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"
The authors present violent cases of true crime from Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.
On February 28, 2000, Adnan Syed was convicted and sentenced to life plus 30 years for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, a high school senior in Baltimore, Maryland. From the moment of his arrest, Syed has consistently maintained his innocence. Rabia Chaudry, a family friend, always believed him and has never given up the hope that he might someday be released. By 2013, however, after almost all appeals had been exhausted, things looked bleak.
"Fascinating. Heartbreaking. Informative."
Decades after Richard Ramirez left 13 dead and paralyzed the city of Los Angeles, his name is still synonymous with fear, torture, and sadistic murder. Philip Carlo's classic The Night Stalker, based on years of meticulous research and extensive interviews with Ramirez, revealed the killer and his horrifying crimes to be even more chilling than anyone could have imagined. The story of Ramirez is a bizarre and spellbinding descent into the very heart of human evil.
"Another True Crime classic...! (yay)"
Ann Rule was working on the biggest story of her career, tracking the trail of victims left by a brutal serial killer. Little did this future best-selling author know that the savage slayer she was hunting was the young man she counted among her closest friends. Everyone's picture of a natural winner, Ted Bundy was a bright, charming, and handsome man with a promising future as an attorney. But on January 24, 1989 Bundy was executed for the murders of three young women - and had confessed to taking the lives of at least thirty-five more women from coast to coast.
"Brutal story, great storytelling"
Prosecuting attorney in the Manson trial Vincent Bugliosi held a unique insider's position in one of the most baffling and horrifying cases of the 20th century: the cold-blooded Tate-LaBianca murders carried out by Charles Manson and four of his followers. What motivated Manson in his seemingly mindless selection of victims, and what was his hold over the young women who obeyed his orders? Now available for the first time in unabridged audio, the gripping story of this famous and haunting crime is brought to life by acclaimed narrator Scott Brick.
"Everything I remembered about the case was wrong.."
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"
Did Lizzie Borden murder her own father and stepmother? Was Jack the Ripper actually the Duke of Clarence? Who killed JonBenet Ramsey? America's foremost expert on criminal profiling and 25-year FBI veteran John Douglas, along with author and filmmaker Mark Olshaker, explores those tantalizing questions and more in this mesmerizing work of detection. With uniquely gripping analysis, the authors reexamine and reinterpret the accepted facts, evidence, and victimology of the most notorious murder cases in the history of crime.
"John Douglas is AMAZING"
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"
In this unique book, Peter Vronsky documents the psychological, investigative, and cultural aspects of serial murder, beginning with its first recorded instance in ancient Rome, through 15th-century France, up to such notorious contemporary cases as cannibal/necrophile Ed Kemper, Henry Lee Lucas, Ted Bundy, and the emergence of what he classifies as "the serial rampage killer" such as Andrew Cunanan.
"Really great book!"
Genovese, Gambino, Bonnano, Colombo, and Lucchese. For decades these Five Families ruled New York and built the American Mafia (or Cosa Nostra) into an underworld empire. Today, the Mafia is an endangered species, battered and beleaguered by aggressive investigators, incompetent leadership, betrayals, and generational changes that produced violent, unreliable leaders and recruits.
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.
In Spam Nation, investigative journalist and cybersecurity expert Brian Krebs unmasks the criminal masterminds driving some of the biggest spam and hacker operations targeting Americans and their bank accounts. Tracing the rise, fall, and alarming resurrection of the digital mafia behind the two largest spam pharmacies - and countless viruses, phishing, and spyware attacks - he delivers the first definitive narrative of the global spam problem and its threat to consumers everywhere.
"Risky topic, but Br. Krebs hits it out of the park"
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas author Hunter S. Thompson rocked the literary world with his mind-bending style of Gonzo journalism. First published in 1966, Hell’s Angels is Thompson’s up-close and personal look at the infamous motorcycle gang during the time when its moniker was most feared.
"Visions of the Future of Motorcycle Gangs"
Jeffrey Epstein rose from humble origins to the rarefied heights of New York City's financial elite. A college dropout with an instinct for numbers - and for people - Epstein amassed his wealth through a combination of access and skill. But even after he had it all, Epstein wanted more. And that unceasing desire - especially a taste for young girls - resulted in his stunning fall from grace.
