True Crime

//True Crime
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  • On January 24, 1941, the body of Josslyn Hay, Earl of Erroll was found lying on the floor of his Buick outside Nairobi - with a bullet in his head. Erroll, at 39, was influential in the Kenyan Happy Valley community, charming, good at bridge and polo and devoted to the seduction of other men's wives - preferably rich ones.  Incredibly ruthless in his hedonistic pursuit of pleasure, he had wrecked many marriages.  Sir Henry 'Jock' Delves Broughton, whose wife Diana was Erroll's current conquest, had the most obvious motive.  He stood trial with implacable calm, was acquitted and emerged unscathed.  No-one was ever convicted for the murder and the case has become a classic mystery as well as the scandal  that exposed the extravagant, sybaritic way of life of the enchanted feudal paradise known since the 1920s as Happy Valley, the community of English aristocrats who subscribed to the three As: altitude, alcohol  and adultery.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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...  
  • The criminals who ended their days in Strangeways Prison - and the crimes that sent them there.  Nonfiction.
  • 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.
  • 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.'
  • 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.