about his battlefield ordeals, then returned to Watertown to commit a string of arsons and burglaries. He served two years in prison, was paroled to his respectable parents - and murdered a boy and a girl. Back in the penitentiary, he proved as enigmatic as ever. Some counselors saw him as a Frankenstein monster, beyond hope, irredeemable. To others he was a troubled young man who could be saved. No two psychiatrists seemed to agree. Shawcross served fifteen years, then conned a parole board into an early release. He settled in Binghamton, but angry citizens learned of his bloody history and ran him out of town. After two smaller communities turned him away, desperate parole authorities finally smuggled the child-killer into Rochester in the dead of night - neglecting to alert the local police. Soon the corpses started turning up, locked in winter ice, covered by reeds in swamps, floating in streams. The homicidal pedophile had changed his M.O., this time murdering diminutive women. As the body count grew, Rochester streets swarmed with police, and still the serial killer managed to snare his tenth victim, then his eleventh. Amazon.com Accounts of more famous serial killers like Ted Bundy or Jeffrey Dahmer may have ghoulish entertainment value, but I agree with writer Darcy O'Brien that this meticulously factual study of child sex-murderer Arthur Shawcross "comes closer to capturing the psychology of a serial killer than anything else I've ever read." The strength of this book (semi-finalist for a 1994 Edgar Award) comes first from the quality of the materials--including first-person interviews with the killer's wives, girlfriends, co-workers, police officers, therapists, and even a prostitute who "played dead" for Shawcross--and second, from Olsen's ability to weave the information into a highly readable story that reveals, above all, the ineffectiveness of our system of rehabilitation and parole. From Publishers Weekly An experienced and skilled writer, Olsen ( Predator ) proves himself equal to the formidable task of studying serial killer Arthur Shawcross. Born in 1945 in upstate New York, Shawcross was perceived as different even in childhood (his classmates dubbed him "Oddie," and elementary school officials called for mental health evaluations). In the early '70s he murdered two children and was sentenced to up to 25 years in prison; he served less than 15 years before he was paroled in 1987. He was difficult to place--townspeople drove him out as soon as his past became known. After three such episodes, parole officials sent him surreptitiously to Rochester, N.Y., where he killed at least 11 prostitutes. He was arrested in 1990 and eventually sentenced to 250 years in prison. During the trial, he claimed that he had been physically and sexually abused by his mother (untrue, the authorities concluded) and that he had committed horrible atrocities in Vietnam (probably untrue). He did not fit the classic pattern of the sociopath, nor did he seem either schizophrenic or paranoid. It remained for psychiatrist Richard Kraus to hypothesize that physiology was the basis for Shawcross's behavior--he diagnosed Shawcross as suffering from a metabolic ailment known as pyroluria and an abnormal genetic constitution. Told by Olsen with contributions from others affected by Shawcross's crimes, the story is a triumph of true-crime writing.
Five FamiliesSelwyn Raab
Genovese, Gambino, Bonnano, Colombo and Lucchese. For decades these Five Families ruled New York and built the American Mafia (or Cosa Nostra) into an underworld empire. Today, the Mafia is an endangered species, battered and beleaguered by aggressive investigators, incompetent leadership, betrayals and generational changes that produced violent and unreliable leaders and recruits. A twenty year assault against the five families in particular blossomed into the most successful law enforcement campaign of the last century. Selwyn Raab's Five Families is the vivid story of the rise and fall of New York's premier dons from Lucky Luciano to Paul Castellano to John Gotti and more. The book also brings the reader right up to the possible resurgence of the Mafia as the FBI and local law enforcement agencies turn their attention to homeland security and away from organized crime.
