True Crime

//True Crime
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  • 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.