"AMAZING and sickening"
Over the course of this gripping narrative, Dave Cullen approaches his subjects with unrivaled care and insight. What emerges are shattering portraits of the killers, the victims, and the community that suffered one of the greatest - and most socially and historically important - shooting tragedies of the 20th century.
"I feel like I've been hit by a freight train"
Devil in the Grove is the winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction. Arguably the most important American lawyer of the 20th century, Thurgood Marshall was on the verge of bringing the landmark suit Brown v. Board of Education before the U.S. Supreme Court when he became embroiled in an explosive and deadly case that threatened to change the course of the civil rights movement and cost him his life. Despite death threats, the clan, and the urging of his associates, Marshall knew he had to defend "the Groveland Boys".
"Stunning history of the Jim Crow south. Essential"
Early one morning in May, 1997, a young couple in the mountains of Colorado spotted a man dragging a body up a secluded trail. The man fled, leaving behind a bloody, dying woman. The investigation into the death of young street-walker Anita Paley would lead from that idyllic spot to the seamy underbelly of Denver and a world of prostitution, drug dealers, and violent criminals. And it would expose the lives of suspect Robert Riggan and Anita's friend Joanne Cordova, a former cop-turned-crack-addict and hooker.
"Bob's "most favorite place in the whole world" . ."
The tragic story of Susan Powell and her murdered boys, Charlie and Braden, is the only case that rivals the Jon Benet Ramsey saga in the annals of true crime. When the pretty, blonde Utah mother went missing in December of 2009 the media was swept up in the story - with lenses and microphones trained on Susan's husband, Josh. He said he had no idea what happened to his young wife, and that he and the boys had been camping in the middle of a snowstorm.
"I gasped several times; I didn't see THAT coming!!"
After details of American government surveillance were published in 2013, Edward Snowden, formerly a subcontracted IT analyst for the NSA, became the center of an international controversy: Was he a hero, traitor, whistle-blower, spy? Was his theft legitimized by the nature of the information he exposed? When is it necessary for governmental transparency to give way to subterfuge? Edward Jay Epstein brings a lifetime of journalistic and investigative acumen to bear on these and other questions.
On any Sunday morning in the Florida Redlands, Dee Casteel might have served you pancakes at the IHOP. She was a hard-working, cheerful waitress, one of the nicest people you'd ever want to know. She was also a three-bottle-a-day alcoholic, hopelessly in love with the IHOP's manager, Allen Bryant. Bryant wanted his live-in lover, IHOP owner Art Venecia, dead. And Dee Casteel helped him to arrange it.
This is the disturbing account of 31-year-old Joanna Dennehy, mother of two, the man under her spell, Gary Stretch, 47, and the murder investigation that led them and others to the Old Bailey for trial. A true crime short, plus 17 additional true crime stories. It was the day before Easter, 2013. A man out walking his dog on a rural road near Peterborough, United Kingdom found a dead body lying in a ditch.
On a chilly evening in fall of 1966, Annie Jean Barnes left her home in East Brewton, Alabama, to spend time at a secluded fishing camp owned by a local doctor. Less than 48 hours later she was hospitalized - beaten and abused. Within a week, she was dead. And, it would seem, willfully forgotten by the citizens of Brewton - the more prosperous area on the west side of Murder Creek - who soon came to refer to the fate of Jean Barnes as an "unfortunate incident."
As cozy as their house had seemed, there was a cold secret beneath the house. At the bottom of the basement stairs and beyond a small pond-like sized puddle was where evil lived. It was the only part of the house that was always cold and damp no matter the time of day or time of year. Structurally speaking, it was part of the house but there were two, perhaps three steps that separated home from hell.
Serial killer as a term can be difficult to define. Different criminal investigation units typically require two, three, or more attributable killings over a period of time before an individual can be considered to have joined the ranks of the serial killers. However, it is not really the numbers which can interest so many people and scare others. Instead, it is the often random nature of the killings.
