True Crime

//True Crime
­
  • A chance encounter in a fish-’n’-chip shop set Brendan James Murray on the trail of a mystery. Had a gay man been secretly murdered on H.M.A.S Australia during the Second World War? The veteran he spoke to was certain. ‘I knew about it,’ he said. ‘We all did.’ But was the story true? If so, who was the dead man? And why was it so hard to find out? This book is the search for the answer, almost stone-walled by cover-up and silence. In the end, it brings us to the lies that have shrouded our understanding of war, and especially of war at sea. As one of the survivors poignantly says, ‘I want to pass it on to the next generation. What it was like. What it was really like.’
  • On 17 April 1935, a fisherman hooked a small shark off Coogee Beach, Sydney. Then, a four-metre tiger shark swallowed the smaller shark, allowing it to be caught too. But instead of dumping his catch, the fisherman took the larger shark – still alive – to the nearby Coogee Aquarium Baths, where it would make a wonderful attraction for the following Anzac Day weekend. At that time in Sydney, the shark was 'public enemy number one', since in late February and early March, three young men had been taken by sharks at New South Wales beaches. Bounty hunters were employed to help rid Sydney's beaches of the menace, so crowds now flocked to see this monster with man-eating capabilities, which was given the run of the pool. For several days the shark seemed quite active and had a voracious appetite, but on 25 April, Anzac Day, it began acting strangely: it appeared ill, moved slowly and was seemingly disoriented. Then suddenly there was a great commotion in the pool, and while spectators watched, the shark vomited up a tattoed, human arm. At first, another tragic accident was presumed, but a medical examination of the arm revealed it had not been bitten off by the shark - but had been removed from its body with a knife or other sharp instrument, and not in a surgical procedure. The focus of the investigation turned to murder - the arm was identified as that of Jim Smith: a bankrupt builder, a former SP bookmaker and boxer and a small-time criminal with a record of minor convictions, who had drifted onto the edges of the underworld and became involved in the illegal gambling that was rife throughout Sydney at that time. But Smith had also been a 'fizzer' - a police informer with connections to a seemingly respectable businessman, Reginald Lloyd Holmes - who was not quite as respectable as he seemed...  This history contains revelations made to the author by Patrick Brady, one of the chief suspects in the case.

  • This really is the ultimate for Ripperologists - an encyclopedic work, solidly researched and profusely illustrated, collated from all the known and still-existing official records and supplemented by contemporary press reports. It presents. for the first time in one volume, a prime-source reference book on the eleven shocking prostitute murders that took place in the East End of London between 1888 and 1891. While there is no doubt that the Whitechapel Murders, as they were classified by Scotland Yard, were committed by more than one person, no one knows how many of the killings can be attributed to a single culprit. More than one murderer wore the guise of Jack the Ripper, and the  identities of all suspects to this day remain unknown. Divorcing the facts of the Ripper case from the myths that have proliferated in fiction and film, this is a factual, documented narrative of the entire series of crimes, their forensic evidence, the official suspects and possible accomplices, police reports,  inquests, newspaper articles of the day and rare photographs.
  • 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 October 9, 1959, Kevin Simmonds and Les Newcombe broke out of Long Bay Gaol. Both incarcerated for strings of minor crimes, their escape set in train the most incredible  manhunts in Australian history - a media event which aroused public feeling to fever pitch. The death of a prison warder, the dogged determination  of police and the often ingenious desperation of the fugitives focussed public attention on not only the escapees, but also on the prison system from which they had sprung - its brutality and its systematic denial of hope and humanity. This is Les Newcombe's story - a story of life in prison and out of it, as a free man, a prisoner and an escapee. Illustrated with black and white photos.
  • With such intriguing chapters as: The Riddle of the Bordereau (the Dreyfus case); Murder in High Society (the murder of Stanford White and the affair of Evelyn Stanford nee Nesbit and Harry Thaw) ; the Tragedy of Oscar Slater (the murder of Marion Gilchrist); The Original Winslow Boy (the tragedy caused by the theft of a five shilling postal order); A Matter of High Treason (Roger Casement); The Green Bicycle Mystery (the murder of Bella Wright) ; Buccaneer in Morning Coat (Horatio Bottomley, swindler par excellence) ; The Incredible Fire Raisers (the Leopold Harris arson gang) ; Justice Comes To Nuremburg; The Double Betrayal (the case of Klaus Fuchs); Teenagers On A Roof (the thrill-killing of a police man in London, 1952) ; The Great Train Robbers.
  • 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?
  • Eric Clegg, formerly  His Honour Eric Clegg Q.C. is more than qualified to examine these famous trials and his expert viewpoint reveals many important and often controversial points which arose during the hearings. Cases contained in this volume include: The Kalgoorlie murders of two policemen in 1926, found down a disused mine-shaft; the Passionate Parson, acquitted on a charge of murdering his wife; the Lavers msyery and the Sundown murders; the Pyjama Girl murder; and the fantastic case of T. J. Ley, former Minister for Justice in New South Wales who was eventually convicted for the chalkpit murders. Illustrated 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.