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!"
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."
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"
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"
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.
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.
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.."
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?"
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"
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."
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"
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.
On January 5, 1971, Sonny Liston was found dead in his home - of an apparent heroin overdose. But no one close to Liston believed that his death was accidental. Digging deep into a life that Liston tried hard to hide, Shaun Assael treats the boxer's death as a cold case. The result is a riveting whodunit that evokes a glorious and grimy era of Las Vegas.
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.
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"
The facts are brutally straightforward. On December 6, 1991, the naked, bound and gagged bodies of four girls - each one shot in the head - were found in an I Can't Believe It's Yogurt! shop in Austin, Texas. Grief, shock, and horror spread out from their families and friends to overtake the city itself. Though all branches of law enforcement were brought to bear, the investigation was often misdirected, and after eight years only two men (then teenagers) were tried.
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.
Federal Agent Robert Mazur spent five years undercover as a money launderer to the international underworld, gaining access to the zenith of a criminal hierarchy safeguarded by a circle of dirty bankers and businessmen who quietly shape power across the globe. These men and women control multibillion-dollar drug-trafficking empires, running their organizations like public companies.
"Very blow-by-blow. Great guy, great storyteller"
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"
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?
On August 14, 1975, eight daring thieves ransacked 148 massive safe-deposit boxes at a secret bank used by organized crime, La Cosa Nostra, and its associates in Providence, Rhode Island. The crooks fled with duffel bags crammed full of cash, gold, silver, stamps, coins, jewels, and high-end jewelry. The true value of the loot has always been kept secret, partly because it was ill-gotten to begin with, and partly because there was plenty of incentive to keep its true worth out of the limelight.
In the heart of Indianapolis in the mid-1960s, through a twist of fate and fortune, a pretty young girl came to live with a 37-year-old mother and her seven children. What began as a temporary childcare arrangement between Sylvia Likens's parents and Gertrude Baniszewski turned into a crime that would haunt cops, prosecutors, and a community for decades to come. When police found Sylvia's emaciated body, with a chilling message carved into her flesh, they knew that she had suffered tremendously before her death.
Two families, mysteriously murdered under similar circumstances, just a month apart. One was memorialized in Truman Capote's classic novel, In Cold Blood. The other was all but forgotten. Dick Hickock and Perry Smith confessed to the first: the November 15, 1959 murder of a family of four in Holcomb, Kansas. Despite remarkable coincidences between the two crimes, they denied committing the second: the December 19 murder of a family of four in Osprey, Florida.
Our everyday reality - a reality so seemingly safe and secure in this modern age, but also one in which the news reports senseless killings and murders too grisly, too heinous, and too unimaginable; who would think such horrifying events could ever happen to you or your family? Well, they can and have happened to countless unsuspecting everyday people. History is replete with psychotic killers with horrific and utterly barbarous lists of murders and slayings.
Published just seven weeks after the killing of Jesse James, this volume gives the full particulars of each and every dark and desperate deed in the career of this most noted outlaw of any time or nation! The facts and incidents contained herein were dictated to the author by the bandit's wife and his mother, to ensure that every secret act, every hitherto unknown incident, every crime, and every motive was truthfully disclosed!
Based on excerpts from his own true confessions, Costume Party delves into the mind of one of the most prolific serial killers in American history, deep into the psychosis that was John Wayne Gacy's mind, a dark, terrifying place where most of society has never ventured - or would ever want to.
Beware! Once you begin listening to this true crime anthology book, you will quickly find that is difficult to stop! You will hear about 12 true crime stories from throughout the United States and around the world that invoke a variety of different emotions from deep within your soul. You will be shocked at some of the bizarre and senseless crimes, while at other times feelings of empathy for the victims and anger at the inhuman perpetrators will stir your spirit.
Vincent "Chin" Gigante. He started out as a professional boxer - until he found his true calling as a ruthless contract killer. His doting mother's pet name for the boy evolved into his famous alias, "Chin", a nickname that struck fear throughout organized crime as he routinely ordered the murders of mobsters who violated the Mafia code. Vincent Gigante was hand-picked by Vito Genovese to run the Genovese Family when Vito was sent to prison. Chin raked in more than $100 million for the Genovese Family, all while evading federal investigators.
