True Crime

//True Crime
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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ron Williamson was a star college sportsman in the small town of Ada, Oklahoma. When he left to pursue his dreams he seemed destined for glory. But years of injury, drinking, drugs and women took their toll, and he returned to Ada a lonely drifter. Soon after his homecoming, a local cocktail waitress was raped and murdered. With no immediate leads, the police worked the case for five years before arresting Williamson and charging him with her murder. Despite no physical evidence, and based largely on the testimony of jailhouse snitches, he was found guilty at trial and sent to death row. Left to await his fate, Williamson was the only person to know the terrible truth: that an innocent man had been sent on a journey to hell. A journey from which he might never return...Illustrated with black and white photographs.  
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • What makes a seemingly ordinary man kill his suburban neighbours, one by one? How can he come back to his house and family and act normally after battering to death a series of elderly and often frail women..and why? This is the case of John Glover, the Sydney Granny Killer: a graphic and chilling insight into the mind of a serial killer. It traces the evolution of a person capable of such violence, how the murders were incorporated into daily life - and how close family were deceived so totally and for so long. There are hitherto unknown details of his life from relatives in the United Kingdom, a construction of the police hunt for the killer; methods, techniques and the slow overlapping of forensic material with a mass of evidence, facts and details gathered from the public.  Illustrated with black and white photographs.
  • On a bleak, moonless winter night in 1995 beautiful Sydney model Caroline Byrne died, her body embedded head-first into a crevice at the bottom of The Gap at the entrance to Sydney Harbor. How did she get out so far, almost 12 meters from the base of the sheer sandstone precipice? Did she jump, as so many had done before at the notorious suicide spot, or had she been thrown in a fit of rage? What began as a sad ritual of retrieving the shattered bodies of shattered lives turned into one of the nation's most extraordinary murder investigations, leading to the dark heart of a city gripped by greed, pandering to its powerful and exposing a police force whose lack of imagination and resources was surpassed only by the doggedness of its finest officers to right an unforgivable wrong. this is a journey to justice: the astonishing inside story of Caroline's father Tony Byrne's determination to find the truth of his daughter's death and in doing so, test the justice system to its limits.