The Onion FieldJoseph Wambaugh & James Ellroy
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A fascinating account of a double tragedy: one physical, the other psychological.”—Truman Capote This is the frighteningly true story of two young cops and two young robbers whose separate destinies fatally cross one March night in a bizarre execution in a deserted Los Angeles field. “A complex story of tragic proportions . . . more ambitious than In Cold Blood and equally compelling!”— The New York Times “Once the action begins it is difficult to put the book down. . . . Wambaugh’s compelling account of this true story is destined for the bestseller lists.”— Library Journal
In the Still of the NightAnn Rule
FROM TRUE-CRIME LEGEND ANN RULE comes this riveting story of a young woman whose life ended too soon—and a determined mother’s eleven-year crusade to clear her daughter’s name. It was nine days before Christmas 1998, and thirty-two-year-old Ronda Reynolds was getting ready to travel from Seattle to Spokane to visit her mother and brother and grandmother before the holidays. Ronda’s second marriage was dissolving after less than a year, her career as a pioneering female Washington State Trooper had ended, but she was optimistic about starting over again. "I’m actually looking forward to getting on with my life," she told her mother earlier the night before. "I just need a few days with you guys." Barb Thompson, Ronda’s mother, who had met her daughter’s second husband only once before, was just happy that Ronda was coming home. At 6:20 that morning, Ron Reynolds called 911 and told the dispatcher his wife was dead. She had committed suicide, he said, although he hadn’t heard the gunshot and he didn’t know if she had a pulse. EMTs arrived, detectives arrived, the coroner’s deputy arrived, and a postmortem was conducted. Lewis County Coroner Terry Wilson, who neither visited the death scene nor attended the autopsy, declared the manner of Ronda’s death as "undetermined." Over the next eleven years, Coroner Wilson would change that manner of death from "undetermined" to "suicide," back to "undetermined"—and then back to "suicide" again. But Barb Thompson never for one moment believed her daughter committed suicide. Neither did Detective Jerry Berry or ballistics expert Marty Hayes or attorney Royce Ferguson or dozens of Ronda’s friends. For eleven grueling years, through the ups and downs of the legal system and its endless delays, these people and others helped Barb Thompson fight to strike that painful word from her daughter’s death certificate. On November 9, 2009, a precedent-setting hearing was held to determine whether Coroner Wilson’s office had been derelict in its duty in investigating the death of Ronda Reynolds. Veteran true-crime writer Ann Rule was present at that hearing, hoping to unbraid the tangled strands of conflicting statements and mishandled evidence and present all sides of this haunting case and to determine, perhaps, what happened to Ronda Reynolds, in the chill still of that tragic December night.
Bitter RemainsDiane Fanning
The bestselling true crime author of Under Cover of the Night recounts Laura Ackerson’s disappearance and murder in North Carolina, the discovery of her remains in Texas, and the aftermath… On July 13, 2011, Laura Jean Ackerson of Kinston, North Carolina, went to pick up her two toddler sons. It would be the last time she was seen alive... Two weeks later, detectives searching for the missing mother made a gruesome discovery on the shores of Oyster Creek near Richmond, Texas—the dismembered body parts of a young woman whom they were able to identify as Laura Ackerson. Laura’s ex, Grant Hayes—the father of her two sons—and his wife, Amanda, the mother of his newborn daughter, both pointed the finger at each other as the one guilty of murdering Laura, cutting up her body, and then transporting and disposing of the remains. This is the haunting true crime story of a devoted mother, a disturbed couple, and how these horrific events came to pass... INCLUDES PHOTOS
When the Bullet Hits the BoneAnthony S. Luciano Raimondi
Anthony Raimondi was born into a world that most people would never venture into or experience or be part of. He was born into the world of organized crime. In this book, he tells of rampant corruption, payoffs, and bribes and of treachery and deceit and assassinations in the Vatican and of the biggest heist in mob history. Look for Part 2 - When the Bullet Hits the Bone : The Dead Don’t Walk
Licensed to LieSidney Powell
Dare to read the true back-story of Andrew Weissmann--now on Robert Mueller's hit-squad investigating President Trump. A tragic suicide, a likely murder, wrongful imprisonment, and gripping courtroom scenes draw readers into this compelling story giving them a frightening perspective on justice corrupted and who should be accountable when evidence is withheld. Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice is the true story of the strong-arm, illegal, and unethical tactics used by headline-grabbing federal prosecutors in their narcissistic pursuit of power. Its scope reaches from the US Department of Justice to the US Senate, the FBI, and the White House. This true story is a scathing attack on corrupt prosecutors, the judges who turned a blind eye to these injustices, and the president who has promoted them to powerful political positions.
