True Crime

//True Crime
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  • The scene awaiting the policemen entering the charming suburban house at 313 Carl Drive was one they would never forget. Three children and their mother had been hacked to death in their beds, the sheets and walls soaked in blood. A butcher knife and an axe lay nearby. There appeared to be no physical evidence and the detective at first suspected a bungled robbery. But as the clues were sifted and family members and friends were questioned, an appalling possibility presented itself: Could David Hendricks, grief-stricken father, away on a business trip, have methodically killed his family before he left? And why would a successful business man and devoted member of a fundamentalist religious group want his entire family eliminated? The prosecution painted a much darker picture of David Hendricks...Convicted by his first jury, awarded a new trial, a second jury concluded that Hendricks had not been proven guilty - beyond a reasonable doubt. Illustrated with black and white photos.

  • On 29 February 2000, Katherine Knight - mother of four, and a grandmother - seduced then stabbed John Price 37 times. A former abattoir worker, she skinned him. A loving partner, she cooked him with vegetables, making a soup with his head. She made gravy, and left him on plates for his family...Price was her de facto, and he wanted out. And Ketharine didn't like that...People said that most of the time Katherine seemed normal - until she got angry. She was judged to be legally sane when she committed a crime so horrible the media shied away from the details. Lalor covered the trial and wanted to know what made Knight go way over the borderline. He uncovers the layers of her dysfunction, opens the door of 84 St. Andrews Street and heads into the lives of Knight's ex-partners, her family and the locals of Aberdeen, New South Wales. Illustrated with colour photographs.
  • A forensic examination of the global future of organised crime - now being operated on a massive scale by outlaw motorcycle gang -  and the difficulties faced by the Australian police in tackling the burgeoning crime empire that outlaw motorcycle gangs are developing in Australia and wherever else biker gangs flourish. It's a hard and chilling look at the global future of organised crime and reveals that the world's most successful criminal empire is now being operated on a massive scale by outlaw motorcycle gangs - an empire that is growing in power, reach and ruthlessness, far surpassing the threats posed by the Mafia, Russian syndicates, Chinese Triads and Japanese Yakuza. Outlaw motorcycle gangs are now being acknowledged as the greatest current organised crime threat with an international empire that is sophisticated, bloody and brutal. It is also both strategic and opportunistic - where they cannot dominate, they broker alliances.  Here is how it all started: the turf wars that were fought, the deals that were done, and how the sea of cash that was earned is now being legitimised. It also reveals how law enforcement at an international level is losing the battle against the gangs. Using exclusive insider sources on four continents, this is the first contemporary account of one of the biggest criminal stories of our time.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Clara and David Harris were married on Valentine's Day.  Young and in love, they developed a thriving dental business, built a half-million dollar mansion and raised the perfect family.  Then whispers of David's affair with his office assistant began to circulate through their exclusive Houston social circle.  A private detective confirmed the rumours. When Clara saw David with his mistress, she attacked the woman - then got behind the wheel of her silver Mercedes and crushed her husband to death under its wheels. A moment of madness - or a calculated crime of passion? What the headlines ultimately revealed was a high profile marriage running on empty, marital infidelity, a woman's deadly passion and the private hell behind the public life of the rich and privileged. With 8 pages of black and white photographs.

  • Chapters include: Gangs And Gangsters: Al Capone, Frank Costello, Jo Adonis, the Messinas, the Krays and the Mafia; City Cases: Whitaker Wright, Lord Kylsant, Clarence Hatry, Horatio Bottomley, The Lynskey Tribunal, Ferdinand Lesseps, the Teapot Dome; Political Murders: Spencer Percival, the attempt on Lloyd George, John F. Kennedy, William McKinley, James A. Garfield, Abraham Lincoln, Rasputin, Mussoline and Mateotti; Kidnapping: Elizabeth Canning, the Lindbergh baby, James Cross, Pierre Laporte, Samuel Bronfman, Muriel McKay; Pleas Of Insanity: Lieutenant Holt, Colonel  Rutherford, Ronald True, Dale Nelson, Leopold and Loeb, Harry Thaw; Sex Crimes: Alfred Whiteway, Edward Paisnel, Peter Griffiths, Patrick Byrne, Albert DeSalvo, Fritz Haarmann, Gaston Domincini; Cases Unsolved: Jack the Ripper, Mrs Caroline Luard.
  • London, 1910 - the city is rocked by its first encounter with foreign gangsters. In December, a group of Russian anarchists were surprised while burgling a jeweller's shop in Houndsditch. They shot and  killed three policemen and wounded two others. Within two weeks, most of the gang had been captured. Then the police were informed that the last two members of the gang were hiding at 100 Sidney Street. The police called in the military, local residents were evacuated and the firefight raged for six hours, culminating in the burning of the house and the discovery of the two agitators' bodies  in  the ruins. On New Year's Day, Leon Beron, a middle-aged Russian Jew, was found battered to death on Clapham Common. Knife cuts on his cheeks, inflicted after death, formed the shape of a rough 'S' - rumour said it was the revenge murder of an informer, 'S'  being the initial letter for 'spy' in both Russian and Polish. Steinie Morrison, who had been seen in his company the night before, was arrested and charged with Beron's murder, and sentenced to hang.  This was later commuted to life in prison. Morrison protested the change of sentence and for the next ten years, demanded that the original sentence be carried out, proclaiming his innocence and staging hunger strikes.  He never changed his story, not even by the smallest detail, and died ten years later in prison. Was an innocent man convicted? And did the murder of Beron have any connection to the Siege of Sidney Street?  With black and white photographs.