True Crime

//True Crime
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  • 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.
  • When high school sweethearts Karen and Richard Sharpe married, they shared an interest in medicine, a desire for a family and dreams for the future.  For Karen, the dream turned into a nightmare. After years of abuse at the hands of her physician husband, she tried to end their 27-year marriage.  Fearing a crushing divorce settlement, Richard ended the marriage first by unloading a .22 rifle into Karen's chest.  The murder revealed more than Boston society was ready for: Richard Sharpe's compulsive cross-dressing, with a preference for his own daughter's underwear; his taking of hormones to grow breasts, even stealing his wife's birth control pills to help the process.  But there was more - much more...Illustrated with black and white photographs.

  • 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.
  • Covers examples of all manner of crime and criminal activity:  gangs and gangsters, political murders, kidnapping, pleas of insanity, sex crimes and cases unsolved.
  • 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.