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."
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.
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!"
Recounts the tragic events that followed the arrest of Fred Coe, a conservative, clean-cut young man, for a series of rapes committed in the city of Spokane and led to revenge and murder.
"Psychopathy Born or Made?"
Lucie Blackman - tall, blond, 21 years old - stepped out into the vastness of Tokyo in the summer of 2000 and disappeared. The following winter, her dismembered remains were found buried in a seaside cave. The seven months in between had seen a massive search for the missing girl involving Japanese policemen, British private detectives, and Lucie’s desperate but bitterly divided parents. Had Lucie been abducted by a religious cult or snatched by human traffickers? Who was the mysterious man she had gone to meet? And what did her work as a hostess in the notorious Roppongi district of Tokyo really involve?
"The best audiobook I have ever heard -- hands down"
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"
An insider exposes the shocking facts deliberately left out of the hit Netflix series Making a Murderer - and argues persuasively that Steven Avery was rightfully convicted in the 2005 killing of Teresa Halbach.
"I rarely rate books but this needed a rating."
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"
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.
"Interesting and Real"
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.."
At first glance Gabriel Cardona is the poster-boy American teenager: great athlete, bright, handsome, and charismatic. But the streets of his border town of Laredo, Texas, are poor and dangerous, and it isn't long before Gabriel abandons his promising future for the allure of the Zetas, a drug cartel with roots in the Mexican military. His younger friend, Bart, as well as others from Gabriel's childhood join him in working for the Zetas, boosting cars and smuggling drugs, eventually catching the eye of the cartel's leadership.
"Get this book you won't be bored"
On March 15th, 1987 police in Anchorage, Alaska arrived at a horrific scene of carnage. In a modest downtown apartment, they found Nancy Newman's brutally beaten corpse sprawled across her bed. In other rooms were the bodies of her eight-year-old daughter, Melissa, and her three-year-old, Angie, whose throat was slit from ear to ear. Both Nancy and Melissa had been sexually assaulted.
In January 2007 two young stoners from Miami Beach - one a ninth-grade dropout, the other a licensed masseur - won a $300 million Department of Defense contract to supply ammunition to the Afghanistan military. Incredibly, instead of fulfilling the order with high-quality arms, Efraim Diveroli and David Packouz - the dudes - bought cheap Communist-style surplus ammunition from Balkan gunrunners.
"What is with those accents?"
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.
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"
Between 2005 and 2009, the bodies of eight women were discovered around the murky canals and crawfish ponds of Jennings, Louisiana, a bayou town of 10,000 in the Jefferson Davis parish. Law enforcement officials were quick to pursue a serial killer theory, opening a floodgate of media coverage, from CNN to the New York Times. Collectively the victims became known as the "Jeff Davis 8," and their lives, their deaths, and the ongoing investigation reveals a small community's closely guarded secrets.
When 11-year-old James Renner fell in love with Amy Mihaljevic, the missing girl seen on posters all over his neighborhood, it was the beginning of a lifelong obsession with true crime. That obsession led James to a successful career as an investigative journalist. It also gave him PTSD. In 2011 James began researching the strange disappearance of Maura Murray, a UMass student who went missing after wrecking her car in rural New Hampshire in 2004.
"Honest. Surprising. Fascinating."
Audie Award, Non-Fiction, 2016. On a warm spring evening in South Los Angeles, a young man is shot and killed on a sidewalk minutes away from his home--one of the thousands of black Americans murdered that year. His assailant runs down the street, jumps into an SUV, and vanishes, hoping to join the scores of killers in American cities who are never arrested for their crimes.
"Read in print, the audio version is horrible."
From best-selling author Jon Krakauer, a stark, powerful, meticulously reported narrative about a series of sexual assaults at the University of Montana - stories that illuminate the human drama behind the national plague of campus rape.
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"
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.
While her husband Rusty, a NASA engineer, was at work, Andrea Yates filled the family bathtub with water and systematically drowned their children, ages six months to seven years.
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.
Serial killers are big business. From the endless books, films, and television programs to the fascination of the 24-hour news networks, there is something about these mass murderers that catches the eye and catches the attention. While many people are familiar with the better known killers like John Wayne Gacy or Jack the Ripper, this is not the end of the story. There are so many examples of serial killers from around the world that many of them have simply been forgotten about.
He was a hard-working small business owner, an Army veteran, an attentive lover, and a doting father. But he was also something more, something sinister. A master of deception, he was a rapist, arsonist, and bank robber, and a new breed of serial killer, one who studied other killers to perfect his craft. He methodically buried kill-kits containing his tools of murder years before returning to reclaim them.
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."
Some serial killers seem surreal, as if it's almost impossible to believe that an individual could do such horrific crimes. The Beast of Birkenshaw, a.k.a. Peter Manuel, was such a man.
In perhaps his most important literary feat, Norman Mailer fashions an unprecedented portrait of one of the great villains - and enigmas - in United States history. Here is Lee Harvey Oswald - his family background, troubled marriage, controversial journey to Russia, and return to an "America [waiting] for him like an angry relative whose eyes glare in the heat."
From the victim or victims, the crime scenes, and the criminal investigations that ensued, we follow 12 true crime stories, some of which are solved and some that are still mysteries. We also take a look at cases where wrongful convictions have occurred and why. These true murder stories will take you on a journey across the globe and even back in time in some cases. Family massacres, individual true crime murder cases, and situations where murder goes unseen in suicide cases, plus many more.
