True Crime

//True Crime
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  • On Christmas Eve 2002, Laci Peterson, a young wife and mother-to-be, disappeared from her home in Modesto, California...Praying for a happy ending, friends and family stood by Laci's grieving husband Scott. Four months later, Laci's decomposed body was found in the murky waters of San Francisco Bay. The body of her child had washed ashore about a mile away, after a possible "coffin birth". It was a sad closure to an exhaustive search, and a grim end to a marriage that by all account had appeared to be perfect. But the authorities already had a prime suspect...Scott Peterson's behavior had cast a mysterious shadow over the death of his pregnant wife - his alibi on the day of the disappearance was questionable; he admitted to an affair with another woman; and when he was finally charged with capital murder, he had altered his appearance. But it was only after a stunning criminal trial - packed with even more shocking revelations - that a jury convicted Scott Peterson of murder and sentenced him to death. 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...  
  • Shallow graves play a grim part in many of Australia's most mysterious, bizarre and horrendous murder cases. And Australia's bushland, beaches, deserts, foreshores and suburban landscapes offer many opportunities for a murderer to hide his victim. But in this updated edition, Kidd points out how even the best-laid plans of the most devious can go astray when a body turns up. 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.
  • On April 4th, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stepped out onto the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, and into his killer's line of fire. One shot ended Dr. King's life and forever changed the course of American history - setting into motion a massive cover-up that has withstood a quarter-century of scrutiny. Now, after 18 years of intensive investigation, William F. Pepper tears away the veil of subterfuge that has hidden the truth of King's death - proving the innocence of convicted assassin James Earl Rayand revealing the cabal of government leaders and organised crime figures that masterminded the assassination of one of the most influential leaders of our age. The author was an associate of Dr. King and executive director of the independent political coalition that hoped to put King forward as a third party presidential candidate in 1968. After  the murder, Pepper walked away from politics. But in 1977. Reverend Ralph Abernathy asked Pepper to interview James Earl Ray. Initially sceptical, Pepper became convinced that Ray was innocent of the crime and that Ray had always claimed, he had been manipulated by a man named Raul and was the victim of a set-up. But who was behind the set-up - and why?
  • Frank Galbally CBE (1922 - 2005) dominated Australian Law for over four decades, frequently at the centre of controversy and always at the heart of things. He represented everyone from painters and dockers to a talking cockatoo; had audiences with popes and took on the Greek Colonels and was embroiled in the politics of 1975 and the policies of Collingwood Football Club. The Krope trial, the Costigan Commission, Kevin Barlow's appeal...the number of legal trials in which Galbally was involved extraordinary and the names became household words. This autobiography contains some of his most famous cases, with a few fighting words regarding crucial aspects of Australian public affairs such as police corruption and the royal commission into crime.  Illustrated with black and white photographs.
  • Joseph Mengele, the camp doctor at Auschwitz, was personally responsible for the murder of nearly 400,000 people and for the torture of thousands more as part of his 'scientific' experiments. Yet he evaded capture for 40 years and it is only after the discovery of his body in a Brazilian cemetery, that his full story could be told. This investigative biography traces Mengele's roots and examines the forces that made him into a mass murderer and torturer; follows Mengele the fugitive after his flight from Auschwitz and looks at the conspiracy  in Germany and Latin America that saved Mengele from justice. This is not only an exposé of Mengele as the very embodiment of evil and the system that spawned him; it is also an explanation of the many 'ordinary' people who shielded and sustained the monster to the grave and beyond. Illustrated with black and white photos.
  • This is the book the Victorian police did not want written. On 14 June 1997, a toddler is left alone in the middle of the night while the babysitter collects his mother from a party. In their absence, the windows are smashed and a severed pig's head is thrown into the room where the child was left sleeping. On their return, the pig's head is is waiting and the child has vanished. Within twenty-four hours the Homicide Squad rules out any involvement of the 'pig's head team' (the vandals who left the pig's head and smashed the windows, determined by police to be an unrelated act of revenge against Domaszewicz) or anyone else in the baby's  disappearance and settles on the babysitter as the prime suspect. The child was Jaidyn Leskie. The suspect, Greg Domaszewicz, was arrested, charged and eventually acquitted of murdering Jaidyn. Case closed - or is it?  Featuring exclusive interviews and evidence made public for the first time, this is a tightly woven building of this unsolved  mystery that builds to a conclusion that could leave the reader sleepless...Illustrated with black and white photos.
  • The author took the unusual step of writing this book of case histories with the comments of children and young people who came before him in his capacity as a Childrens' Court magistrate. Some of the stories are horrifying and given without any 'glossing over' of the horror; some of the offences were committed by children, many against children but it is clear that everything possible was done to help the child become  a member of the community again. These are stories of rape, drug addiction, perversion. incest, corruption, prostitution - and of children who deliberately committed offences to get to Court to settle their own problems. These children will haunt the reader - all innocent victims of parents, their environment, ignorance or predatory monsters.  The title page contains a warning to parents...
