True Crime

//True Crime
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  • 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.
  • Liysa and Chris Norton seemed the perfect couple: Chris - tall, athletic and handsome, a pilot for Hawaiian Airlines; Liysa - attractive, seductive, an acclaimed surf photographer. Their son, Bjorn, looked just like his dad and they were raising Liysa's son by  a previous marriage. They had beautiful homes on the mainland and in Hawaii. But soon after their idyllic marriage on a moonlit beach, Liysa revealed a rapacious side that Chris had not seen before, and she complained to her friends that Chris was a heavy drinker who beat her.  Chris struggled to keep the marriage from unravelling but on a sunny morning in October 2000 he lay dead at a remote campsite. Liysa drove in distress to a friend's house - it appeared that she had been attacked and claimed that she had shot Chris in self-defence but the Oregon state detectives were suspicious of her account. Crime scene evidence led detectives to wonder if Liysa was a killer, not a victim. Her controversial trial stunned all who thought they knew her. A lifetime of sociopathic manipulations and lies had been expertly hidden behind her façade of perfection - as was her rage to destroy any obstacle to her ultimate happiness, even if it was the man she vowed to love forever.
  • On Christmas Eve 2002, Laci Peterson, a young wife and mother-to-be, disappeared from her home in Modesto, California...Praying for a happy ending, friends and family stood by Laci's grieving husband Scott. Four months later, Laci's decomposed body was found in the murky waters of San Francisco Bay. The body of her child had washed ashore about a mile away, after a possible "coffin birth". It was a sad closure to an exhaustive search, and a grim end to a marriage that by all account had appeared to be perfect. But the authorities already had a prime suspect...Scott Peterson's behavior had cast a mysterious shadow over the death of his pregnant wife - his alibi on the day of the disappearance was questionable; he admitted to an affair with another woman; and when he was finally charged with capital murder, he had altered his appearance. But it was only after a stunning criminal trial - packed with even more shocking revelations - that a jury convicted Scott Peterson of murder and sentenced him to death. With black and white photographs.
  • 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.
  • In 1996 Robin Bowles, a Melbourne company director, read a newspaper report about a task force that had been set up to re-investigate the circumstances surrounding the alleged suicide of Victorian country housewife Jennifer Tanner.The reason for the renewed interest was the the discovery of human remains in a mineshaft near the property where Jenny had died. Deeply puzzled  by the mass of anomalies in the case, Robin went searching for answers.  How, for instance, could Jenny have shot herself twice in the brain- after shooting both her hands first? Since there was no note nor proof of intention, could the findings from the original post-mortem have been influenced by other parties? And was Jenny's death connected to the body in the mine? What unfolds is a bizarre tangle of police bungles, cover-ups and family intrigue.
  • When high school sweethearts Karen and Richard Sharpe married, they shared an interest in medicine, a desire for a family and dreams for the future.  For Karen, the dream turned into a nightmare. After years of abuse at the hands of her physician husband, she tried to end their 27-year marriage.  Fearing a crushing divorce settlement, Richard ended the marriage first by unloading a .22 rifle into Karen's chest.  The murder revealed more than Boston society was ready for: Richard Sharpe's compulsive cross-dressing, with a preference for his own daughter's underwear; his taking of hormones to grow breasts, even stealing his wife's birth control pills to help the process.  But there was more - much more...Illustrated with black and white photographs.

  • Mass killers, spree killers, repeat offenders - the world now knows them as serial killers. The author covers, in unwavering detail, thirty three true stories of serial killers, dating back to our earliest days: Alexander Pearce, The Cannibal Convict; John Lynch, the Berrima Axe Murderer; Martha Rendell, the Murderous Mistress; Edward Joseph Leonski, the Brownout Strangler; John Wayne Glover, the Granny Killer; The 'Bodies in the Barrels' Snowtown Killings, the Backpacker Murders and many more. Illustrated  with black and white photographs.

  • When Stefanie Rabinowitz was found dead of an apparent drowning in her bathtub at home, it was at first believed to be 'one of those things that just happen'. Because she was only 29, an autopsy was ordered which revealed that Stefanie was in fact strangled before being dumped in the tub to stage a fake drowning.  There was no evidence of a break-in, no history of marital trouble - and suspicion fell on her husband Craig: devoted family man, loyal husband and 'everybody's best friend'. As the investigation proceeded, the bizarre double life of Craig Rabinowitz unravelled... With exclusive interviews and black and white photographs.