True Crime

//True Crime
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  • On February 1, 1922, the distinguished silent-film director William Desmond Taylor was shot dead in his Los Angeles bungalow. Reports of strange activities at the scene circulated soon after. When the police arrived,  the head of Paramount Studios was burning a bundle of papers in the fireplace, and a well-known actress was searching the house for letters she claimed were hers. Despite a full-scale investigation - at one time there were over 300 suspects - the case was never solved; to this day it has remained a lingering Hollywood scandal. In 1967, more than forty years after Taylor's death, director King Vidor felt determined to solve the mystery which had haunted him throughout his career. He wanted to make a film about it. Through his intimate knowledge of both the studios and the stars, he succeeded - where dozens of professional detectives had failed - in discovering the identity of the murderer. But his findings were too explosive. He decided he could never go public and locked his evidence away. After Vidor's death in 1982, Sidney D. Kirkpatrick, Vidor's authorised biographer, gained access to the evidence and reconstructed the amazing story of Taylor's murder and Vidor's investigation. With a cast of suspects that includes the actress Mabel Normand, a reputed drug addict; the beautiful ingénue, Mary Miles Minter; Mary's domineering mother, Charlotte Shelby; Taylor's homosexual houseman; and Taylor's secretary, who bore an uncanny resemblance to Taylor's mysteriously elusive brother, this true crime story has all the elements of a classic murder mystery. Covered up for more than half a century, the full story can now be told in all its riveting, shocking detail. Contains black and white photographs.
  • A young, get-ahead lawyer is approached by  group of families who believe themselves poisoned by toxic waste dumped near their water supply.  Many of their children have died of leukaemia.  Two of America's largest companies defend the action.  Nine years of tooth and nail litigation follow, with millions of dollars at stake as the lawyer fights a David and Goliath battle against the resources of big business.  A true story.
  • Violent crime in Australia. This is a book about violence - the bombs that shatter lives, peace and individuals, often indiscriminately; the guns without which the horrors of the Port Arthur and Strathfield massacres would not have occurred; and the knives, which are the ultimate resort of the villain when all else fails.   The author has been the top crime crime writer for the Sydney Morning Herald for over twenty years and in this volume, heads a team of investigative journalists, covering such notorious cases as the Hilton Hotel bombing; Ivan Milat, the monster of Belanglo; the West Australian bikie wars and the Asian gang network. Illustrated with colour and black and white photographs.
  • Revised Edition. Here are the true life stories of men and women who have shocked the world with their outrageous crimes - and those who have suffered and paid the price.  Featured in this gallery of ultimate criminals: Dr, Crippen; Jeremy Bamber; The Boston Strangler; George Haigh; Snyder and Grey; Harold Shipman; Ted Bundy; Donald Neilson; Peter Sutcliffe; Ian Huntley; Dennis Nilsen; Fred and Rosemary West; Brady and Hindley; Ruth ellis; Sam Sheppard; The Krays; Al Capone; The Great Train Robbery; Osama Bin Laden; Timothy McVeigh; Ilich Ramirez Sanchez.  Illustrated with haunting black and white photographs.

  • A dark journey from the days of earliest settlement to the present day.  There are runaway convicts, spouse poisoners, kidnappers and homicidal maniacs.  Cases include: The Bogle-Chandler Mystery; The Man They Couldn't Hang; The Granny Killer; The Strathfield Massacre; The Azaria Chamberlain Disappearance and forty five other cases.
  • Before Carl Williams, there was Trimbole: race fixer, drug boss, Mafia powerbroker, murder contractor and arms dealer. In the 1970s he and the Calabrian Mafia ruled Australia's marijuana trade from their Castles in Griffith - dream homes built on drug money. The business expanded to heroin when Trimbole joined Terry Clark and the notorious Mr Asia syndicate, and then to murder when anti-drugs campaigner Donald Mackay blew the whistle. Here is never-before published material gathered by Walkley Award-winning journalist Keith Moor, covering  the truth behind Mackay's disappearance, interviews with supergrass Gianfranco Tizzoni as well as a top cop. There are excerpts from an unpublished memoir by Mackay's widow and a dossier on the involvement of controversial federal minister Al Grassby. Illustrated with black and white photos.

