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Being from a telecom background, I thought this was excellent and smething I didn't know.
From the bedroom terminals of teenagers isolated from their peers by their hyperactive intellects, to the nerve center of a nationwide long-distance phone company infiltrated by a hacker's hand, Masters of Deception offers an unprecedented tour of the murkiest reaches of the electronic frontier and a trenchant, blow-by-blow chronicle of the most notorious gang war in cyberspace.
"Riveting Piece of History"
This was one of the most riveting, informative and -- I'm almost afraid to say this, because a book on this subject should be somber and difficult -- ENTERTAINING audiobooks I've read this year. Of course, she treats the subject with all the seriousness it deserves, but she also invests it with a life that true crime writing often misses in it's cold recitation of fact after fact, detail after detail. But it's almost impossible to turn away from the parade of sad, complex and truly unbelievable stories the author relates about these "Eraser Killers." But even though almost every case she describes has the same basic plot elements and character types (sociopath kills trusting lover and elaborately disposes of body), the author reveals a compelling throughline in the stories and manages to find the genuine heart and soul of each person involved. Case in point: I'm guessing you, like me, thought you had heard everything you wanted to know about Scott and Lacey Peterson. But Marilee Strong does an amazing job relating the small, human details we've never heard about, and suddenly you're reading about real flesh and blood people who you find yourself actually invested in. Not necessarily LIKING, but invested in. The narrator plays a big part in the success of this audiobook; she is one of those rare narrators that is so good for the material, so evocative in their reading that they almost completely disappear. And that may be the highest compliment I can pay a narrator. I really enjoyed this book, and if you have even a minor interest in true crime, human tragedy, or great non-fiction writing, I suspect you will enjoy it too.
I'm not sure why I got this book in the first place. Like much of the rest of the world, I watched this train-wreck of a true-crime story as it unfolded (derailed?) on live TV, and I was tired of the whole sordid mess by the time the verdict came in. Then I saw this book on Audible, and the true-crime fan in me must have overcome the tired-of-Casey-Anthony-watcher, because I bought it and dropped it into my playlist, where it sat ignored for weeks. When I finally got around to trying it out, I quickly found myself intrigued despite myself, and before I knew it I was sucked right back into it and enjoying every minute of the story. Unlike the case itself, the book flew by in no time.Although there were some fascinating insights throughout, I can't say that there was a whole lot of new information, particularly if you followed the story in real time. But the author (who also happens to be the prosecutor who lost the trial) does such a good job telling the story and fleshing out the characters and their motivations, I found myself fascinated even by the re-telling of facts I already knew and people I was tired of hearing about. Plus, he's very good at reading his own writing, which isn't surprising given that he's a trial attorney who has to exactly that day in and day out in court. I was also impressed with how little whining Ashton did about the outcome or unfairness of the trial, which isn't always the case when losing attorneys write their account of a big trial. You sort of expect "How It Wasn't My Fault That a Murderer Went Free," but while this book doesn't shy away from exposing the author's dislike for opposing counsel, it didn't wallow in constant finger-pointing or blame-shifting, which I very much appreciated. In closing, your honor, I went into both the real-life case and the reading of this book skeptical and unconvinced. Jeff Ashton convinced me at the trial, and many months later he convinced me to keep reading his book even though I wasn't sure I wanted to. If only he had convinced that jury as effectively as he did me, a certain narcissistic baby-killer would be living the "good life" in jail right now where she belongs.
This was one of the better True Crime books I've listened to in a while, and I thought it was Fanning's best work as well. The facts of the case are truly horrifying, and Tommy Lynn Sells' casual, almost nonchalant evil is hard to accept, but the book is all the more compelling for it. Fanning does a good job adding some backstory to each of the victims, and she recreates the monstrous details of the crimes without sensationalizing them. It's a bit difficult to keep track of all of the characters, in part because this guy took so many lives and affected so many more. You can't tell his story without telling all of theirs, and all the names do get a little lost in the crowd of ruined lives. Perhaps the author could have done a little better job adding context or recurring memory markers of some kind so listeners who aren't keeping score on a notepad can keep up with the catalog of horrors. But that's nit-picking ----- this was well-researched, -written and -narrated account that lovers of True Crime should enjoy immensely.