A personal look at a crime of passion describes an FBI agent's successful career, family life, and extramarital affair that ended in murder, and the guilt that drove him to confess in spite of his impenetrable government shield. In a true story of crime, guilt, and conscience, a model agent's illicit involvement with an informant leads him to commit a crime that reveals all the workings of the human heart - and the dark side of the FBI.
During the 1970s New York City was a mecca for heroin and cocaine usage. The majority of these drugs were trafficked and sold by traditional organized crime families. A special unit was put together to gather information on these groups and subsequently dismantle their networks. This unit of the NYPD was able to accomplish this through many hard-working hours and the assistance of an informant, namely "Kenny O." This memoir is the actual story of the relationship of Kenny O and Tony Pesca, the NYPD officer assigned to work with him.
In this colourful history of the wild world of crime reporting since 1700, Duncan Campbell reveals what it's really like to deal with murderers, gangsters, victims, informers and detectives, looking at the 'hacks in the macs' who would go to any lengths to get a story - and serve it up to an ever-eager reading public. Crime is a prism through which we see society and its phobias.
In 1935, the Spokane police regularly extorted sex, food, and money from the reluctant hobos (many of them displaced farmers who had fled the midwestern dust bowls), robbed dairies, and engaged in all manner of nefarious crimes, including murder. This history was suppressed until 1989, when former logger, Vietnam vet, and Spokane cop Tony Bamonte discovered a strange 1955 deathbed confession while researching a thesis on local law enforcement history.
One of the more unique British serial killers, John George Haigh killed simply because he wanted more. He had an exaggerated sense of entitlement, and would seek out victims who could support his lavish lifestyle. What is most abhorrent in this true crime murder story is not that he killed six people, but rather what he did with them after they were dead. Newspapers and tabloids would shout out headlines of John being a "vampire", a man with a blood lust who drank the blood of those he killed.
Serial Killers and Prostitutes taps into the best-selling author's expertise on serial murderers and sex trade workers in offering an in-depth look at four noteworthy cases in which the two worlds collide.
While walking through a park at night in Bacup, England, Sophie Lancaster and her boyfriend, Robert Maltby, were brutally attacked by five teenage boys. The beatings and subsequent murder made international news. This book was written by an investigative journalist who became extremely close to the families of the victims. It's a very in-depth account of a very sad case.
In this book, we will examine the life and crimes of Robert Lee Yates. Though he might not be as well-known as many of the country's other serial killers, his violent crimes nevertheless left a savage impact. A veteran of the United States Army, he retired from the military and turned his penchant for violence to another end. In this book, we will attempt to discover why he made such a switch. What prompted a veteran and family man to start murdering women later in his life?
While many people dream of fame during both childhood and adulthood, some are just very lucky to have it before they can even crawl and few are even luckier to have the fame till adulthood. But early exposure to fame, money, jewelries, and dinners with famous people do not always come easy. For the people on this list, they started well as child stars who people idolize on TV, radio, and the Internet. But along the line, something went wrong.
When British student Meredith Kercher was murdered in 2007, Amanda Knox became quite the celebrity for her involvement in the murder. Knox was an American woman and roommate of Kercher. At the time of the murder, she was just 22 years old. So, who was Amanda Knox? Did she, in fact, kill Meredith Kercher, or was she falsely accused in the murder? Who else was involved in this murder? What happened during the trial and why was she finally acquitted?
When the rich kill, they really do it differently from those who aren't wealthy. Among other things, it is rarer for them to kill, but when someone wealthy gets arrested and convicted for murder, there is a great deal of media attention. They are better able to delay any investigation or get away with murder because of their money, though they often kill for many of the same basic reasons as others - jealousy, revenge, power, and money.
"Well , I'm only on chapter 2 and..."
This true crime book follows the FBI's search for and capture of Darren Dee O'Neall, a serial killer whose ability to change his appearance kept him out of the reach of the authorities, and describes his violent sexual crimes.
Most of us have been told by our parents that it never pays to walk on the wrong side of the law. Crime never pays. This is a saying we have heard millions of times, threatening us that we should always be law-abiding citizens of the world. But if you look at the net worth and the lavish lifestyles of some of the crime bosses and the gang leaders, you will probably get to thinking whether all of this is actually true.