The SadistKarl Berg
In 1929, the German city of Dusseldorf was afflicted by a horrifying series of brutal, random and often fatal attacks upon women and young girls. With weapons ranging from knives and hammers to his bare strangling hands, a shadowy predator left a mounting trail of sexual assault, carnage and murder in his wake, fomenting mortal terror amongst the local populace. Police finally arrested Peter Kurten, a convicted felon, in connection with the crimes; his subsequent confessions revealed a staggering career of evil, documented in at least 69 cases of theft, arson, rape, throttling, stabbing, hammering, hacking, mutilation, blood-drinking and corpse immolation spanning some 30 years. THE SADIST, an in-depth forensic and psychiatric report on Kurten by Dr. Karl Berg, was published in 1931 in the "Deutschen Zeitschrift fur die Gesamte Gerichtliche Medizin”, revealing fully for the first time the irreconcilable lusts, compulsions, obsessions, pathologies and atrocities of a remorseless and psychopathic sex-killer – the inhuman monster known as the Vampire of Dusseldorf. The report is illustrated by 8 pages of detailed and disturbing forensic photographs.
La viuda negraMartha Soto
Es mucho lo que se ha especulado sobre la mafiosa colombiana Griselda Blanco pero muy poco lo que en realidad se conoce de ella. Más allá de que fue "pionera" en el nefasto negocio del narcotráfico o que haya sido la patrona de Pablo Escobar, Blanco fue un personaje determinante en la historia de la lucha global contra el tráfico ilícito de estupefacientes. Perseguida de forma obsesiva por la DEA por más de quince años, puso en jaque a la justicia de EE. UU., desarrolló su imperio criminal en todo el hemisferio y, aunque finalmente fue condenada por varios de sus crímenes, se dio el lujo de volver a Colombia a vivir en secreto gracias a que no tenía cuentas pendientes con la justicia local. Pero sí acumuló importantes bienes, poderosos protectores, socios y sicarios que, luego de verla bajo tierra, accedieron a hablar de su historia. Este libro, una minuciosa investigación de la experimentada periodista Martha Soto, revela gran número de secretos y noticias sorprendentes de la parábola vital y de la muerte de la conocida "Madrina", la "Viuda Negra" –que se hizo célebre por asesinar a varios de sus maridos, de allí este apelativo–, entre otras su verdadera personalidad, su trayectoria criminal en Colombia y su influencia en distintos ámbitos de la vida nacional.
