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"
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"
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.
"Makes you think"
Face-to-face with some of America's most terrifying killers, FBI veteran and ex-Army CID colonel Robert Ressler learned from them how to identify the unknown monsters who walk among us - and put them behind bars. Now the man who coined the phrase "serial killer" and advised Thomas Harris on The Silence of the Lambs shows how he has tracked down some of the nation's most brutal murderers. Join Ressler as he takes you on the hunt for America's most dangerous psychopaths. It is a terrifying journey you will not forget.
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"
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"
To his neighbors, Anthony Sowell was a friendly and helpful former Marine. But they didn't know about his dark side - or the gruesome secret inside his house. Sowell's secret life was revealed to the nation on October 29, 2009, when a Cleveland Police SWAT team entered his house to arrest him for an alleged rape. They didn't find Sowell, but they encountered a nightmarish scene: two decomposed bodies in his third-floor living room. Eight more bodies were hidden throughout the house and buried in the back yard.
Former social worker S. R. Reynolds has never forgotten the mishandled case of 15-year-old Michelle Anderson, a vibrant beauty who went missing from Reynolds' Knoxville, Tennessee, neighborhood years earlier. Aided by her old professor, famed forensic anthropologist Dr. Bill Bass, Reynolds picks up the trail of this cold case. As she presses neglected pieces of the puzzle into place, Reynolds unearths a string of heinous kidnappings and rapes across the South, crimes that span decades.
"An Engrossing and Frightening Listen"
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."
From a colonial manse in New England to a small-town home in Iowa to a Beverly Hills mansion, these residences have taken on a life of their own, gaining everything from local lore and gossip to national - and even global - infamy. Here, writer Steve Lehto recounts the stories behind the houses where Lizzie Borden supposedly gave her stepmother "40 whacks", where the real Amityville Horror was first unleashed by gunfire, and where the demented acts of the Manson Family horrified a nation.
"Engaging and engrossing stories."
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?"
In 1998, William Queen was a veteran law-enforcement agent with a lifelong love of motorcycles and a lack of patience with paperwork. When a "confidential informant" made contact with his boss at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, offering to take an agent inside the San Fernando chapter of the Mongols (the scourge of Southern California, and one of the most dangerous gangs in America), Queen jumped at the chance.
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"
On March 2, 1998, 10-year-old Natascha Kampusch was kidnapped and found herself locked in a house that would be her home for the next eight years. She was starved, beaten, treated as a slave, and forced to work for her deranged captor. But she never forgot who she was, and she never gave up hope of returning to the world. This is her story.
"Interesting story..could be better"
Happy and retired, Tom and Jackie Hawks lived a charmed life in sunny Southern California. They were delighted when former child star Skylar Deleon and his pregnant wife, Jennifer, offered cash to purchase their 55-foot yacht, the Well Deserved. But a trial voyage turned into a nightmare. Out at sea, the Hawkses begged for their lives as they were forced to sign everything over to Skylar. In return, they were tied to the ship's anchor and thrown overboard - alive.
"True Crime At It's Finest"
If you are eager to read John and Patsy Ramsey's new release about the mysterious death of their daughter JonBenet, you won't want to miss Perfect Murder, Perfect Town. Schiller creates a portrait of an inscrutable family thrust under the spotlight of public suspicion and an affluent, tranquil city torn apart by a crime it was unprepared to deal with.
"This was steaming mess..."
In the horrifying annals of American crime, the infamous names of brutal killers such as Bundy, Dahmer, Gacy, and Berkowitz are writ large in the imaginations of a public both horrified and hypnotized by their monstrous, murderous acts. But for every celebrity psychopath who's gotten ink for spilling blood, there's a bevy of all-but-forgotten homicidal fiends studding the bloody margins of US history.
"Like listening to someone read a card catalog..."
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"
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.
The officer responding to a 911 call at one of Houston's hippest high-rises expected the worst. After all, domestic violence situations can be unpredictable. But nothing could've prepared him for what he found: a beautiful woman drenched in blood, an older man lying dead on the floor, and a cobalt blue suede stiletto with tufts of white hair stuck to its five-and-a-half-inch heel.
Soon to be a major film directed by Martin Scorsese. "I heard you paint houses" are the first words Jimmy Hoffa ever spoke to Frank 'the Irishman' Sheeran. To paint a house is to kill a man. The paint is the blood that splatters on the wall and floors.
In the course of nearly five years of recorded interviews, Frank Sheeran confessed to Charles Brandt that he handled more than 25 hits for the Mob and for his friend Hoffa.
I needed someone I could trust. Someone others would trust. Someone with no criminal record. With no previous involvement. A cleanskin. Someone to come over, do the job, and go home.... Some days, even Halley can't find the person she once was. She's changed her name and no one - least of all her husband and son - knows of her past. No one except Aidan, who turns up one day in her small Australian town and shatters the façade she's built so carefully.