Lacey Spears made international headlines in January 2015, when she was charged with the "depraved mind" murder of her five-year-old son, Garnett. Prosecutors alleged that the 27-year-old mother had poisoned him with high concentrations of salt through his stomach tube. To the outside world, Lacey had seemed like the perfect mother, regularly posting dramatic updates on her son's harrowing medical problems. But in reality, Lacey was a textbook case of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy.
"The true story of a monster "mother""
In 1901, Buffalo, New York, the eighth biggest city in America, wanted to launch the new century with the Pan American Exposition. It would showcase the Western hemisphere and bring millions of people to Western New York. With Niagara Falls as a drawing card, and with stunning colors and electric lights, promoters believed it would be bigger, better, and - literally - more brilliant than Chicago's White City of 1893.
In September, 2008, Roanoke, Texas, police discovered a house of horrors: poisoned pudding, a bathtub set up for electrocution, a bloody butcher knife, and a hank of chopped-off hair. The worst was yet to come. Days before, 17-year-old Jennifer Bailey, her 13-year-old brother David, and their friends Paul Henson and Merrilee White had made a gruesome pact: they'd kill their parents, steal their cars and credit cards, and flee to Canada. Paul and Merrilee's parents thwarted their fates, but Jennifer and David's mother Susan Bailey wasn't so lucky.
While serving a life sentence for the murder of a young girl, Jack Unterweger wrote seven books, saw his critically acclaimed autobiography made into a film, and became a cause celebre among influential Austrian literati who successfully campaigned for his release. Riding high on the fame, he arrived in Los Angeles where he nurtured his career as a journalist. Then, one by one, Hollywood prostitutes started turning up dead. Unterweger covered the story. There was a reason why his reporting of the crimes seemed so vivid.
The prostitutes working New York City's Times Square were more than a little bit nervous. A deranged serial killer who apparently melted into the crowd was picking up hookers and sadistically torturing them, leaving some girls wondering if there was a real-life Dr. Frankenstein out there attempting to create his own personal plaything from pieces of his dismembered victims.
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.
Rarely does a week go by without a well-known executive being indicted for engaging in a white-collar crime. Perplexed as to what drives successful, wealthy people to risk it all, Harvard Business School professor Eugene Soltes spent seven years in the company of the men behind the largest corporate crimes in history - from the financial fraudsters of Enron, to the embezzlers at Tyco, to the Ponzi schemers Bernie Madoff and Allen Stanford.
"insight into the slippery slope of fraud"
Profiler Roy Hazelwood is one of the world's leading experts on the strangest and most dangerous of all aberrant offenders - the sexual criminal. In Dark Dreams he reveals the twisted motive and thinking that go into the most reprehensible crimes. He also catalogs the innovative and remarkably effective techniques that allow law enforcement agents to construct psychological profiles of the offenders who commit these crimes.
"FINALLY SOME NEW AND INTERESTING CASES!"
As a member of Parliament and leader of the Liberal Party in the 1960s and 70s, Jeremy Thorpe's bad behavior went under the radar for years. Police and politicians alike colluded to protect one of their own. In 1970, Thorpe was the most popular and charismatic politician in the country, poised to hold the balance of power in a coalition government. But Jeremy Thorpe was a man with a secret.
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 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..."
“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"
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"
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.
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"
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.
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"
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....
When Caylee Anthony was reported missing in Orlando, Florida, in July 2008, the public spent the next three years following the investigation and the eventual trial of her mother, Casey Anthony. On July 5, 2011, the case that captured headlines worldwide exploded when, against all odds, defense attorney Jose Baez delivered one of the biggest legal upsets in American history: a not-guilty verdict.
"Blah, blah, blah"
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.
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"
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"
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 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.
From the lead prosecutor on the Enron investigation, an eye-opening examination of the explosion of American white-collar crime. If "corporations are people, too", why isn't anyone in jail? A serious defect in a GM car causes accidents; Enron scams investors out of their money; banks bet on the housing market crash and win. In the race to maximize profits, corporations can behave in ways that are morally outrageous but technically legal.
"An education: wide and deep, yet listenable"
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"
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!"