True Crime

//True Crime
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  • October, 2011: At first it looked like a swag, said the grader driver who found the body just off the road outside the outback town of Katherine. Police identify the dead man as Ray Nicefero,  who'd recently appeared in court for aggravated assault and breaching a domestic violence order. Three days later, three young local suspects were arrested: Christopher Malyschko; Darren 'Spider' Halfpenny; and 19-year-old indigenous Zak Grieve.  A month later, Bronwyn Buttery, Ray's former partner and Christopher's mother, is arrested. But when the accused face court in the rough justice system of the Northern Territory, it soon becomes apparent there are few certain, provable facts to be had. Depending on who was talking, a loving friend could be an abusive monster; a battered wife a conniving temptress. And a joke between mates about the best way to dispose of a body becomes a conspiracy to murder. The outcome of the case is no less murky, thanks to the NT's mandatory sentencing laws, which, the judge said, 'brings about injustice'. This is the story of murder in an outback town and the extraordinary  aftermath; and it raises important questions such as how an indigenous man  who was not present at a murder can be sentenced to jail for twenty years.
  • 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...  
  • Armed robbery, murder, lies, treachery, 'confession' and legal tangle that ended in a sensational trial, followed by three executions - all the ingredients of a callous crime committed on the New Zealand goldfields in 1866. A gang of brutal Londoners - Richard Burgess, Tom Noon (Noonan), Joseph Sullivan and Phil Levy waylaid five gold-laden prospectors on a lonely track on Maungatapu ('Sacred Mountain'), killed them and hid the bodies before going on a spree. The prospectors were missed, and suspicion fell on the four. Hoping for a free pardon, Sullivan 'dobbed' on his mates and Burgess wrote a confession but implicated Sullivan. Clune traces the lives of the four and shows the influences played such an important role in shaping their twisted lives - the overcrowded Thames-side slums created by the Industrial Revolution, the laws that punished rather than reformed, the rotting prison hulks, the transportation system and the mental cruelty in the prisons of the day.
  • On April 4th, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stepped out onto the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, and into his killer's line of fire. One shot ended Dr. King's life and forever changed the course of American history - setting into motion a massive cover-up that has withstood a quarter-century of scrutiny. Now, after 18 years of intensive investigation, William F. Pepper tears away the veil of subterfuge that has hidden the truth of King's death - proving the innocence of convicted assassin James Earl Rayand revealing the cabal of government leaders and organised crime figures that masterminded the assassination of one of the most influential leaders of our age. The author was an associate of Dr. King and executive director of the independent political coalition that hoped to put King forward as a third party presidential candidate in 1968. After  the murder, Pepper walked away from politics. But in 1977. Reverend Ralph Abernathy asked Pepper to interview James Earl Ray. Initially sceptical, Pepper became convinced that Ray was innocent of the crime and that Ray had always claimed, he had been manipulated by a man named Raul and was the victim of a set-up. But who was behind the set-up - and why?
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.