It's one thing for a non-fiction author to have a point of view, but this author seems to have an axe to grind. She starts out really well, but about halfway through the author turns so biased and snarky it actually took me right out of the narrative. Part of what's so mind-blowing and fascinating about this story is how impossible it is to know whether Peterson is a multiple murderer or a tragic victim of coincidence and prosecutorial over-reach. I can't think of another case where BOTH sides have such strong circumstantial arguments and neither side has any real proof. So when the author starts sounding like a scornful opposition politican instead of a credible reporter of facts, all I could think of was "why the obvious agenda?" Worse, I kept wondering what REALLY happened, because it didn't feel like I was getting it straight. Ultimately, she didn't convince me of his guilt. If anything her obvious bias made me question her point of view more than it made me question Peterson's innocence. With all that said, I still finished it. The narration was very good, and there was never a moment when I didn't want to know more. She has a lot of interesting facts and anecdotes, and this truly is one of the most fascinating true stories I've ever come across. But I think she torpedoes herself by making those facts feel like opinions and the fascinating story feel like a closing argument. If you have never read about this amazing case (or if you have never seen the excellent multi-part documentary on the case called "The Staircase"), you might want to pick up this book despite all that. It's a great read, even if it isn't great factual reporting.
Profesionl, hard working woman who travels weekly, enjoys life. My best Friends are Michael and Scooter. Nonfiction books are the best!
Good story, good read. Even though I knew the news story the book gave a lot more detail
Michael Peterson was a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, a candidate for mayor and a New York Times best-selling novelist. His wife Kathleen was the first woman ever admitted to the Duke University School of Engineering, a brilliant executive and a loving and fun-filled mother-the last woman who one would expect to become a victim in her own home.
"Fascinating, But Ridiculously Biased"
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.
"Truth and heartache"
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.
"What a great book."
Say the name 'Enron' and most people believe they've heard all about the story that imperiled a presidency, destroyed a marketplace, and changed Washington and Wall Street forever. But in the hands of Kurt Eichenwald, the players we think we know and the business practices we think have been exposed are transformed into entirely new, and entirely gripping, material.
On June 5, 2002, 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart, the daughter of a close-knit Mormon family, was taken from her home in the middle of the night by religious fanatic, Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee. She was kept chained, dressed in disguise, repeatedly raped, and told she and her family would be killed if she tried to escape. After her rescue on March 12, 2003, she rejoined her family and worked to pick up the pieces of her life.
Polls reveal that 85 percent of Americans believe there was a conspiracy behind Lee Harvey Oswald. Some even believe Oswald was entirely innocent. In this encyclopedic, absorbing audiobook, Vincent Bugliosi shows how the public has come to believe such lies about the day that changed the course of history. Bugliosi has devoted almost 20 years of his life to this project, and is determined to show that, despite the overwhelming popular perception, Oswald killed Kennedy and acted alone.
"On an equal footing with Helter Skelter"
"This book will give you nightmares," cautions The New York Times. Richard Preston takes us inside the ongoing war against bioterrorism, investigating the anthrax attacks of October 2001 and the potential for a future bio-attack using smallpox or, worse yet, a new superpox virus resistant to all vaccines. "As exciting as the best thrillers, yet scarier by far, for Preston's pages deal with clear, present and very real dangers," says Publishers Weekly.
"Excellent and Timely!"
"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 walls 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.
"Don't give up!"
Say the name 'Enron' and most people believe they've heard all about the story that imperiled a presidency, destroyed a marketplace, and changed Washington and Wall Street forever. But in the hands of Kurt Eichenwald, the players we think we know and the business practices we think have been exposed are transformed into entirely new, and entirely gripping, material. Conspiracy of Fools is an all-true financial and political thriller of cinematic proportions.