American KingpinNick Bilton
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER. The unbelievable true story of the man who built a billion-dollar online drug empire from his bedroom—and almost got away with it In 2011, a twenty-six-year-old libertarian programmer named Ross Ulbricht launched the ultimate free market: the Silk Road, a clandestine Web site hosted on the Dark Web where anyone could trade anything—drugs, hacking software, forged passports, counterfeit cash, poisons—free of the government’s watchful eye. It wasn’t long before the media got wind of the new Web site where anyone—not just teenagers and weed dealers but terrorists and black hat hackers—could buy and sell contraband detection-free. Spurred by a public outcry, the federal government launched an epic two-year manhunt for the site’s elusive proprietor, with no leads, no witnesses, and no clear jurisdiction. All the investigators knew was that whoever was running the site called himself the Dread Pirate Roberts. The Silk Road quickly ballooned into $1.2 billion enterprise, and Ross embraced his new role as kingpin. He enlisted a loyal crew of allies in high and low places, all as addicted to the danger and thrill of running an illegal marketplace as their customers were to the heroin they sold. Through his network he got wind of the target on his back and took drastic steps to protect himself—including ordering a hit on a former employee. As Ross made plans to disappear forever, the Feds raced against the clock to catch a man they weren’t sure even existed, searching for a needle in the haystack of the global Internet. Drawing on exclusive access to key players and two billion digital words and images Ross left behind, Vanity Fair correspondent and New York Times bestselling author Nick Bilton offers a tale filled with twists and turns, lucky breaks and unbelievable close calls. It’s a story of the boy next door’s ambition gone criminal, spurred on by the clash between the new world of libertarian-leaning, anonymous, decentralized Web advocates and the old world of government control, order, and the rule of law. Filled with unforgettable characters and capped by an astonishing climax, American Kingpin might be dismissed as too outrageous for fiction. But it’s all too real.
Murder MachineGene Mustain & Jerry Capeci
"The inside story of a single Brooklyn gang that killed more Americans than the Iraqi army."—Mike McAlary, columnist, New York Post They were the DeMeo gang—the most deadly hit men in organized crime. Their Mafia higher-ups came to know, use, and ultimately fear them as the Murder Machine. They killed for profit and for pleasure, following cold-blooded plans and wild whims, from the mean streets of New York to the Florida Gold Coast, and from coast to coast. Now complete with personal revelations of one of the key players, this is the savage story that leaves no corpse unturned in its terrifying telling. INCLUDES PHOTOGRAPHS
The inside story of the world's most notorious cults. The strange and sinister world of cults is a source of endless fascination. Their secrets, rituals and shadowy hierarchies make for some of the most disturbing and shocking revelations in history. Most chilling of all is the fact that many of their followers forfeit all independence in order to carry out the often sadistic bidding of a mysterious master manipulator - and continue to defend their leader to this day. From Charles Manson, who instructed his followers to murder seven people, including a heavily pregnant Sharon Tate, to Aum Shinrikyo, the Japanese doomsday cult that carried out deadly terror attacks, and the People's Temple, these cults and their leaders transfix us with their extreme ability to commit savage acts of cruelty and depravity in the name of a self-appointed higher power. Many shocking and international cults are brought to life, including: - The Manson Family - People's Temple - Colonia Dignidad - Thuggees - Aum Shinrikyo - Skopsty - Ra ëlism - Heaven's Gate
Practice to DeceiveAnn Rule
From “America’s best true-crime writer” ( Kirkus Reviews ) Ann Rule comes the New York Times bestselling mystery novel of drama, greed, sex, scandal, and murder on an eerie island in the Pacific Northwest. Nestled in Puget Sound and accessible only by ferry, Whidbey Island is a gem off the coast of Washington State where life is insular and the island’s year-round residents tend to know one another’s business. But when the blood-drenched body of Russel Douglas is discovered the day after Christmas in his SUV, the whole island is shocked. No one can imagine who among them could plot such a cold-blooded crime. And like a cast of characters from a mystery novel, a host of Whidbey residents fall under suspicion. Brenna Douglas was Russel’s estranged and soon-to-be-ex wife, who allowed him to come home for a Christmas visit with their children. Brenna often complained to her good friend Peggy Sue that Russel was physically and emotionally abusive. Married three times, Peggy Sue’s own life has been one of extremes: hers is a rags-to-riches-and-back-again tale. But in 2003, her love affair with married guitarist Jim Huden led the two Whidbey Island natives to pursue their ultimate dreams of wealth and privilege—even at the expense of human life. Unravel the tangled web woven by Russel Douglas’s murder in Practice to Deceive , the newest heart pounding true-crime tour de force from Ann Rule.
