On Monday, December 4, 1933, attractive New York attorney Agnes Colonia Tufverson, 43, and Ivan Poderjay, a captain in the Yugoslav army, 10 years her junior, got married at the Little Church Around the Corner in New York City. What promised to be a storybook romance for Agnes, with a bright future of travel and adventure, turned out to be anything but for the newlywed.
My name is Raymond J. Rommel. Over nine years ago I was locked up here on death row in the San Quentin State Prison north of San Francisco. There are over 700 of us awaiting execution as lawyers file appeals and rack up billable hours. My attorney tried to have me declared not guilty by reason of insanity after a psychiatric evaluation declared I'm deranged and possibly a borderline homicidal psychopath, none of which is true, and I should be committed to a psychiatric facility.
Dean Corll was an electrician for Houston Power and Light, but most of Henley's friends knew him as the Candy Man, so named because he had labored for years in the candy manufacturing plant that he and his mother had once owned. Corll was famous for giving away candy to the kids. Little did they know that "the Candy Man of Houston" was in fact a sadistic, cruel, remorseless rapist and murderer. Between September 25, 1970 and August 3, 1973, Corll killed at least 28 young men and boys, and the actual number of victims may have been more than 30.
Linda Scarpa had the best toys, the nicest clothes, and a close-knit family. Yet her childhood was far from idyllic. Classmates avoided her; boys wouldn't date her. Eventually she learned why: They were afraid of her father. A made man in the Colombo crime family, Gregory Scarpa, Sr., was a stone-cold killer nicknamed the "Grim Reaper." Unlike most tight-lipped mobsters, Scarpa talked business - and murder - in front of his kids.
In a thrilling narrative showcasing his gifts as storyteller and researcher, Erik Larson recounts the spellbinding tale of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. Also available abridged.
"A Rich Read!"
Why we think it’s a great listen: It’s a story that most people know, told here in an unforgettable way – an audio masterpiece that rivals the best thrillers, thanks to Capote genre-defining words and Brick’s subtle but powerful characterizations. On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues.
"Still the Best"
At the core of this book is an appalling double murder committed by two Mormon fundamentalist brothers, Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they received a revelation from God commanding them to kill their blameless victims. Weaving the story of the Lafferty brothers and their fanatical brethren with a clear-eyed look at Mormonism's violent past, Krakauer examines the underbelly of the most successful homegrown faith in the United States, and finds a distinctly American brand of religious extremism.
"Interesting @ arm's length"
Robert Peernock appeared to have the ideal life; working as a pyrotechnics engineer and computer expert and coming home to his wife and daughter, he projected the American dream. Even when he and his wife separated, it seemed amicable, just a small bump for the well-to-do family. But there was madness in his house: in private, Peernock was violent, subtly manipulative, and bordering on psychotic.
No One Would Listen is the exclusive story of the Harry Markopolos-lead investigation into Bernie Madoff and his $65 billion Ponzi scheme. While a lot has been written about Madoff's scam, few actually know how Markopolos and his team - affectionately called "the Fox Hounds" by Markopolos himself - uncovered what Madoff was doing years before this financial disaster reached its pinnacle. Unfortunately, no one listened, until the damage of the world's largest financial fraud ever was irreversible.
"Liked the story, but not the author"
After his December 2003 arrest, registered nurse Charlie Cullen was quickly dubbed "The Angel of Death" by the media. But Cullen was no mercy killer, nor was he a simple monster. He was a favorite son, husband, beloved father, best friend, and celebrated caregiver. Implicated in the deaths of as many as 300 patients, he was also perhaps the most prolific serial killer in American history.
"More Chilling than Murder?"
Part history, part true-crime, and entirely entertaining, listen to the story of how the behemoth Oxford English Dictionary was made. You'll hang on every word as you discover that the dictionary's greatest contributor was also an insane murderer working from the confines of an asylum.
"Perfect example of a quality audible book."