Murder mysteries, missing persons cases and cannibal killers are all things that will make you think of some of the most interesting true crime cases in our history. The cases I am going to present to you today in this book are not so much about divinity or superstition as they are about simply murder and butchery. They are the stories of some of the strangest and most gruesome killers, missing persons cases and cannibalism.
Luck of the Devil follows Jack Collins fresh out of the Navy in 1969 as he heads to Miami. There, he falls into the hippie culture of the day. Looking to score free drugs for himself and his friends, he starts dealing blow and pills on the side. Jack eventually grows into the "bigger" game of pills and cocaine as he establishes relationships with the Colombians.
True Believer reveals the life of Noel Field, an American who betrayed his country and crushed his family. Field, once a well-meaning and privileged American, spied for Stalin during the 1930s and '40s. Then, a pawn in Stalin's sinister master strategy, Field was kidnapped and tortured by the KGB and forced to testify against his own Communist comrades.
"What a story!"
How would a mother feel if her young son became a victim of a notorious serial killer who had already killed more than 100 boys? Luis Alfredo Garavito raped and killed 140 youngsters in Colombia - each of these murders was verified, but they suspected there were more. He did the crimes alone, and for many years, he had escaped the law. How did the police capture "The Beast"?
"Fascinating stories with excellent narration"
On March 10, 2009, Michael Kenneth McLendon, 28, shot and killed 10 people in a shooting spree in three communities in two southern Alabama counties: Kinston in Coffee County, and Samson and Geneva in Geneva County. Five of the victims were family members and two were children. After engaging in an exchange of fire with police, he committed suicide, bringing the total of dead to 11. Officials at the time said this was the worst shooting event in Alabama history.
A nurse who pledged dedication into serving the sick suddenly found it pleasurable to kill their patients, a promising married man went on top of a tower and shot people as if they were pigs, a person claiming he was the new Messiah instructed his followers to perform gruesome murders, a charming man turned into a vicious serial killer, and a desperate mother killed her own children.
Stories about serial killers are incredibly popular. Tracking down a mass murderer is a constant plot line in films, television, and literature. But these stories are so often based on real life. In certain circumstances, however, real life goes a step beyond what we could imagine happening in fiction. Sometimes, the actions of a serial killer can seem so extreme and strange, their motivations so twisted and evil, that we struggle to comprehend exactly how they fit into the modern world.
On a bitterly cold afternoon in December 1986, a Michigan State trooper found the frozen body of Jerry Tobias in the bed of his pickup truck. The 31-year-old oil field worker and small-time drug dealer was clad only in jeans, a checkered shirt, and cowboy boots. Inside the cab of the truck was a fresh package of expensive steaks from a local butcher shop, the first lead in a case that would be quickly lost in a thicket of bungled forensics, shady prosecution, and a psychopathic star witness out for revenge.
Recounts the true story of Connie Krauser Chaney, who left behind a tragic childhood to marry Wayne, unaware of his violent tendencies, and describes how she eventually fled with her young son, only to be stalked and killed.
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."
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"
“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"
Here is a tautly paced investigation of one the 20th century's most audacious art frauds, which generated hundreds of forgeries - many of them still hanging in prominent museums and private collections today. Provenance is the extraordinary narrative of one of the most far-reaching and elaborate deceptions in art history.
"reads like a thriller"
On June 22, 1954, teenage friends Juliet Hulme - better known as best-selling mystery writer Anne Perry - and Pauline Parker went for a walk in a New Zealand park with Pauline’s mother, Honora. Half an hour later, the girls returned alone, claiming that Pauline’s mother had had an accident. But when Honora Parker was found in a pool of blood with the brick used to bludgeon her to death close at hand, Juliet and Pauline were quickly arrested, and later confessed to the killing.
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.
From 1926 to 1928, Gordon Stewart Northcott committed at least 20 murders on a chicken ranch outside of Los Angeles. His nephew, Sanford Clark, was held captive there from the age of 13 to 15, and was the sole surviving victim of the killing spree. Here, acclaimed crime writer Anthony Flacco - using never-before-heard information from Sanford’s son Jerry Clark - tells the real story behind the case that riveted the nation.
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.
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.
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"
On October 12, 2005, a massive fire broke out in the Wines Central wine warehouse in Vallejo, California. Within hours, the flames had destroyed 4.5 million bottles of California's finest wine worth more than $250 million, making it the largest destruction of wine in history. The fire had been deliberately set by a passionate oenophile named Mark Anderson, a skilled con man and thief with storage space at the warehouse who needed to cover his tracks.
"I was put off by the readers absolute lack of know"
Circle of Treason is the first account written by CIA agents who were key members of the CIA team that conducted the intense "Ames Mole Hunt." Sandra Grimes and Jeanne Vertefeuille were two of the five principals of the CIA team tasked with hunting one of their own and were directly responsible for identifying Ames as the mole, leading to his arrest and conviction.
"Reads like a police report but interesting anyway"
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"
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!"
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"
For the first time, the full story of a crime that has haunted New England since 1873. The cold-blooded ax murder of two innocent Norwegian women at their island home off the coast of New Hampshire has gripped the region since 1873, beguiling tourists, inspiring artists, and fueling conspiracy theorists. The killer, a handsome Prussian fisherman down on his luck, was quickly captured, convicted in a widely publicized trial, and hanged in an unforgettable gallows spectacle.
Tells of the seductress, the student, and a murder in New England. The perfect life of newlyweds, Pam and Gregg Smart, was shattered in 1990 when Gregg was shot dead. In the trial, it emerged that Pam had seduced 15-year-old Bill Flynn to do the killing.
"Behead the narrator, please!"
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.