  • The face of crime in Australia has changed considerably over the last several decades and the man to chart those changes is Alan Dower, one of the legendary crime reporters in this country. The baccarat wars raged in Sydney from the 1930s to the 1960s - far longer than the Chicago underworld wars - and no-one knows how many may have been murdered over that time. As the 60s unfolded, the police had to combat new types of crime    -  the Graeme Thorn kidnapping, the disappearance of the Beaumont children and the mysterious Bogle-Chandler deaths. These and more are covered,  as well as insights into the minds of such men as Squizzy Taylor and Frederick Harrison. Illustrated with black and white photographs.
  • There was no body, no weapon nor any motive. First messages told of a baby taken by a dingo and lost in the desert.  Gossip said it was murder.   The trial of Lindy Chamberlain, wife of a small town pastor of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, was world news.  Here are the intricacies of scientific evidence, the cunning of the courtroom and the chambers and the full cast of characters.  Described as a 'scrupulous and disturbing book.'
  • The author took a job in an Australian prison because - well, he needed a job, and any job would do.  What had been a stop gap became and all-absorbing preoccupation with the problem of men in prison. One day, he was asked if he remembered the Greek bloke who had killed his wife with half a house brick.  He couldn't remember the particular Greek - and he realised that over the seven years of his employment there, that the stone and steel had crept into his heart to the extent that a man who had killed his wife with half a house brick had left no impression on him.  In search of what beliefs and values he had left to him after prolonged exposure to the brutality, cynicism and despair of a big maximum-security prison, the author examines his experiences, not as a psychologist, but as a man whose profession is psychology. In the process, comes to several important conclusions.
  • Sixteen famous Australian-NewZealand cases are covered here: motherly Caroline Grills, the first woman in the world to commit mass murder with thallium; the amazing case of Eugene Falleni, the woman who murdered her wife; the beautiful Jean Lee, who helped in the vicious slaying of an elderly man; Morris Brewer, to whom there was only black or white, the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth - and whose mind, broken by an excess of virtue, was hanged for the killing of his fiancee. All these and many more cases which pose the perennial question:  why did they do it? Illustrated with black and white photographs.
  • Eric Clegg, formerly  His Honour Eric Clegg Q.C. is more than qualified to examine these famous trials and his expert viewpoint reveals many important and often controversial points which arose during the hearings. Cases contained in this volume include: The Kalgoorlie murders of two policemen in 1926, found down a disused mine-shaft; the Passionate Parson, acquitted on a charge of murdering his wife; the Lavers msyery and the Sundown murders; the Pyjama Girl murder; and the fantastic case of T. J. Ley, former Minister for Justice in New South Wales who was eventually convicted for the chalkpit murders. Illustrated with black and white photographs.
  • The story of Melbourne's Pentridge Gaol from 1850 - 1900. Where Pentridge stands is dark and bloody ground, the battlefield of an undeclared war.  On one side, the Law, wielding savage authority. On the other, the prisoners whose only weapons were cunning, intrigue and sudden desperate violence.  Here is a fascinating account of escapes, mortal combats, vicious tyrants, zero-hour reprieves and all the dramatic and pathetic details of life behind the grim stone walls, yet still, there is a sense of defiant resilience of the human spirit.
  • One night, Juliet Mykyta, aged sixteen, did not come home.  Two years later her murdered body was found in a paddock near Truro, South Australia. She was one of seven young women, who died in what became known as the Truro murders. The author, Juliet's mother, lived through what many of us fear - the endless waiting, the dread, the eventual fact  of her daughter's death and the terrifying isolation of pain. Anne-Marie's struggle to survive will help the families and friends of all victims of violent crime. It will impress n young people - like nothing else could - the dangers to which they are often oblivious.  A devastating book by a brave and wise woman.
  • Feldman makes a convincing case for his suspect.  His team spent a great deal of time, money and effort following leads in obscure documents, some of which had never been seen by anyone to conclusively prove his theory.  Illegitimate children, extra-marital affairs, high society, royal connections and a mysterious diary and a watch are just some of what came to light.
  • Melbourne, in the bleak winter of 1942. The American presence has aroused mostly gratitude, but also feelings of envy at their success with the local girls. On the surface, G.I. Eddie Leonski is a fitness fanatic, known for his strength and good looks; within, his soul is tortured by the memory of his childhood experiences.   His external character is in command until he starts to drink heavily - in  an alcoholic stupor his mind gives in to those pressing memories and on his lonely, drunken wanderings at night, he takes a twisted, savage revenge on the women of Melbourne. One after another is murdered with terrifying brutality; the police are baffled; until Leonski awakens to his Jekyll and Hyde personality and confesses to his only friend. This is not a serial killer of fiction; these were real - and tragic - events.
  • This book promises the truth behind the century's most celebrated murder mystery. On a wintry night in November 1974, Sandra Rivett, nanny to the children of Lord and Lady Lucan, was brutally bludgeoned to death in the basement of their Belgravia home. Lady Lucan was also attacked and identified the attacker as her estranged husband, the 7th Earl of Lucan. That night, Lord Lucan vanished and has never been found, despite numerous sightings all over the world. The author has interviewed many of those involved, including, for the first time, Lord Lucan's wife Veronica. He gained access to the missing Earl's private papers, which yield remarkable new information. He also re-examines the forensic evidence and questions the key witnesses to produce the most likely explanation to date of what really happened on November 7, 1974.  Illustrated with black and white photographs.

