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.
  • On February 1, 1922, the distinguished film director William Desmond Taylor was found shot dead in his Los Angeles bungalow.  When the police arrived, the found the head of Paramount Studios burning a bundle of papers in the fireplace,  a well-known actress searching the house for letters she claimed were hers  and almost immediately after, a hysterical 20 yea-old actress known for 'little girl' roles.  Despite a full-scale investigation and lurid headlines, the case was never solved and remains a lingering Hollywood scandal. In 1967, more than forty years after Taylor's death, director King Vidor (Northwest Passage, The Fountainhead, Duel in the Sun, War and Peace) determined to solve the mystery which had haunted him throughout his career. 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, Kirkpatrick, Vidor's authorised biographer, gained access to the evidence and reconstructed the amazing story of Taylor's murder and Vidor's investigation. The cast of suspects include the comedic actress Mabel Normand, a reputed drug addict; the beautiful ingénue, Mary Miles Minter, with whom Taylor was having an affair; Mary's domineering mother, Charlotte Shelby - also rumoured to have been Taylor's lover; Taylor's homosexual houseman; and Taylor's secretary, who bore an uncanny resemblance to Taylor's mysteriously elusive brother. This true crime story has every element of the classic murder mystery. Covered up for more than half a century, the full story can now be told in all its riveting, shocking detail. A must for any Hollywood fan.
  • 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.
  • A forensic examination of the global future of organised crime - now being operated on a massive scale by outlaw motorcycle gang -  and the difficulties faced by the Australian police in tackling the burgeoning crime empire that outlaw motorcycle gangs are developing in Australia and wherever else biker gangs flourish. It's a hard and chilling look at the global future of organised crime and reveals that the world's most successful criminal empire is now being operated on a massive scale by outlaw motorcycle gangs - an empire that is growing in power, reach and ruthlessness, far surpassing the threats posed by the Mafia, Russian syndicates, Chinese Triads and Japanese Yakuza. Outlaw motorcycle gangs are now being acknowledged as the greatest current organised crime threat with an international empire that is sophisticated, bloody and brutal. It is also both strategic and opportunistic - where they cannot dominate, they broker alliances.  Here is how it all started: the turf wars that were fought, the deals that were done, and how the sea of cash that was earned is now being legitimised. It also reveals how law enforcement at an international level is losing the battle against the gangs. Using exclusive insider sources on four continents, this is the first contemporary account of one of the biggest criminal stories of our time.
  • He was a multimillionaire but even his wealth and power could not save him. On October 22, 2001, handsome multimillionaire financier Ted Ammon was found bludgeoned to death in the magnificent East Hampton mansion he'd built with his beautiful - and volatile - wife, Generosa. She stood to make millions, but it wasn't the money that made Ted's friends suspicious: Generosa Ammon had a history of violent outbursts and bizarre obsessions. A talented interior decorator, Generosa had fashioned a lavish lifestyle for her husband and their two children, divided between Fifth Avenue, the Long Island estate, and a manor house in England. But when Generosa discovered Ted had a mistress, her demons were unleashed and she began a very public affair with Danny Pelosi, a strikingly handsome womaniser who was also her electrician. She called him her "tool belt guy." But he was also an ex-con who was suspected of playing a pivotal role in Ted's murder and the final destruction of a once-perfect family. Illustrated with photographs.
  • On May 4, 1997, Ulrike 'Ricky' Conway, mother of two and estranged wife of a serving police officer, was found deceased in her suburban Canberra home. Police suspected Ricky had committed suicide, as she had tried and failed only the day before.  But one detective noticed something unusual - the toilet seat had been left up - and Ricky had been home alone all weekend. From this one observation, suspicions grew and an exhaustive investigation was launched into her death. Some thought the detectives were wasting their time, particularly when they began to focus on one of their own. Despite criticism, the investigation continued, uncovering an evil conspiracy of deceit and manipulation. Yet there was still no hard evidence to incriminate their prime suspect, John Conway.  The pressure was on the investigators: find evidence or disband. It seemed Ricky's murder would go unsolved; until a breakthrough came from an unlikely source. Without it, Ricky's death would have been a perfect murder.  Illustrated with colour photographs.
  • Mass killers, spree killers, repeat offenders - the world now knows them as serial killers. The author covers, in unwavering detail, thirty three true stories of serial killers, dating back to our earliest days: Alexander Pearce, The Cannibal Convict; John Lynch, the Berrima Axe Murderer; Martha Rendell, the Murderous Mistress; Edward Joseph Leonski, the Brownout Strangler; John Wayne Glover, the Granny Killer; The 'Bodies in the Barrels' Snowtown Killings, the Backpacker Murders and many more. Illustrated  with black and white photographs.

  • In 1996 Robin Bowles, a Melbourne company director, read a newspaper report about a task force that had been set up to re-investigate the circumstances surrounding the alleged suicide of Victorian country housewife Jennifer Tanner.The reason for the renewed interest was the the discovery of human remains in a mineshaft near the property where Jenny had died. Deeply puzzled  by the mass of anomalies in the case, Robin went searching for answers.  How, for instance, could Jenny have shot herself twice in the brain- after shooting both her hands first? Since there was no note nor proof of intention, could the findings from the original post-mortem have been influenced by other parties? And was Jenny's death connected to the body in the mine? What unfolds is a bizarre tangle of police bungles, cover-ups and family intrigue.
  • In 1996 Robin Bowles, a Melbourne company director, read a newspaper report about a task force that had been set up to re-investigate the circumstances surrounding the alleged suicide of Victorian country housewife Jennifer Tanner.The reason for the renewed interest was the the discovery of human remains in a mineshaft near the property where Jenny had died. Deeply puzzled  by the mass of anomalies in the case, Robin went searching for answers.  How, for instance, could Jenny have shot herself twice in the brain- after shooting both her hands first? Since there was no note nor proof of intention, could the findings from the original post-mortem have been influenced by other parties? And was Jenny's death connected to the body in the mine? What unfolds is a bizarre tangle of police bungles, cover-ups and family intrigue.