Genteel society ladies who compare notes on their husbands' suicides. A hilariously foul-mouthed black drag queen. A voodoo priestess who works her roots in the graveyard at midnight. A prominent antiques dealer who hangs a Nazi flag from his window to disrupt the shooting of a movie. And a redneck gigolo whose conquests describe him as a "walking streak of sex".
"A little slow, but entertaining"
Loni Ann, Cynthia, Lauren, Cheryl, and Sara seemed to have it all - beauty, wealth, children, and a husband who they believed to be this perfect man - Brad Cunningham. He was handsome, charismatic, and mysterious. They adored him and tried to give him all he wanted. But he wanted everything: sex, money, and it seemed, their very lives. How long would it take before he finally got what he deserved?
"Ann Rule at her best! Narration very suitable!"
In Thunderstruck, Erik Larson tells the interwoven stories of two men: Hawley Crippen, a very unlikely murderer, and Guglielmo Marconi, the obsessive creator of a seemingly supernatural means of communication. Their lives intersect during one of the greatest criminal chases of all time.
"Marconi, murder, mix well"
John Grisham's first work of nonfiction, an exploration of small town justice gone terribly awry, is his most extraordinary legal thriller yet.
"Good Book - Not Typical Grisham"
"This book will give you nightmares," cautions The New York Times. Richard Preston takes us inside the ongoing war against bioterrorism, investigating the anthrax attacks of October 2001 and the potential for a future bio-attack using smallpox or, worse yet, a new superpox virus resistant to all vaccines. "As exciting as the best thrillers, yet scarier by far, for Preston's pages deal with clear, present and very real dangers," says Publishers Weekly.
"Interesting and eye opening"
Frank W. Abagnale was one of the most daring conmen, forgers, imposters, and escape artists in history. In his brief but notorious criminal career, Abagnale donned a pilot's uniform and copiloted a Pan Am jet, masqueraded as the supervising resident of a hospital, practiced law without a license, passed himself off as a college sociology professor, and cashed over $2.5 million in forged checks, all before he was 21. His story is now a film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks.
After Jack the Ripper and before Son of Sam there was only one name their equal in terror: the deadly, elusive, and mysterious Zodiac. Beginning in 1968 the hooded mass murderer terrified the city of San Francisco and the Bay Area with a string of brutal killings. A sexual sadist, his pleasure was torture and murder.
In the most extraordinary journey Ann Rule has ever undertaken, America's master of true crime has spent more than two decades researching the story of the Green River Killer, who murdered more than 49 young women. Green River, Running Red is a harrowing account of a modern monster, a killer who walked among us undetected. It is also the story of his quarry -- of who these young women were and who they might have become.
"Suspenseful and chilling"
In 1914 collisions between motor cars and horse-drawn carriages are an everyday occurrence on the streets of Paterson, New Jersey. But when an out-of-control driver smashes into a buggy driven by Constance, Norma, and Fleurette Kopp, their lives change forever. Constance, the oldest, demands payment for the damages but quickly realizes that she is dealing with a madman.
"Slice Of Life From Another Time"
One late spring evening in 2010, Shannan Gilbert, after running through the oceanfront community of Oak Beach screaming for her life, went missing. No one who had heard of her disappearance thought much about what had happened to the 24-year-old: She was a Craigslist prostitute who had been fleeing a scene. The Suffolk County Police, too, seemed to have paid little attention - until seven months later, when an unexpected discovery in a bramble alongside a nearby highway turned up four bodies, all evenly spaced, all wrapped in burlap. But none of them Shannan's.
Two men embodied an element of the great dynamic that characterized America's rush toward the 20th century: Daniel Hudson Burnham, the brilliant director of works for the 1893 Chicago World's Fair; and Henry H. Holmes, who used the attraction of the great fair and his own satanic charms to lure scores of young women to their deaths.
"Enthralling Story...best part - its true!"
Killing Pablo is the inside story of the brutal rise and violent fall of Colombian cocaine cartel kingpin Pablo Escobar. Also from Bowden: the best selling Black Hawk Down.