Murder in the BayouEthan Brown
Soon to be a Showtime documentary, Murder in the Bayou is a New York Times bestselling chronicle of a high-stakes investigation into the murders of eight women in a troubled Southern parish that is “part murder case, part corruption exposé, and part Louisiana noir” ( New York magazine). Between 2005 and 2009, the bodies of eight women were discovered in Jennings, Louisiana, a bayou town of 10,000 in the Jefferson Davis parish. The women came to be known as the Jeff Davis 8, and local law enforcement officials were quick to pursue a serial killer theory, stirring a wave of panic across Jennings’ class-divided neighborhoods. The Jeff Davis 8 had been among society’s most vulnerable—impoverished, abused, and mired with mental illness. They engaged in sex work as a means of survival. And their underworld activity frequently occurred at a decrepit motel called the Boudreaux Inn. As the cases went unsolved, the community began to look inward. Rumors of police corruption and evidence tampering, of collusion between street and shield, cast the serial killer theory into doubt. But what was really going on in the humid rooms of the Boudreaux Inn? Why were crimes going unsolved and police officers being indicted? What had the eight women known? And could anything be done do stop the bloodshed? Mixing muckraking research and immersive journalism over the course of a five-year investigation, Ethan Brown reviewed thousands of pages of previously unseen homicide files to posit what happened during each woman’s final hours delivering a true crime tale that is “mesmerizing” ( Rolling Stone ) and “explosive” ( Huffington Post ). “Brown is a man on a mission...he gives the victims more respectful attention than they probably got in real life” ( The New York Times ). “A must-read for true-crime fans” ( Publishers Weekly , starred review), with a new afterword, Murder in the Bayou is the story of an American town buckling under the dark forces of poverty, race, and class division—and a lightning rod for justice for the daughters it lost.
A Descent Into HellKathryn Casey
Bright, attractive, and both from good families, University of Texas college student Colton Pitonyak and vibrant redhead Jennifer Cave had the world at their beckoning. Cave, an ex-cheerleader, had just landed an exciting new job, while a big-money scholarship to UT's prestigious business school lured Pitonyak to Austin. Yet the former altar boy had a dark, unpredictable streak, one that ensnared him in the perilous underworld of drugs and guns. When Jennifer failed to show up for work on August 18, 2005, her mother became frightened. Sharon Cave's search led to Colton's West Campus apartment, where Jennifer's family discovered a scene worthy of the grisliest horror movie. Meanwhile, Colton Pitonyak was nowhere to be found. A Descent Into Hell is the gripping true story of one of the most brutal slayings in UT history—and the wild "Bonnie and Clyde-like" flight from justice of a cold-blooded young killer and his would-be girlfriend, who claimed that her unquestioning allegiance to Pitonyak was "just the way I roll."
Member of the FamilyDianne Lake & Deborah Herman
In this poignant and disturbing memoir of lost innocence, coercion, survival, and healing, Dianne Lake chronicles her years with Charles Manson, revealing for the first time how she became the youngest member of his Family and offering new insights into one of the twentieth century’s most notorious criminals and life as one of his "girls." At age fourteen Dianne Lake—with little more than a note in her pocket from her hippie parents granting her permission to leave them—became one of "Charlie’s girls," a devoted acolyte of cult leader Charles Manson. Over the course of two years, the impressionable teenager endured manipulation, psychological control, and physical abuse as the harsh realities and looming darkness of Charles Manson’s true nature revealed itself. From Spahn ranch and the group acid trips, to the Beatles’ White Album and Manson’s dangerous messiah-complex, Dianne tells the riveting story of the group’s descent into madness as she lived it. Though she never participated in any of the group’s gruesome crimes and was purposely insulated from them, Dianne was arrested with the rest of the Manson Family, and eventually learned enough to join the prosecution’s case against them. With the help of good Samaritans, including the cop who first arrested her and later adopted her, the courageous young woman eventually found redemption and grew up to lead an ordinary life. While much has been written about Charles Manson, this riveting account from an actual Family member is a chilling portrait that recreates in vivid detail one of the most horrifying and fascinating chapters in modern American history. Member of the Family includes 16 pages of photographs.
