True Crime

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  • The criminals who ended their days in Strangeways Prison - and the crimes that sent them there.  A collection of murder cases from around Manchester each of which ends in the accused being executed at Strangeways Prison.  Some of the accounts, at the end, feature an author's note in which suggests that perhaps the accused was innocent and should not have been hanged...Many a lot of these crimes are particularly shocking, evil and unmotivated. There is also a first-hand account written by Charles Parton, who was sentenced to death for murder and served 11 years before being found not guilty.
  • 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.
  • Ronald Joseph Ryan was hanged in Melbourne on February 3, 1967, following his conviction for the shooting murder of a prison warder during a daring escape from the maximum-security Pentridge prison thirteen months before. The decision of the Victorian government in December 1966 to proceed with Ryan’s death sentence sparked immediate media condemnation and angry political protests, and put the Liberal premier, Sir Henry Bolte, under siege for the duration of the case. State governments around the country moved to abolish the death penalty in the 1970s and 1980s, and Ronald Ryan became the last man to be hanged in Australia.  But who was Ronald Ryan, and how did he come to be the focus of such dramatic political events? Drawing on previously unpublished documents and personal accounts — including details of Ryan’s childhood and his early turn to crime — this book reveals the truth about Ryan’s guilt. It also goes behind the scenes to tell for the first time of the life-long anguish of the judge who pronounced the death sentence, the inner workings of the secret cabinet meeting that decided Ryan’s fate, and the dramatic political process that resulted in the rejection of eleventh-hour appeals to save Ryan. Illustrated with black and white photographs.
  • At the end of 1831, authorities unearthed a series of crimes at 3 Novia Scotia Gardens that appeared to be a copycat of the infamous Burke and Hare killings in Edinburgh only three years earlier.  Soon three body-snatchers were on trial for providing the anatomy schools of London with suspiciously fresh bodies for dissection.  They became famous as the London Burkers and their story was dubbed "The Italian Boy" case.  The ensuing uproar forced legislation to end body-snatching in Britain.  As well as covering the actual case, this book is a fascinating window on the lives of the poor of 1830s London.
  • A chance encounter in a fish-’n’-chip shop set Brendan James Murray on the trail of a mystery. Had a gay man been secretly murdered on H.M.A.S Australia during the Second World War? The veteran he spoke to was certain. ‘I knew about it,’ he said. ‘We all did.’ But was the story true? If so, who was the dead man? And why was it so hard to find out? This book is the search for the answer, almost stone-walled by cover-up and silence. In the end, it brings us to the lies that have shrouded our understanding of war, and especially of war at sea. As one of the survivors poignantly says, ‘I want to pass it on to the next generation. What it was like. What it was really like.’
  • The true crimes that rocked Australia...Why do some people cross the threshold from rational behaviour to cold blooded murder? How can they do it? What motivates or activates that ability? Malcolm Brown and other award winning journalists examine the most cold blooded killings in modern day Australia. In this volume: The Murder of John Newman, M.P.; The Murderous Rampage of Danny Karam's Gang; The Bodies in the Barrels, Snowtown; The Murder of Margaret Tobin; Retribution in Wollongong: Paedophilia's Chain Reaction; Murder on Sydney's Northern Beaches; The Serial Infanticide of Kathleen Folbigg; The Murder of Maria Korp; The Spear-Gun Killer John Sharpe; Bumbling Matricide - The Murder of Margaret Wales-King and Paul King; Sef Gonzales - Getting Around the Problem of Poor Marks. Illustrated with black and white photographs.
  • The story of Melbourne's Pentridge Gaol from 1850 - 1900. Where Pentridge stands is dark and bloody ground, the battlefield of an undeclared war.  On one side, the Law, wielding savage authority. On the other, the prisoners whose only weapons were cunning, intrigue and sudden desperate violence.  Here is a fascinating account of escapes, mortal combats, vicious tyrants, zero-hour reprieves and all the dramatic and pathetic details of life behind the grim stone walls, yet still, there is a sense of defiant resilience of the human spirit.
  • 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.
  • Boxing Day, 1898. Three members of the Murphy family - Michael, Ellen and Norah — are returning to the family farm after a trip in to Gatton, a small town west of Brisbane. On a deserted, moonlit road a few miles out of town they are ambushed. Their horse is killed and the three young people are taken to a remote paddock where the women are brutally raped and bludgeoned to death - and Michael is shot. By the time the police arrived the following day, locals had swarmed all over the crime scene, obliterating the evidence. What followed was a hopelessly bungled investigation and the crime remained unsolved. Fear and mistrust rocked the farming community. Theories about the perpetrator abounded. Was this the work of a sex-crazed tramp? Could a member of the Murphy family have been involved - or was revenge the motive? Stephanie Bennett's detailed examination of this baffling crime after many years spent scouring the available archival material, interviewing relatives of suspects and victims and visiting far flung areas of Queensland brings a new and disturbing theory to the surface that is both chilling and challenging. Queensland's most infamous unsolved murder.