"Relevant Accessible History"
Hollywood. Saturday night. A broken taillight leads to a routine traffic stop. It shouldn’t have changed the lives of the four men involved, but it did. The Onion Field is the frighteningly true story of a fatal collision of destinies that would lead two young cops and two young robbers to a deserted field on the outskirts of Los Angeles, towards a bizarre execution and its terrible aftermath.
This incredible story shows how John Douglas tracked and participated in the hunt for one of the most notorious serial killers in U.S. history. For 31 years a man who called himself BTK (Bind, Torture, Kill) terrorized the city of Wichita, Kansas, sexually assaulting and strangling a series of women, taunting the police with frequent communications, and bragging about his crimes to local newspapers and TV stations.
"The narration is atrocious!"
On a freezing Christmas morning, a distraught young man named Jeremy Davies led police to a corpse he had placed in a snowbank some hours before. They found a man's body, naked, bloody and beaten. Davies insisted that he had not killed the man but that he and his fiancée had simply buried a stranger's body. The police investigation confirmed the fact that the victim, Harry Berge, had died in the apartment of Barbara Hoffman.
The first edition of Greentown helped reopen one of America's most shameful unsolved murder cases, the savage slaying of 15-year-old Martha Moxley in an exclusive enclave of Greenwich, Connecticut, the night before Halloween 1975. Soon after Martha's body was discovered, attention focused on members of the Skakel family, who lived across the street from the Moxleys. Ethel Skakel and Robert Kennedy had married in Greenwich, and the two families were close.
"Really enjoyed it."
Fifteen-year-old Lynda Mann's savagely raped and strangled body is found along a shady footpath near the English village of Narborough. Though a massive 150-man dragnet is launched, the case remains unsolved. Three years later the killer strikes again, raping and strangling teenager Dawn Ashforth only a stone's throw from where Lynda was so brutally murdered.
"Interesting story, a few quibbles with the audio."
In Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights, Brooklyn - neighborhoods notorious for drugs and violent crime - some of the worst criminals wore police uniforms and carried badges. Henry Winter was a good cop when he first entered the infamous 77th station house, which was already infamous as a home to the dregs of the NYPD. Before long he and fellow officer Anthony Magno found themselves deeply entrenched in the Alamo's culture of extortion, lies, corruption, and crime.
The downfall of Bo Xilai in China was more than a darkly thrilling mystery. It revealed a cataclysmic internal power struggle between Communist Party factions, one that reached all the way to China’s new president Xi Jinping. The scandalous story of the corruption of the Bo Xilai family - the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood; Bo’s secret lovers; the secret maneuverings of Bo’s supporters; the hasty trial and sentencing of Gu Kailai, Bo’s wife - was just the first rumble of a seismic power struggle that continues to rock the very foundation of China’s all-powerful Communist Party.
"Entertaining but unnecessarily long"
It was not a clever killing. On May 5, 1973, three men escaped from a Maryland prison and disappeared. Joined by a 15-year-old brother, they surfaced in Georgia, where they were spotted joyriding in a stolen car. Within a week, the four young men were arrested on suspicion of committing one of the most horrific murders in American history. Jerry Alday and his family were eating Sunday dinner when death burst through the door of their cozy little trailer. Their six bodies are only the beginning of this gruesome story.
"Well written, but...."
Baby X is a shocking and unforgettable story of how some of the UK's most disadvantaged children escaped their tormentors - and explains why some cases, similar to that of Baby P's, ended in tragedy. When super-tough cop Sergeant Harry Keeble announced he was joining Hackney's ailing Child Protection Team in 2000, his colleagues were astounded. Known as the 'Cardigan Squad', its officers were seen as glorified social workers dealing with domestics. The reality was very different.
"Opened My Eyes"
On December 26, 1997, near the affluent community of Bainbridge Island off the coast of Seattle, a house went up in flames. In it was the shy, beloved minister's wife, Dawn Hacheney. When the fire was extinguished, investigators found only her charred remains. Her husband, Nick, was visibly devastated by the loss. What investigators failed to note, however, was that Dawn's lungs didn't contain smoke. Was she dead before the fire began?