In the fall of 2010, in the all-American town of Apple Valley, Ohio, four people disappeared without a trace: Stephanie Sprang; her friend, Tina Maynard; and Tina's two children, 13-year-old Sarah and 11-year-old Kody. Investigators began scouring the area, yet despite an extensive search, no signs of the missing people were discovered.
"Courageous and up lifting"
The definitive account of the O. J. Simpson trial, The Run of His Life is a prodigious feat of reporting that could have been written only by the foremost legal journalist of our time. First published less than a year after the infamous verdict, Jeffrey Toobin's nonfiction masterpiece tells the whole story, from the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman to the ruthless gamesmanship behind the scenes of "the trial of the century".
"I wanted more after the 2016 mini-series..."
400 Things Cops Know shows police work on the inside, from the viewpoint of the regular cop on the beat - a profession that can range from rewarding to bizarre to terrifying, all within the course of an eight-hour shift. Written by veteran police sergeant Adam Plantinga, 400 Things Cops Know brings the listener into life the way cops experience it - a life of danger, frustration, occasional triumph, and plenty of grindingly hard routine work.
"Well Done. Misinformation present but minimal."
On July 22, 2011, Anders Behring Breivik detonated a bomb outside government buildings in central Oslo, killing eight people. He then proceeded to a youth camp on the island of Utøya, where he killed 69 more, most of them teenage members of Norway's governing Labour Party. In One of Us, the journalist Åsne Seierstad tells the story of this terrible day and what led up to it. What made Breivik, a gifted child from an affluent neighborhood in Oslo, become a terrorist?
"A Thoroughly Researched and though provoking Book"
“Sam, could you do me a favor?” Thus begins a story that has now become part of America's true-crime hall of fame. It is a gory, grotesque tale befitting a Stephen King novel. It is also a David and Goliath saga - the story of a young lawyer fresh from the public defender's office whose first client in private practice turns out to be the worst serial killer in our nation's history. This is a gripping true crime narrative that reenacts the gruesome killings and the famous trial that shocked a nation.
"Ultimately an excellent listen"
In 1911 two wealthy British heiresses, Claire and Dora Williamson, came to a sanitorium in the forests of the Pacific Northwest to undergo the revolutionary fasting treatment of Dr. Linda Burfield Hazzard. It was supposed to be a holiday for the two sisters. But within a month of arriving at what the locals called Starvation Heights, the women were emaciated shadows of their former selves, waiting for death.
Mafia Prince is the first-person account of one of the most violent eras in Mafia history - "Little" Nicky Scarfo’s reign as boss of the Philly family in the 1980s - written by Scarfo’s underboss and nephew, "Crazy" Phil Leonetti. The youngest-ever underboss at the age of 31, Leonetti was at the crux of the violent downfall of the traditional American Mafia in the 1980s when he infiltrated Atlantic City after gambling was legalized, and later turned state’s evidence against his own.
The world has watched stunned at the bloodshed in Mexico. Thirty thousand murdered since 2006; police chiefs shot within hours of taking office; mass graves comparable to those of civil wars; car bombs shattering storefronts; headless corpses heaped in town squares. The United States throws Black Hawk helicopters and drug agents at the problem. But in secret, Washington is confused and divided about what to do. "Who are these mysterious figures tearing Mexico apart?" they wonder.
"Great book ruined by bad narration"
This audiobook focuses on the countless theories that have been put forward with regard to the identity of the notorious Victorian serial killer and offers an extensive section presenting all the known facts in the case. It included 30 essays by the most famous, often controversial Ripperologists putting forward their own theories. It remains one of the few audiobooks to offer a series of alternative solutions to Jack the Ripper's identity and the truth behind the Whitechapel murders.
It started with a college course assignment, then escalated into a dangerous obsession. Eighteen-year-old honor student Jason Moss wrote to men whose body counts had made criminal history: men named Dahmer, Manson, Ramirez, and Gacy. Posing as their ideal victim, Jason seduced them with his words. One by one they wrote him back, showering him with their madness and violent fantasies. Then the game spun out of control. John Wayne Gacy revealed all to Jason - and invited his pen pal to visit him in prison.... It was an offer Jason couldn't turn down. Even if it made him....