  • The Goatfell Murder: Near the summit of Goatfell, the body of Edwin Robert Rose was found stuffed under a granite boulder on 28 July 1889. He was a 32-year-old builder's clerk from London who had last been seen alive on the mountain a fortnight before. His head and face had been brutally smashed, probably by rocks. The last person seen in his company, a 26-year-old engineering worker known as John Annandale, was nowhere to be found. Annandale's real name was John Watson Laurie, a pattern maker for a Glasgow locomotive firm. He was caught by police two months later and at the end of a two-day trial under an impatient judge he was found guilty of murder, despite the lack of forensic evidence or any witnesses to the deed. But was there a miscarriage of justice? The Ardlamont Mystery: Alfred John Monson began working as a gentleman's tutor for the Hambrough family in 1891. In 1893 he took the lease on the Ardlamont estate in Argyll for the shooting season. On 10 August he took Windsor Dudley Cecil Hambrough, his 20-year-old pupil, for a day's hunting in an area of woodland. A third man joined them, Edward Scott, a friend of Monson. Estate workers heard a shot, then saw Monson and Scott running to Ardlamont House carrying the guns. Monson alleged that Hambrough  had shot himself in the head by accident while climbing a fence. But with very large insurance policies having been taken out less than a week before... John Donald Merrett: He was tried for the murder of his mother, Bertha Merrett.  It was at first believed that she had committed suicide - but it was discovered that Merrett had been defrauding her. His defence was skilful and the Jury returned a verdict of "Not Proven". Not proven - but was he innocent? The Portencross Murder: Mary Gunn, her sister Jessie McLaren and her sister's husband Alex McLaren were enjoying a quiet evening at an isolated cottage when six shoots were fired. Jessie and Alex were wounded - but Mary was dead.  The family lived quietly; and were considered to be 'well-off' in the locality.  The only clues were six footprints, a few spent bullets and evidence that a stranger had been asking the way to Portencross...  
  • Armed robbery, murder, lies, treachery, 'confession' and legal tangle that ended in a sensational trial, followed by three executions - all the ingredients of a callous crime committed on the New Zealand goldfields in 1866. A gang of brutal Londoners - Richard Burgess, Tom Noon (Noonan), Joseph Sullivan and Phil Levy waylaid five gold-laden prospectors on a lonely track on Maungatapu ('Sacred Mountain'), killed them and hid the bodies before going on a spree. The prospectors were missed, and suspicion fell on the four. Hoping for a free pardon, Sullivan 'dobbed' on his mates and Burgess wrote a confession but implicated Sullivan. Clune traces the lives of the four and shows the influences played such an important role in shaping their twisted lives - the overcrowded Thames-side slums created by the Industrial Revolution, the laws that punished rather than reformed, the rotting prison hulks, the transportation system and the mental cruelty in the prisons of the day.
  • Clara and David Harris where married on Valentine's Day.  Young and in love, they developed a thriving dental business, built a half-million dollar mansion and raised the perfect family.  Then whispers of David's affair with his office assistant began to circulate through their exclusive Houston social circle.  A private detective confirmed the rumours. When Clara saw David with his mistress, she attacked the woman - then got behind the wheel of her silver Mercedes and crushed her husband to death under its wheels. A moment of madness - or a calculated crime of passion? What the headlines ultimately revealed was a high profile marriage running on empty, marital infidelity, a woman's deadly passion and the private hell behind the public life of the rich and privileged. With 8 pages of black and white photographs.