"Hard to believe it's a true story- but it is"
Each night, thousands of immigrants stream north across the Mexican border towards San Diego, hoping to make a new life in the United States. Along the way, many find death instead. Bandit gangs roam the moonlit desert, robbing, raping, and killing these desperate, impoverished migrants. For decades Dick Snider has watched this happen. Now, in 1976, he’s decided to end the bloodshed. A San Diego cop with an intimate awareness of the trials of border crossing, Snider has uncommon sympathy for the immigrants.
Forensic expert Wagner has crafted a volume that stands out from the plethora of recent memoirs of contemporary scientific detectives. By using the immortal and well-known Sherlock Holmes stories as her starting point, Wagner blends familiar examples from Doyle's accounts into a history of the growth of forensic science, pointing out where fiction strayed from fact.
"Science in the time of Sherlock Holmes"
Paul Alexander, the best-selling author of the Kindle Single Murdered, introduces us to Tommy Harris, the 14-year veteran of the Houston Police force, his fight with a man outside a bar, a death, and the ensuing homicide trial. The district attorney had boasted, "Anyone can convict a guilty person, but it takes someone really good to convict an innocent one." Did Harris apply a naked choke-hold, or did the district attorney and his forensics team set up Harris?
At a dive bar in San Francisco’s edgy Tenderloin district, drug-hustling Emily Rosario is drinking whiskey and looking for an escape from her desperate lifestyle. When she is approached by a Russian businessman, she thinks she might have found her exit. A week later - drugged, disoriented, and wanted for robbery - Emily finds herself on the run for her life. When cop Leo Elias - broke, alcoholic and desperate - hears about an unsolved bank robbery, the stolen money proves too strong a temptation.
Evil has a way of finding itself. How else could you explain the bond between Alvin and Judith Ann Neelley, who consecrated their marriage in blood? Before the killings started, they restricted themselves to simple mischief: prank calls, vandalism, firing guns at strangers’ houses. Gradually their ambition grew, until one day at the Riverbend Mall in Rome, Georgia, they spotted Lisa Ann Millican. Three days after Lisa Ann disappeared, the 13-year-old girl was found shot and pumped full of liquid drain cleaner.
A savage murder, committed the same day Martin Luther King Jr. gave his "I Have a Dream" speech. A young black man is falsely accused. In the style of Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, Erik German's Kindle Single Dead Girls picks up where the reporters left off - just in time for the 50th anniversary of a crime that captivated the nation. On August, 28, 1963, two young white women were found slain and mutilated in their apartment on New York's Upper East Side.
On 22 February 2006, GBP53 million was stolen from a cash warehouse belonging to the Securitas company in Tonbridge, Kent. In terms of value, the robbery puts previous British capers, such as the Great Train Robbery, in the shade. This was a crime notable for its audacity, carried out by an unlikely crew of players that included a used car salesman, two Albanian casual workers and a roofer. Five men were convicted at the Old Bailey in January 2008, which attracted nationwide media coverage.
In 1994, director Peter Jackson released the film Heavenly Creatures, based on a famous 1950s matricide committed in New Zealand by two teenage girls embroiled in an obsessive relationship. This film launched Jackson's international career. It also forever changed the life of Anne Perry, an award-winning, best-selling crime writer, who at the time of the film's release was publicly outed as Juliet Hulme, one of the murderers. A new light was now cast, not only on Anne's life, but also her novels, which feature gruesome and violent deaths.
"The Search for Anne Perry"
Crack House takes the listener into the dark heart of our cities' most violent and terrifying places, showing how the war on drugs can only be won by constant and forceful vigilance. The bastard offspring of cocaine, crack first entered the UK in the early 1990s. By the end of the decade, Britain's inner cities were in the midst of a crack epidemic, with users being responsible for a massive proportion of crime. Communities, especially in London, were crying out for help, but there were only two specialist units in the whole of the capital.
"Entertaining and enlightening"