Dead by SunsetAnn Rule
The author of eight New York Times bestsellers, Ann Rule first won nationwide acclaim with The Stranger Beside Me, about serial killer Ted Bundy. Her Crime Files volumes, based on fascinating case histories, have assured her reputation as our premier chronicler of crime. Now the former Seattle policewoman brings us the horrific account of a charismatic man adored by beautiful and brilliant women who always gave him what he wanted...sex, money, their very lives.... When attorney Cheryl Keeton's brutally bludgeoned body was found in her van in the fast lane of an Oregon freeway, her husband, Brad Cunningham, was the likely suspect. But there was no solid evidence linking him to the crime. He married again, for the fifth time, and his stunning new wife, a physician named Sara, adopted his three sons. They all settled down to family life on a luxurious estate. But gradually, their marriage became a nightmare.... In this gripping account of Cheryl's murder, Ann Rule takes us from Brad's troubled boyhood to one of the most bizarre trials in legal history, uncovering multiple marriages, financial manipulations, infidelities, and monstrous acts of harassment and revenge along the way. Dead By Sunset is Ann Rule at her riveting best.
Gotti's RulesGeorge Anastasia
From the New York Times bestselling author of Blood and Honor and The Last Gangster—“one of the most respected crime reporters in the country” (60 Minutes)—comes the sure to be headline-making inside story of the Gotti and Gambino families, told from the unique viewpoint of notorious mob hit-man John Alite, a close associate of Junior Gotti who later testified against him. In Gotti’s Rules, George Anastasia, a prize-winning reporter who spent over thirty years covering crime, offers a shocking and very rare glimpse into the Gotti family, witnessed up-close from former family insider John Alite, John Gotti Jr.’s longtime friend and protector. Until now, no one has given up the kind of personal details about the Gottis—including the legendary “Gotti Rules” of leadership—that Anastasia exposes here. Drawing on extensive FBI files and other documentation, his own knowledge, and exclusive interviews with insiders and experts, including mob-enforcer-turned-government-witness Alite, Anastasia pokes holes in the Gotti legend, demystifying this notorious family and its lucrative and often deadly machinations. Anastasia offers never-before-heard information about the murders, drug dealing, and extortion that propelled John J. Gotti to the top of the Gambino crime family and the treachery and deceit that allowed John A. “Junior” Gotti to follow in his father’s footsteps. Told from street level and through the eyes of a wiseguy who saw it all firsthand, the result is a riveting look at a family whose hubris, violence, passion, and greed fueled a bloody rise and devastating fall that is still reverberating through the American underworld today. Gotti’s Rules includes 8 pages of black-and-white photographs.
The WestiesT. J. English
From a New York Times –bestselling author: A true story of Irish gangsters in Manhattan—“A harrowing account of big city crime” ( Library Journal ). It’s men like Jimmy Coonan and Mickey Featherstone who gave Hell’s Kitchen its name. In the mid-1970s, these two longtime friends take the reins of New York’s Irish mob, using brute force to give it hitherto unthinkable power. Jimmy, a charismatic sociopath, is the leader. Mickey, whose memories of Vietnam torture him daily, is his enforcer. Together they make brutality their trademark, butchering bodies or hurling them out the window. Under their reign, Hell’s Kitchen becomes a place where death literally rains from the sky. But when Mickey goes down for a murder he didn’t commit, he suspects his friend has sold him out. He returns the favor, breaking the underworld’s code of silence and testifying against his gang in open court. From one of the creators of NYPD Blue and Homicide: Life on the Street comes an incredible true story of what it means to survive in the world of organized crime, where murder is commonplace.