A handsome, high-profile, and tenacious defense attorney. Three elusive suspects. An investigation that stretches across four decades. And two frenetic murder trials. Decades of Doubt: The John McCabe Murder Saga is a gripping true-life mystery that follows the case of a 15-year-old boy bound and strangled in Massachusetts in 1969, the ensuing investigation that continues for over 40 years, and the shocking events of the resulting trials.
"Narration is a total distraction"
Pursued by one demon into the clutches of another, the ordinary life of Mary Ann "Polly" Nichols is made extraordinary by horrible, inhuman circumstance. Jack the Ripper's first victim comes to life in this sensitive and intimate fictionalized portrait, from humble beginnings, to building a family with an abusive husband, her escape into poverty and the workhouse, alcoholism, and finally abandoned on the streets of London where the Whitechapel Murderer found her.
It began as President Ulysses S. Grant's bid for international glory after the Civil War - America's first attempt to reach the North Pole. It ended with Captain Charles Hall's death under suspicious circumstances, dissension among sailors, scientists, and explorers, and the ship's evacuation and eventual sinking. Then came a brutal struggle for survival by 33 men, women, and children stranded on the polar ice.
As an undercover police officer with the drugs squad, Neil Woods regularly risked his life on the streets, dealing with some of the most violent and unpredictable criminals in Britain. Good Cop, Bad War is a unique story about a man with a striking ability to infiltrate and extinguish drug gangs but who, as the success of his operations grows, becomes disillusioned with the war on drugs, as he sees how it demonizes those who need help whilst empowering the very worst elements in society.
Publicizing the criminal's modus operandi is sometimes good - the citizens will be well aware of their tactics and they can take better care of themselves. On the other hand, it can also be bad, because "would be" criminals and serial killers are also watching and they might like the idea. Such was the case of Eddie Seda.
In the summer of 1975, the sprawling valley town of Grand Junction, Colorado, is stunned by the grisly double murders of 24-year-old Linda Benson and her baby daughter Kelley. For Jim Fromm and Doug Rushing, the two young detectives assigned to the case, the investigation is a chance to earn their stripes and prove their mettle. At first, Fromm and Rushing peg the woman's mercurial husband, a pipe-fitter who works outside of town, as the primary suspect.
Frank DiMatteo was born into a family of mob hit men. His father and godfather were shooters and bodyguards for infamous Mafia legends, the Gallo brothers. His uncle was a capo in the Genovese crime family and bodyguard to Frank Costello. Needless to say, DiMatteo saw and heard things that a boy shouldn't see or hear. He knew everybody in the neighborhood. And they knew him...and his family. And does he have some wild stories to tell....
"Dont get if you dont know some back ound already"
When Vonlee "Nicole" Titlow and her aunt, Billie Jean Rogers, came home from a night of gambling in a casino near Detroit, they told police they found Billie's husband unconscious on the floor of the Rogers' mansion. Just another of his alcoholic benders, they assumed. But this time, Donald Rogers didn't wake up.
"Could have been half as long."
Nothing had worked. Not threats or negotiations, not shutting down the betting parlors or opium dens, not throwing Chinese offenders into prison. Not even executing them. The New York DA was running out of ideas, and more people were dying every day as the weapons of choice evolved from hatchets to automatic weapons and even bombs. Welcome to New York City's Chinatown in 1925.
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.
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!"
Richard Stratton was the unlikeliest of kingpins. A clean-cut Wellesley boy who entered outlaw culture on a trip to Mexico, he saw his search for a joint morph into a thrill-filled dope run smuggling two kilos across the border in his car door. He became a member of the Hippie Mafia, traveling the world to keep America high, living the underground life while embracing the hippie credo, rejecting hard drugs in favor of marijuana and hashish.
"Voice actor please apply"
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.
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.
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"
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.
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...."
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"
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.
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.
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."
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"
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?
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.
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"
The mob offers the young mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey, a $500,000 bribe to rezone land adjacent to the George Washington Bridge. Risking his life, the mayor pretends to go along with the plan but wears a wire. His efforts lead to the convictions of seven people.
The moment of truth... Mary Drew knelt down on the rug. She leaned forward, her mouth within an inch of Martha’s. "l love you," she said. "I’ve loved you from the very moment we met. But I won’t kiss you. I’m so close my lips are almost on yours, but I won’t kiss you." Martha looked deeply into the other girl’s eyes for a very long time. "l love you, too," she said. Then hungrily they fed on each other's lips. Martha grasped Mary Drew’s hand. "Love me, will you? Not just kisses. Not any more."