  • In 1875, beautiful, vivacious widow Florence Ricardo married Charles Bravo, a dashing barrister. The marriage seemed to be a  happy one, although society gossips whispered that Bravo had married Florence for her fortune. Behind his charming public persona, Bravo was a brutal, vindictive man who dismissed his wife's devoted companion Mrs. Cox and regularly subjected Florence to violent abuse. Four months after the wedding, Bravo collapsed and for fifty-five hours - with some of London's most distinguished physicians in attendance - suffered a slow and agonising death. All the doctors agreed - he had been poisoned. The police were called in and everyone in the Priory, the house in South London in which he and Florence had lived, was under suspicion. The investigation was detailed and sensational and such was the public interest that it even eclipsed the coverage of the Prime Minister's negotiations with Egypt and the Prince of Wales' tour of India. The suspects included Mrs. Cox;     George Griffiths, a coachman with a grudge against Bravo and at Florence Bravo herself. This is the recreation of the case with new evidence to conclusively prove who did kill Charles Bravo.
  • 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.
  • Almost every month in New South Wales, there are reports of police corruption and a police service under attack, from the criminals it tries to put away and the people it tries to protect and serve. Are the reports mere media sensationalism, or is the New South Wales Police in serious trouble? And if so, where did it go wrong? Priest was a cop who loved his job and gave everything he had to fight crime on the drug-ridden streets of Cabramatta. Yet he found his biggest battle was not with the drug gangs but with the very service he worked for. Eventually he could stand it no longer and spoke out about the bizarre policy decisions, politics, bureaucratic bungling and chronic lack of resources. For this he was labelled a whistle-blower and ultimately railroaded out of the police force.  Yet a parlimentary enquiry and the testimony of other officers proved that Tim was not only telling the truth, but this was only the tip of the iceberg of what is really wrong with the New South Wales Police Force.  While crime continues to spiral out of control, morale plummets among the rank and file police and experienced cops find they are at the mercy of a promotion system that leaves them nowhere to go but out. Tim teams up with Richard Basham, a man of vast experience through his involvement in a number of advisory boards, criminal investigations and personal friendships with ordinary cops, to reveal the untold story of the police service.
  • In 1928 Bill Lancaster and Chubbie Miller were international heroes after their sensational long-distance aeroplane flight from England to Australia. In 1932, Lancaster was on trial in Miami, accused of murdering Chubbie's lover, Less than a year later, Lancaster disappeared on a flight over the Sahara and it was 29 years before his body was found beside his wrecked plane.  A log book, tied to the wing, contained the moving record of the last eight days of his life. Lancaster's dramatic end was in keeping with his adventurous life. The account of his search for work and his desperate efforts to retrieve his fortune, how Chubbie fell in love with  American writer Haden Clarke while Bill was away and how Clarke was found shot dead in  a Miami house on Bill's return all lead up to one of the most turbulent murder trials of the twentieth century. Illustrated with black and white photographs.
  • In 1970, a pretty young woman called Helen Cummings married a handsome doctor called Stuart Wynter. But instead of being a marriage made in heaven, it was the beginning of a hellish existence of spiralling abuse that ended six years later when she escaped with her two young children. Except the abuse didn't end. Dr Wynter remarried – and this woman and her child weren’t able to escape, and Helen wasn’t able to help. Helen Cummings relates an idyllic childhood growing up in 1960s Australia and looks back on a marriage that nearly killed her and her children. Today Helen is ‘the mother of a famous daughter and the daughter of a famous mother’, but she also had to come to terms with her painful past and the ongoing legacy for her children and the generations of the future.
  • 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.
  • Alice de Janzé, glamorous American heiress,  scandalised 1920's Paris when she left her aristocratic French husband for an English lover - whom she later tried to kill in a failed murder-suicide in the Gare du Nord. Abandoning Paris for the moneyed British colonial society known as Kenya's Happy Valley, she became the lover of the handsome womaniser, Joss Hay, Lord Erroll. In 1941, Erroll was found shot in his car on an isolated road. A cuckolded husband was brought to trial and acquitted... and the crime remained tantalizingly unsolved. The author's mother was one of Alice's confidantes, and after his mother's death found a wealth of  Alice's personal letters, photographs and sketches. He began researching extensively to piece together what really happened that fateful evening and moreover, brings to life an era of unimaginable wealth and indulgence, where people changed bed partners as easily as they would order a cocktail and where jealousy and hidden passions brewed.This may be the solution of the murder of Lord Erroll.
  • Donald Bruce Mckay, the Griffith anti-drugs campaigner, disappeared without trace from the car park of the Griffith Hotel in July, 1977. Mackay had been a secret informant for police action against illicit marijuana growing in the Riverina. His 'disappearance' has become Australia's first political assassination. This is the shocking story of how the Mafia planned and executed his murder, Throughout the shameful decade that followed, some - at senior levels of law enforcement and politics - connived to cover up the murder. Griffith had been known as a crime centre since the 1930s but by the 1970s, when Mackay became concerned about the amount of illicit drug activity in the area, bribery, corruption and pay-offs had become commonplace. This is the shocking, outrageous story of the murder of Don Mackay. With black and white photographs.
  • 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.