In this disquieting cyber thriller, Joseph Menn takes readers into the murky hacker underground, traveling the globe from San Francisco to Costa Rica and London to Russia. His guides are California surfer and computer whiz Barrett Lyon and a fearless British high-tech agent. Through these heroes, Menn shows the evolution of cyber-crime from small-time thieving to sophisticated, organized gangs, who began by attacking corporate websites but increasingly steal financial data from consumers.
"A Great Book"
Forget what you think you know about the Mafia. After reading this book, even life-long mob aficionados will have a new perspective on organized crime. Informative, authoritative, and eye-opening, this is the first full-length book devoted exclusively to uncovering the hidden history of how the Mafia came to dominate organized crime in New York City during the 1930s through 1950s.
For 56 years, the Black Dahlia murder case remained one of the most notorious and high-profile unsolved crimes of the 20th century. Now, Steve Hodel, a 24-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, believes he has finally solved the case. On January 15, 1947, 22-year-old Elizabeth Short - "The Black Dahlia" - was found dead in a vacant lot in Los Angeles, her body horribly mutilated, bisected at the waist, and posed in a bizarre manner.
"Too long, tedious and repetitive!"
Dion Fuller sheltered a US marine who'd stolen night vision goggles, and perhaps a few top-secret files, from a nearby military base. Dion found himself arrested (under the ostensible auspices of The Patriot Act) for conspiring with international terrorists to smuggle top-secret military equipment out of Camp Pendleton. The fact that Dion had absolutely nothing to do with international terrorists, smuggling, top-secret military equipment, or Camp Pendleton didn't seem to bother the military.
Queen of Thieves is the gritty, fast-paced story of Fredericka "Marm" Mandelbaum, a poor Jewish woman who rose to the top of her profession in organized crime during the Gilded Age in New York City. During her more than twenty-five-year reign as the country’s top receiver of stolen goods, she accumulated great wealth and power inconceivable for women engaged in business, legitimate or otherwise.
"a bit repetitive"
The True American tells the story of Raisuddin Bhuiyan, a Bangladesh Air Force officer who dreams of immigrating to America and working in technology. But days after 9/11, an avowed "American terrorist" named Mark Stroman, seeking revenge, walks into the Dallas minimart where Bhuiyan has found temporary work and shoots him, maiming and nearly killing him. Two other victims, at other gas stations, aren't so lucky, dying at once. The True American traces the making of these two men, Stroman and Bhuiyan, and of their fateful encounter.
"What an inspiring story in a selfish country"
The Netflix series Making a Murderer quickly became a huge hit, with over 19 million viewers in the US in the first 35 days. The series left many viewers with the opinion that Steven Avery - a man falsely imprisoned for almost 20 years on a rape charge - was railroaded into prison a second time by a corrupt police force and district attorney's office. Viewers were outraged, and hundreds of thousands demanded a pardon for Avery. The chief villain of the series: Ken Kratz, the special prosecutor who headed the investigation and prosecution.
Born into one of America's most illustrious trading families, Sam Israel was determined to strike out on his own. After apprenticing with one of the greatest traders of the 1980s, he founded his own fast-growing hedge fund, promising investors extraordinary returns. But it was all an elaborate charade.
"An Excellent Audible Choice"
Uncovering a cold-blooded execution at the hands of a conspiring police force, this engaging account relentlessly pursues the murderers of Black Panther Fred Hampton. Documenting the entire 14-year process of bringing the killers to justice, this chronicle also depicts the 18-month court trial in detail. Revealing Hampton himself in a new light, this examination presents him as a dynamic community leader whose dedication to his people and to the truth inspired the young lawyers of the People's Law Office.
"A Story No One Can Forget"
The favorite book of William Burroughs. A journey into the hobo underworld, freight hopping around the still Wild West, becoming a highwayman and member of the yegg (criminal) brotherhood, getting hooked on opium, doing stints in jail or escaping, often with the assistance of crooked cops or judges. Our lost history revived. With an introduction by Burroughs. A BookSense 77 selection.
"The Original Hobo Narrative"