  • Here is thirty years of painstaking research into the real identity of the world's most infamous serial killer and its cover-up by the authorities. Who was the convicted killer and escaped lunatic at large in London's East End during the Whitechapel Murders of 1888? How do his alias and profession link him to the notorious first letter from 'Jack the Ripper'? What was the 'Divine Plan' he referred to before he escaped from Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum in 1888? Why did the London Police fail to catch him - although they knew who he was - and how did he remain on the run for forty years? Why are 'Prisoner 1167's' government files still classified almost sixty years after his death and sealed until 2030? What are the similarities between his murder of his wife in 1883 and the Ripper killings in 1888? Why was Broadmoor contacted about this man immediately after the most gruesome of the Ripper murders? Why does this man, the only suspect the Home Office mentioned by name, never appear in either case records or the press? James Tully reveals what he believes to be the identity of the world's most notorious serial killer.  One for the serious Ripper buff.

  • Often, the most unlikely people have committed murder and the motives for murder are infinitely varied. Dr. Schmalzbach - consulting psychiatrist to the N.S.W. Government - examines twelve notable murders of the 1960s in which he was professionally consulted as a matter of course.   The motives were different in all cases, and in all cases the mental state of the accused at the time the crime was committed  had been called in question - usually by the defence.                                                                                                                                 Dr. Schmalzbach posited that since there were some evil men, then logically, there must be some evil women. What he called the  'Delilah' syndrome was behaviour in some women that led them to behave in a way that incited violence in their partners. An brief summary published in the Sydney Morning Herald on this presentation that was to be made at an international conference in December 1982 caused a group of individual militant feminists to demand Dr. Schmalzbach's dismissal on the grounds that he was obviously a misogynist. They achieved their aim - he was dismissed, the reason being given that he had exceeded the statutory age specified for his position.
  • The scene awaiting the policemen entering the charming suburban house at 313 Carl Drive was one they would never forget. Three children and their mother had been hacked to death in their beds, the sheets and walls soaked in blood. A butcher knife and an axe lay nearby. There appeared to be no physical evidence and the detective at first suspected a bungled robbery. But as the clues were sifted and family members and friends were questioned, an appalling possibility presented itself: Could David Hendricks, grief-stricken father, away on a business trip, have methodically killed his family before he left? And why would a successful business man and devoted member of a fundamentalist religious group want his entire family eliminated? The prosecution painted a much darker picture of David Hendricks...Convicted by his first jury, awarded a new trial, a second jury concluded that Hendricks had not been proven guilty - beyond a reasonable doubt. Illustrated with black and white photos.

  • A social history with a difference - it boldly goes where social history has never gone before. Rescued from the forgotten pages of early newspapers are the true stories of adventurers such as Owen Suffolk, the poetic highwayman; Sam Poo, the Chinese bushranger; the disgrace and trial in the 1890s of the Speaker of the House; the flight of the Premier when his financial juggling failed to save his own bank; grim  goldfields murders, piracy in Melbourne Harbour and poisonings in distant London Town. With black and white photographs and illustrations.
  • With such intriguing chapters as: The Riddle of the Bordereau (the Dreyfus case); Murder in High Society (the murder of Stanford White and the affair of Evelyn Stanford nee Nesbit and Harry Thaw) ; the Tragedy of Oscar Slater (the murder of Marion Gilchrist); The Original Winslow Boy (the tragedy caused by the theft of a five shilling postal order); A Matter of High Treason (Roger Casement); The Green Bicycle Mystery (the murder of Bella Wright) ; Buccaneer in Morning Coat (Horatio Bottomley, swindler par excellence) ; The Incredible Fire Raisers (the Leopold Harris arson gang) ; Justice Comes To Nuremburg; The Double Betrayal (the case of Klaus Fuchs); Teenagers On A Roof (the thrill-killing of a police man in London, 1952) ; The Great Train Robbers.
  • The criminals who ended their days in Strangeways Prison - and the crimes that sent them there.  Nonfiction.
  • The Bertrand Affair of Sydney Town in the 1860s had all the elements of a Victorian melodrama - a moustachio'd villain with a penchant for disguise, a terrified down-trodden wife, a brandy-sozzled victim and a married lady of high passions and doubtful virtue. Louis Bertrand, a dentist skilled in the art of Mesmerism embarked on a frenzied course of adultery and murder, with all the illicit passion, blackmail and shocking legal revelations to play to a sensation-seeking public. With black and white illustrations.
  • Australia has had its fair share of murders - the grisly, the macabre, the humdrum, the unsolved and the controversial. Men have been hanged who perhaps should never have been convicted; men have gone free who perhaps should have been found guilty.  Just the chapter headings alone are enough to entice the reader: The Crimson Feather; Roadside Nightmare - the murder of a courting couple by William Moxley; The Pyjama Girl case, still unsolved to this day; The Walking Corpse ( dubbed the 'Mutilator Murders') and more.