  • Kay Scarpetta III.  In Richmond, Virginia, young lovers are dying. So far, four couples in the area have disappeared, only to be found months later as mutilated corpses. When the daughter of the president's newest drug czar vanishes along with her boyfriend, Dr. Kay Scarpetta knows time is short. Following a macabre trail of evidence that ties the present homicides to a grisly crime in the past, Kay must draw upon her own personal resources to track down a murderer who is as skilled at eliminating clues as Kay is at finding them...
  • In Houston, Texas, on the morning of May 23, 1982,  Carl 'Coral' Eugene Watts, 28, trapped two young women in their apartment. Only hours before, he'd killed another woman by drowning her in her bathtub. As Watts attempted to do the same to 20-year-old Lori Lister, her roommate Melinda Aguilar, 18, made a daring escape. Her courage led to Watts's arrest. Watts was a sadistic slayer with a lust for killing in a variety of ways: strangulation, suffocation, drowning, and stabbing. He confessed to thirteen murders, but with no direct evidence to link him to the crimes, he managed to plea bargain his sentence down to 60 years for burglary. Due to a flaw in the Texas criminal justice system, Watts was supposed to be released from prison in 2006. Through the ceaseless efforts of investigators and the mother of one of his victims, Watts was finally tried and convicted to life in prison for a murder he had committed in Michigan in 1979. He died in 2007, still the prime suspect in approximately 90 other slayings. Experts theorise that Watts may have slain more than Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, and John Wayne Gacy...combined. Here is the chilling story of how he almost got away with murder. Illustrated with black and white photographs.
  • 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.
  • On October 9, 1959, Kevin Simmonds and Les Newcombe broke out of Long Bay Gaol. Both incarcerated for strings of minor crimes, their escape set in train the most incredible  manhunts in Australian history - a media event which aroused public feeling to fever pitch. The death of a prison warder, the dogged determination  of police and the often ingenious desperation of the fugitives focussed public attention on not only the escapees, but also on the prison system from which they had sprung - its brutality and its systematic denial of hope and humanity. This is Les Newcombe's story - a story of life in prison and out of it, as a free man, a prisoner and an escapee. Illustrated with black and white photos.
  • After fourteen years of marriage, Mel Jacob's life looked as perfect as the roses perched above her white picket fence. The nice house in the suburbs, two great kids, a good husband. Until...her seemingly saintly husband was jailed for two years. This recounts Mel's funny, moving and insightful journey as she navigates single parenthood, prison visitations and nosy neighbours...and tells of the family left behind: the grief, the stigma and the conversational minefields of her husband's whereabouts, as well as the logistical problems of making a baby sibling for her two children, and why it's not appropriate to tell people that Daddy's in jail. 'So why did you marry Dad?' my daughter asked. 'Well, over time I got to know him and he made me laugh, and - and I knew deep down that, that even though we were really different...he was a good person.' Without skipping a beat, she said, 'He's not that good, he's in jail!'.
  • On December 10, 2003 an intruder waits inside the home of Kent and Tricia Whitaker. They and their two sons, Bart and Kevin, are returning from a dinner celebrating Bart's college graduation. Four shots ring out: Tricia and Kevin are killed instantly, Kent is wounded and Bart. struggling with the gunman, is also wounded. Three days later, as investigators explore leads in the search for justice for the victims, they find Bart had been leading a double life and he becomes the chief suspect. Kent believes the police are allowing the real killer to escape while they focus on Bart but when Bart disappears in the mountains of Mexico seven months later, Kent must face the possibility his son was involved in the murder. Fifteen months later, Bart is arrested and charged with masterminding the shootings; in March 2007, he is convicted and sentenced to death. How can a father survive the anguish of his son's actions and forgive such betrayal?
  • This really is the ultimate for Ripperologists - an encyclopedic work, solidly researched and profusely illustrated, collated from all the known and still-existing official records and supplemented by contemporary press reports. It presents. for the first time in one volume, a prime-source reference book on the eleven shocking prostitute murders that took place in the East End of London between 1888 and 1891. While there is no doubt that the Whitechapel Murders, as they were classified by Scotland Yard, were committed by more than one person, no one knows how many of the killings can be attributed to a single culprit. More than one murderer wore the guise of Jack the Ripper, and the  identities of all suspects to this day remain unknown. Divorcing the facts of the Ripper case from the myths that have proliferated in fiction and film, this is a factual, documented narrative of the entire series of crimes, their forensic evidence, the official suspects and possible accomplices, police reports,  inquests, newspaper articles of the day and rare photographs.
  • Neighbors were unaware of what went on behind the tightly closed doors of a house in Fresno, California - the home of the imposing, 300-pound Marcus Wesson, his wife, children, nieces and grandchildren. But on March 12, 2004, gunshots were heard inside the Wesson home and police officers, responding to what they believed was a routine domestic disturbance, were horrified by the senseless carnage they discovered when they entered. This is a chilling true story of incest, abuse, madness and murder - it is one family's terrible and ultimately fatal ordeal at the hands of a powerful, manipulative man - a cultist who envisioned vengeful gods and vampires, and totally controlled those closest to him before their world came to a brutal and bloody halt. Illustrated with black and white photos.
  • 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.