"Conspiracy of Fools"
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"
By day he made thousands of dollars a minute. By night he spent it as fast as he could. From the binge that sank a 170-foot motor yacht, crashed a Gulfstream jet, and ran up a $700,000 hotel tab, to the wife and kids who waited at home and the fast-talking, hard-partying young stockbrokers who called him king, here, in Jordan Belfort's own words, is the story of the ill-fated genius they called the Wolf of Wall Street.
"Enjoyed the book"
In the summer of 1998, Walter Kirn - then an aspiring novelist struggling with impending fatherhood and a dissolving marriage - set out on a peculiar, fateful errand: to personally deliver a crippled hunting dog from his home in Montana to the New York apartment of one Clark Rockefeller, a secretive young banker and art collector who had adopted the dog over the Internet. Thus began a 15-year relationship that drew Kirn deep into the fun-house world of an outlandish, eccentric son of privilege who ultimately would be unmasked as a brazen serial impostor, child kidnapper, and brutal murderer.
Kevin Mitnick was the most elusive computer break-in artist in history. He accessed computers and networks at the world’s biggest companies—and however fast the authorities were, Mitnick was faster, sprinting through phone switches, computer systems, and cellular networks. He spent years skipping through cyberspace, always three steps ahead and labeled unstoppable.
"Great listen for tech fans"
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.
At the core of this book is an appalling double murder committed by two Mormon fundamentalist brothers, Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they received a revelation from God commanding them to kill their blameless victims. Weaving the story of the Lafferty brothers and their fanatical brethren with a clear-eyed look at Mormonism's violent past, Krakauer examines the underbelly of the most successful homegrown faith in the United States, and finds a distinctly American brand of religious extremism.
"Interesting @ arm's length"
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"
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."
In this chilling audiobook, you will meet Wayne Adam Ford, who walked into a California police station in 1998 with a severed woman's breast in his pocket; Bobby Joe Long, who assaulted and murdered at least ten women; Gary Ray Bowles, killer of six; truck driver Keith Hunter Jespersen, who travelled from state leaving a trail of bodies in his wake; and Robin Gecht, one of the members of the terrifying Ripper Crew.
Long Mile Home will tell the gripping story of the tragic, surreal, and ultimately inspiring week of April 15, 2013: the preparations of the bombers; the glory of the race; the extraordinary emergency response to the explosions; the massive deployment of city, state, and federal law enforcement personnel; and the nation’s and the world’s emotional and humanitarian response before, during, and after the apprehension of the suspects.
"Faithful Retelling of tragic event"
After 16 years on the lam, infamous Boston gangster Whitey Bulger was finally captured and brought to trial - and what a trial it was: evidence of 19 gruesome murders, government secrets, FBI corruption, a dead witness, and an unbelievable tale of love.
From the assassination of President William McKinley on September 6, 1901, to the mass killing at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999, the 20th century saw many murderous events that are difficult to contemplate but have become a part of the national history. This reference book is divided into three parts. Part One, arranged chronologically, details 53 of the most famous murder cases of the 20th century in the United States.
No one had ever tried a caper like this before. The goods were kept in a secure room under constant scrutiny, deep inside a crowded building with guards at the exits. The team picked for the job included two old hands known only as Paul and Swede, but all depended on a fresh face, a kid from North Carolina. In the Depression, some fellows were willing to try anything - even a heist in the rare book room of the New York Public Library. In Thieves of Book Row, Travis McDade tells the gripping tale of the worst book-theft ring in American history, and the intrepid detective who brought it down.
Are criminals who have been convicted of murder really being released back into society to live among us? Released to Kill Again is the 4th volume in the True Crime Series by John Summit. In this audiobook, he reveals the shocking true crime and murder stories of 7 convicted criminals who not only killed once, but were paroled...only to kill again.