True Crime

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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • Investigative journalist Kirk Wilison tackles some of the most high-profile and confusing crimes to go unpunished. The investigations of top-ranking police officers, detectives and lawyers all failed to crack the riddles these cases created: who was responsible? And why were they never brought to justice? These are the crimes that we can never stop wondering about. Cases examined in this volume: John F. Kennedy's assassination; Jimmy Hoffa, union leader and mob associate, whose body was never found; Marilyn Monroe, screen goddess, whose 'suicide' raised more questions than it answered; Lord Lucan, peer and gambling addict, who vanished ito thin air amid accusations of murder; T. Cullen Davis, born-again Christian and the richest man ever to be tried for murder; Serge Rubenstein, the virtuoso swindler whose case was clouded by the fact that thousands of people had reason to wish him dead. Claus Von Bulow, lawyer, consultant and socialite, who made two attempts on the life of his  American wife; Joan Robinson Hill may have been murdered by her husband John Hill - then it seemed that John  Hill himself was murdered on his own front doorstep - but was he? Helen Vorhees Brach, who disappeared at age 65 - the victim of a slick pure-bred horse salesman?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • It can take years for love to turn to murderous hate - or it can happen overnight. What drives a woman or man to committ the ultimate betrayal - to take the life of a parent, a child, a sibling, a lover? This is a volume of unflicnhing exploration of fourteen well-known - and not so well-known - murder in the family cases and it takes the reader inside the life and mind of both the killer and victim.  The cases include: The slaying of Maureen Thompson by her husband Rory; the murders of the four Folbigg children by their mother Kathleen; the sudden explosion of murderous rage within Sef Gonzales that resulted in the destruction of those closest to him; and more.  Illustrated with black and white and colour photographs.