True Crime

//True Crime
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  • On February 1, 1922, the distinguished silent-film director William Desmond Taylor was shot dead in his Los Angeles bungalow. Reports of strange activities at the scene circulated soon after. When the police arrived,  the head of Paramount Studios was burning a bundle of papers in the fireplace, and a well-known actress was searching the house for letters she claimed were hers. Despite a full-scale investigation - at one time there were over 300 suspects - the case was never solved; to this day it has remained a lingering Hollywood scandal. In 1967, more than forty years after Taylor's death, director King Vidor felt determined to solve the mystery which had haunted him throughout his career. He wanted to make a film about it. 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, Sidney D. Kirkpatrick, Vidor's authorised biographer, gained access to the evidence and reconstructed the amazing story of Taylor's murder and Vidor's investigation. With a cast of suspects that includes the actress Mabel Normand, a reputed drug addict; the beautiful ingénue, Mary Miles Minter; Mary's domineering mother, Charlotte Shelby; Taylor's homosexual houseman; and Taylor's secretary, who bore an uncanny resemblance to Taylor's mysteriously elusive brother, this true crime story has all the elements of a classic murder mystery. Covered up for more than half a century, the full story can now be told in all its riveting, shocking detail. Contains black and white photographs.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Beautiful Jenn Corbin appeared to have it all: two dear little boys, a posh home in one of the upscale suburbs of Atlanta, expensive cars, a plush houseboat and a husband - Dr. Bart Corbin, a successful dentist - who was tall, handsome, and brilliant. Then in December 2004, Jenn was found dead with a bullet in her head.  Apparently a suicide. But Gwinnett County detective Marcus Head was not totally convinced, nor was Jenn's family, who could not believe she would take her own life. Only later would detectives learn that another beautiful woman in Dr. Corbin's past had been found dead in exactly the same way - and who had also been ruled a suicide...
  • A revised, expanded collection of true crime by Australia's foremost  crime writers that digs beneath the polite exterior of modern Australian life to expose its chilling core. It details the exploits of criminal families and examines the gene of pure evil that drives maniacs to randomly kill; it also explores the effect on innocent victims caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Also included is the unstinting contribution from the cops who daily put their lives on the line and the ordinary individuals who stand up and fight back. Stories in this volume include: Donald Mackay and the Australia Mafia; the Queen Street Massacre; Ivan Milat; serial killer Paul Denyer; the Anita Cobby murder; the murder of taxi driver Peter Coe by teenagers; the Crawford murders; life as an undercover cop; and much more. Illustrated with black and white photographs.
  • They were a notorious gypsy family that seeped into their victims' lives like a deadly cancer. And they couldn't be stopped-- until one courageous woman took on the cases no one else would touch...The victims were elderly, well-to-do men and women who, due to their failing health, strength, and faculties, could be conned out of their fortunes by heinous neglect, abuse, and possibly even murder. The accused are several members of a ruthless family of Gypsies known for their cunning con-games and remarkable ability to extract large sums of money from their unwitting pawns. Investigator Fay Faron was determined to bring the culprits to justice - even when the authorities turned a blind eye to the Gypsies' crimes time and time again. Author Jack Olsen follows Fay Faron as she retraces every step of the Gypsy family and the crimes they stand accused of: moving in on their helpless prey, extorting money, signing the fortunes of elderly millionaires into their own names - and speeding up the death process with sadistic neglect, slow poison, and unspeakable cruelty. Illustrated with black and white photographs.