Are You There Alone?Suzanne O'Malley
In the tradition of In Cold Blood, The Executioner's Song, and A Civil Action, Suzanne O'Malley exposes the human mystery of the most horrifying crime in recent history and the legal drama surrounding it. As a journalist, Suzanne O'Malley began covering the murders of Noah, John, Paul, Luke, and Mary Yates hours after their mother, Andrea Yates, drowned them in their suburban Houston home in June 2001. Over twenty-four months, O'Malley interviewed or witnessed the sworn testimony of more than a hundred participants in this drama, including Yates herself; her husband, Rusty Yates; their families; attorneys; the personnel of the Harris County district attorney's and sheriff's offices; medical staff; friends; acquaintances; and expert witnesses. O'Malley argues persuasively that under less extraordinary circumstances, a mentally ill woman would have been quietly offered a plea bargain and sent to an institution under court supervision. But on March 12, 2002, Andrea Yates was found guilty of the murders of three of her five children. She is currently serving a life sentence and will not be eligible for parole until 2041. O'Malley's exclusive personal communications with Andrea Yates and her interviews with Rusty Yates allow her to offer fully realized portrayals of people at the center of this horrifying case. In "Are You There Alone?" O'Malley makes a critical contribution to our understanding of mental health issues within the criminal justice system.
A WALKING NIGHTMARE—IN SIZE-NINE STILETTOS . . . The officer responding to a 911 call at one of Houston’s hippest high-rises expected the worst. After all, domestic violence situations can be unpredictable. But nothing could’ve prepared him for what he found: a beautiful woman drenched in blood . . . an older man lying dead on the floor . . . and a cobalt blue suede stiletto with tufts of white hair stuck to its five-and-a-half-inch heel. With her stunning looks, magnetic personality, and erratic behavior, Ana Trujillo had a notorious reputation on the downtown Houston scene. She spoke often of occult powers, though few knew how deeply she believed such boasts. Stefan Andersson was a gentle soul, a Swedish transplant with a good career and trusted friends, who was desperate to find someone special. Theirs is a story of obsession, madness, and tragedy. Because once Stefan fell head over heels for Ana, he was under her control—and he didn’t have a chance in hell.
From the creator of HBO's The Wire , the classic book about homicide investigation that became the basis for the hit television show The scene is Baltimore. Twice every three days another citizen is shot, stabbed, or bludgeoned to death. At the center of this hurricane of crime is the city's homicide unit, a small brotherhood of hard men who fight for whatever justice is possible in a deadly world. David Simon was the first reporter ever to gain unlimited access to a homicide unit, and this electrifying book tells the true story of a year on the violent streets of an American city. The narrative follows Donald Worden, a veteran investigator; Harry Edgerton, a black detective in a mostly white unit; and Tom Pellegrini, an earnest rookie who takes on the year's most difficult case, the brutal rape and murder of an eleven-year-old girl. Originally published fifteen years ago, Homicide became the basis for the acclaimed television show of the same name. This new edition—which includes a new introduction, an afterword, and photographs—revives this classic, riveting tale about the men who work on the dark side of the American experience.
Final VowsKaren Kingsbury
A New York Times –bestselling author and former Los Angeles Times reporter chronicles the marriage between a Christian woman and an ex-con that ends in murder. When Carol Montecalvo began writing to a man in prison through a program at her church, she considered it her Christian duty. But the letters soon became her lifeline, something she actually looked forward to sending and receiving. She fell in love with the man behind the letters and just before Dan was released, they wed in the prison chapel. Their marriage lasted nine years, until the fateful night when Dan stoically called 911 to report his wife’s murder. With a half-million dollar insurance policy riding on his wife’s death, and a string of adulterous affairs in his past, Dan is the most obvious suspect. But is this former felon really guilty? Or could he actually be a grieving widower, in the wrong place at the wrong time? In this powerful true crime account of the gruesome murder and sensational trial that followed, New York Times –bestselling author Karen Kingsbury weaves an emotional story that leaves readers guessing until the final, harrowing conclusion.
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